Fast Food Nation [Audio]
The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
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|Format:||Audio CD, Abridged Edition|
|Other Information: ||Relay time: 540min; 8 Units|
|Published In: ||United States, 01 May 2004|
Read by Rick Adamson
FAST FOOD NATION - the groundbreaking work of investigation and cultural history that has changed the way America thinks about the way it eats - and spent nearly four months on the "New York Times" bestseller list - now available on cassette!
Are we what we eat? To a degree both engrossing and alarming, the story of fast food is the story of postwar America. Though created by a handful of mavericks, the fast food industry has triggered the homogenization of our society. Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelling the juggernaut of American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first-rate reportage, wry wit, and careful reasoning.
Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from the California subdivisions where the business was born to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike where many of fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths - from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, even real estate. He also uncovers the fast food chains' efforts to reel in the youngest, most susceptible consumers even while they hone their institutionalized exploitation of teenagers and minorities. Schlosser then turns a critical eye toward the hot topic of globalization - a phenomenon launched by fast food.
It is not unusual, from time to time, to read exposs about the unhealthy quality of mass-produced American food. What makes this book special is its indictment of the enormous U.S. fast-food industry. The author, an award-winning contributor to Atlantic Monthly, contends that chains like McDonald's are significant contributors to global ill-health; ugly, homogeneous landscapes; an undertrained and unpromotable work force; and a widespread corporate conformity that discourages the very individualism that propelled these companies to their initial success. While excellently researched, Fast Food Nation is not at all dull but is peppered with acerbic commentary and telling interviews. Of critical importance is the end: just as the reader despairs of a solution, Schlosser outlines a set of remedies, along with steps to get them accomplished. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/00.]DWendy Miller, Lexington P.L., KY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
In this fascinating sociocultural report, Schlosser digs into the deeper meaning of Burger King, Auggie's, The Chicken Shack, Jack-in-the-Box, Little Caesar's and myriad other examples of fast food in America. Frequently using McDonald's as a template, Schlosser, an Atlantic Monthly correspondent, explains how the development of fast-food restaurants has led to the standardization of American culture, widespread obesity, urban sprawl and more. In a perky, reportorial voice, Adamson tells of the history, economics, day-to-day dealings and broad and often negative cultural implications of franchised burger joints and pizza factories, delivering impressive snippets of information (e.g., two-thirds of America's fast-food restaurant employees are teenagers; Willard Scott posed as the first Ronald McDonald until higher-ups decided Scott was too round to represent a healthy restaurant like McDonald's). According to Schlosser, most visits to fast-food restaurants are the culinary equivalent of "impulse buys," i.e., someone is driving by and pulls over for a Big Mac. But anyone listening to this audiobook on a car trip and realizing that the Chicken McNugget turned "a bird that once had to be carved at a table" into "a manufactured, value-added product" will think twice about stopping for a snack at the highway rest stop. Based on the Houghton Mifflin hardcover. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
|Publisher: ||Random House Audio|
|Dimensions: ||16.1 x 13.61 x 3.38 centimeters (0.26 kg)|