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The Meat Racket

The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business
Narrated by: John Pruden
Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, Economics
4.5 out of 5 stars (130 ratings)

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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

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  • Overall
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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.

6 of 6 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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A MUST READ

This book is a must read for anyone and everyone who has ever, or who will ever, eat meat, especially in America. No need to go on any further - the book speaks for itself.

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The Book Big Ag doesn't want you to hear

Incredible insight into the history of factory farming/big agriculture and the policies that keep Americans trapped by its unchecked power.

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OMG: I had no clue -- insightful and unsettling!

I liked this book very much because the information was well presented, well performed and interesting. This book left me with the impression that John Tyson was to agri-business what Bill Gates was to IT. Moreover, the story of the Tyson dynasty is an example of what can be achieved in a great capitalist society as well as the tragedy that can result from unbridled ambition; the history of Tyson illustrates the best and the worst potential in all human endeavor.

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Amazing Story

I was shocked by what I heard and the writing is very compelling. I had no idea this is how it is done and shows how much our government and way of buying is not controlled by us the consumer it is controlled by the mega corporations.

If you want your eyes opened read this book.

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Very insightful read.

Excellent listen on a story of just how well the free market works for one company that learned and mastered the art of playing the hand they were dealt. Terrible stories regarding the farmers who went bankrupt as a result of Tyson’s business practices, but that can all go back to the adage of: if you lay down with a snake, you’re likely to get bit. 10/10 will recommend to others.

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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.