FAST FOOD NATION: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Eric Schlosser, Author, Rick Adamson, Read by , read by Rick Adamson. Random House Audible $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-52900-5

In this fascinating sociocultural report, Schlosser digs into the deeper meaning of Burger King, Auggie's, The Chicken Shack, Jack-in-the-Box, Little Caesar's and myriad other examples of fast food in America. Frequently using McDonald's as a template, Schlosser, an Atlantic Monthly correspondent, explains how the development of fast-food restaurants has led to the standardization of American culture, widespread obesity, urban sprawl and more. In a perky, reportorial voice, Adamson tells of the history, economics, day-to-day dealings and broad—and often negative—cultural implications of franchised burger joints and pizza factories, delivering impressive snippets of information (e.g., two-thirds of America's fast-food restaurant employees are teenagers; Willard Scott posed as the first Ronald McDonald until higher-ups decided Scott was too round to represent a healthy restaurant like McDonald's). According to Schlosser, most visits to fast-food restaurants are the culinary equivalent of "impulse buys," i.e., someone is driving by and pulls over for a Big Mac. But anyone listening to this audiobook on a car trip—and realizing that the Chicken McNugget turned "a bird that once had to be carved at a table" into "a manufactured, value-added product"—will think twice about stopping for a snack at the highway rest stop. Based on the Houghton Mifflin hardcover. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 03/04/2002
Release date: 01/01/2002
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