Fast Food Nation

  • by Eric Schlosser
  • Narrated by Rick Adamson
  • 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

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.

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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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Uncritical alarmist rant

Don't be misled into thinking, as I did, that this book would offer a critical, well-reasoned, and empirically supported analysis of the fast food industry. It is an alarmist rant about nutrition, capitalism, suburban sprawl, the influence of big business in politics, urban blight, and other loosely connected themes, sprinkled with a twist of conspiracy theory. (Did you know that Walt Disney and Ray Kroc were in the same ambulance unit in WWII? Coincidence? This book thinks not.)

The author's commentary on the implications of our "fast food nation" is so frustratingly blind to counterarguments that I found myself ranting back at my iPod. For example, the book declares with apparent horror that 85% (or something like that) of the job opportunities created for teenagers in the last two decades were in fast food restaurants, and those jobs only pay MINIMUM WAGE. OK....but were these teenagers going to get higher paying jobs if the fast food industry had not grown? Or would they simply have been unemployed, or employed in other, more dangerous minimum wage jobs? I don't know, but the answer certainly is not in this book.

I should add, too, that the reader in this recording has the grating habit of imparting melodramatic stress to a word or phrase in nearly every sentence (or so it seemed). The combination of this performance and the author's absurdly simplistic analysis was unbearable. I finished only about 3/4 of the book before I couldn't take it any more and deleted the whole recording.
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- Mark Freeman

What an awesome book

What an awesome book. If I had the choice I'd make this a mandatory read for every health class in high school and any other class that would be able to work it into their curriculum.

This is a must read for every American adult because I know it has changed my political and health views forever.

Very nice work Eric!!!
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- Spencer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-06-2001
  • Publisher: Random House Audio