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Fast Food Nation | [Eric Schlosser]

Fast Food Nation

To a degree both engrossing and alarming, the story of fast food is the story of postwar America. Fast Food Nation is a groundbreaking work of investigation and cultural history that may change the way America thinks about the way it eats.
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Publisher's Summary

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 propelled 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. He hangs out with the teenagers who make the restaurants run and communes with those unlucky enough to hold America's most dangerous job - meatpacker. He travels to Las Vegas for a giddily surreal franchisers' convention where Mikhail Gorbachev delivers the keynote address. He even ventures to England and Germany to clock the rate at which those countries are becoming fast food nations.

Fast Food Nation is a groundbreaking work of investigation and cultural history that may change the way America thinks about the way it eats.

Executive Producer: Sherry Huber
Producer: Paul Ruben
Abridgment by Lynn Lauber
Jacket design: Martha Kennedy
Jacket photograph: ©Jim Scherer
Line Art: CSA Images
©2001 by Eric Schlosser
(P)2001 Random House, Inc.
Random House Audible, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Adult Non-Fiction, 2002

"... a fierce indictment of the fast food industry." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1364 )
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  •  
    Noe Everett, MA, USA 12-08-04
    Noe Everett, MA, USA 12-08-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What an eye opener! Disturbing yet enjoyable book"

    Amazing. I loved the research he put into this, and the stories about the corrupt meat packing industry (some references to the "Jungle"), and the crimes at Fast Food restaurants committed by their own employees. I also learned a lot about 'natural' and 'artificial' flavorings. As obesity is a hot topic these days this book would be a great supplement to understanding its problems. I got a bit tired of hearing about Colorado but it was interesting. I would also check out "Supersize Me" and its DVD bonus feature where you will find the filmmaker's interview with the author. I've been boycotting McD's and other fast food chains after listening to this book.. The narrator was excellent. He read in a good speed and had good energy.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edwin Windsor, ON, Canada 12-05-04
    Edwin Windsor, ON, Canada 12-05-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Would you like fries with that?"

    A very good audio book. Don't listen to it while on an extended road trip because you won't want to stop at a fast food restaurant. Lots of interesting - and surprising - information. The only downfall is that it gets "preachy" in the last 15 minutes or so. The author obviously wants us to take action, but his preaching is a bit over the top.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Williamsburg, VA, USA 08-20-04
    Lisa Williamsburg, VA, USA 08-20-04
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    "Perfect Audiobook"

    This is the type of book you would never be able to read cover to cover because it is so long. Listening to it in chunks is a perfect way to get through all the points.

    I expected something similiar to the documetary "SuperSize Me" but got instead an enlightening/entertaining history of the fast food giants. I loved the drama and the personal touches of the success stories of how the work of a few innovative men could affect the lives of billions.

    Instead of harping about the poor nutrional value of fast food, the author instead focuses on the risk of food born illnesses from contaminents like E Coli, a concern supported by CDC statistics. This book is a modern day "The Jungle."

    You will be glad you read this book if you have any interest in sociology and/or health and nutrition. Docudrama at its best!!!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Churchville, MD, USA 06-05-04
    Michael Churchville, MD, USA 06-05-04
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    "Meaty, but dry."

    I can't decide if this is a dull book or an interesting term paper. The author provides a great chronology of the fast food industry, but there was little to make it engrossing or even interesting to me. No humor. No anecdotes. I suppose it doesn't help that the narrator sounds like every voice on every science film I had in high school. A lot of people seem to have enjoyed this book, and it is obiously well researched and well organized. But after the first half I stopped listening in my car for fear that I would nod off behind the wheel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Marietta, GA, USA 03-10-04
    Susan Marietta, GA, USA 03-10-04
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    "Ignorance isn't bliss"

    WoW! I had this title lurking in my "to download" box for longer than I should have. This is a great, informative listen. I use to just feel for the poor animals at slaughter, now it's the workers too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-27-04
    01-27-04 Listener Since 2003
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    "Disturbing and enlightening - A Must Listen"

    Learn the history of fast food, the beginnings of franchised chains (i.e. McDonald's, Carl Jrs), and how the fast food industry works to get your food to you and your kids. Personally, I was appalled by some of the practices. And although I LOVE the taste of fast food, it's changed my views and I'm more picky about where and what I eat now. A highly recommended listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 01-12-04
    Laura 01-12-04
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    "Important Reading"

    Everyone in America should read "Fast Food Nation," it's a book that inspires change and action. Each section makes you reflect on your eating habits and what they mean for business, health, and the nation's children. This book doesn't try to make you a vegetarian or even boycott fast food altogether (Schlosser praises In-n-Out burger chains, for example), but it does make you think twice about what the business of fast food means to our country.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jimyster Dallas, TX 07-26-03
    Jimyster Dallas, TX 07-26-03 Member Since 2015

    These days I enjoy mostly SciFi and Techno Thrillers.

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    "A look beyond the food the tray..."

    The narrating is done well, and carries from one subject matter to the next smoothly. Sometimes he stays kind of monotone, but usually shows character in his voice. This book covers from the cashier at Mickey D's, to the slaughter house, then some more. Covers areas from both polictical views and health areas. This will make anyone think about eating another burger again for sure. I still haven't eaten *any* beef by choice since I listened to this book. I never knew they could feed cows chicken doodoo, and chicken parts, get people sick, and then get away with it. And I won't mention what the employess do at the slaughter house, ack!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Rocky River, OH, USA 02-28-03
    John Rocky River, OH, USA 02-28-03 Member Since 2001
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    "Interesting, controversial...and long."

    This book had some interesting, thought-provoking and even disturbing information. But, it was very long and often drove the same point home too often.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Wright Superior, CO USA 10-25-05
    William Wright Superior, CO USA 10-25-05 Member Since 2008

    Colorado Speed Climber

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    "Preaching to the choir only"

    This book was frustrating to listen to. I knew the premise beforehand and it was recommended to me by a couple of friends, but the author never addresses or provides any evidence that fast food restaurants are any different from other restaurants. This is just assumed. In fact, the book starts off with the assumption that franchises are inherently evil and that everyone agrees on that, so he doesn't provide any evidence or logical reasoning on this topic. If you start off with the assumption that franchises and fast food are evil and inherently different from all other restaurants, then I suspect you wil like this book. But how can you indict one type of restaurant without at least showing how it is different from other restaurants? It's not a scholarly book, but just a rant.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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