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Publisher's Summary

How much do you know about the meat on your dinner plate? Journalist Christopher Leonard spent more than a decade covering the country's biggest meat companies, including four years as the national agribusiness reporter for the Associated Press. Now he delivers the first comprehensive look inside the industrial meat system, exposing how a handful of companies executed an audacious corporate takeover of the nation's meat supply.

Leonard's revealing account shines a light on the inner workings of Tyson Foods, a pioneer of the industrial system that dominates the market. You'll learn how the food industry got to where it is today and how companies like Tyson have escaped the scrutiny they deserve. You'll discover how these companies are able to raise meat prices for consumers while pushing down the price they pay to farmers. And you'll even see how big business and politics have derailed efforts to change the system, from a years-long legal fight in Iowa to the Obama administration's recent failed attempt to pass reforms.

Important, timely, and explosive, The Meat Racket is an unvarnished portrait of the food industry that now dominates America's heartland.

©2014 Christopher Leonard (P)2014 Tantor

What members say

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Hits the nail on the head.

if you needed to know more about the American meat industry, this is where you start.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Disturbing reality

Being actively involved in Agriculture and the meat business myself I found this account of our decent as a Nation into the unrelenting control of a few mega agri-business corporations profoundly disturbing
Our governments flaccid attempts to control these companies is laughable

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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the Tyson family

mostly concentrates on the Tyson Family and the way they developed their business and gained control of a market.

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Mixed verdict on Tyson

Mr. Leonard has written an important book about the industrialized meat industry, combining it with a corporate history of Tyson as well as some social commentary on the impact of Tysons methods in rural America.

This book does not have a definitive feel to it. The other meat companies are only considered in passing, and Leonard does not go particular far in his research on the many ways that changes in the industry have changed our social fabric. But he makes a great start and puts it in a crisp readable format. Definitely worth a read.