What do Americans think of when they think of the hamburger? A robust, succulent spheroid of fresh ground beef, the birthright of red-blooded citizens? Or a Styrofoam-shrouded Big Mac, mass-produced to industrial specifications and served by wage slaves to an obese, brainwashed population? Is it cooking or commodity? An icon of freedom or the quintessence of conformity?
This fast-paced and entertaining book unfolds the immense significance of the hamburger as an American icon. Josh Ozersky shows how the history of the burger is entwined with American business and culture and, unexpectedly, how the burger’s story is in many ways the story of the country that invented (and reinvented) it.
"This entertaining and informative book, which traces the burger's evolution from working man's snack during the Depression to symbol of American corporatism, is nothing less than a brief history of America in the 20th century." (The Economist)
"The book is more than an overview of the sandwich; it is an impassioned argument for its significance in American culture and a celebration of its power." (New York magazine)
"A sexy little volume on the history of the patty from its 18th-century beginnings to its postwar boom thanks to White Castle." (New York Daily News)
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- Joshua Kim