Book Reviews of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
Fast Food Nation The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
Author: Eric Schlosser
ISBN-13: 9780060838584
ISBN-10: 0060838582
Publication Date: 7/1/2005
Pages: 416
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 155

3.8 stars, based on 155 ratings
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

92 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 17
Great read. It's "The Jungle" for the late 20th / early 21st century. This book has spawned many other looks into the fast food craze along with the movie "Super Size Me" and another great book, "The China Study". They made a film adaptation to this book that I thought was awful. The book is much more engaging. For those that thought it was dry, well, I've plowed through a lot of text books that almost burned my eyes out, so this book kept my interest throughout. I too, have not eaten fast food since 2003, when I read this book. Over four years ago now. Worth reading!
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
Written by Eric Schlosser, noted for his journalistic work on NPR, he does an amazing job at uncovering the hidden truths about our food system in the United States, its lack of regulation and safety measures, and how fast food is the cumulation of this food epidemic. You'll never look at hamburger or a food recall the same way again. Our government, with legislation and enforcement heavily based on powerful lobbyists, has done a fantastic job at putting the public at ease to think they are in control. However, you will quickly discover that we are barely a half-step away from Sinclair's Chicago meatpacking horrors depicted in "The Jungle". This book is one not to miss!
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I read this book over four years ago and it has really changed the way I eat. Not only is it enlightening, it's also an interesting and fast-paced read. I went from being a person who ate fast food a few times a week to being someone who eats fast food a few times a year. This book is a life changer. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Ths book is very well researched, but with a sensationalized tone, analysis of the fast food industry, from its roots and beginnings to what it has become today. It also explores the damange it has wrought to the workers involved in this massive food chain (meat cutters, farmers, cattlemen) to those who consume the final product.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Interesting if skewed book. It was recommended to me as an "eye opener" but from my place in life as a small farmer, I saw it as a one-sided, sensation seeking work. It caused me to check out a few facts and it created much discussion in my home and for that I think that it is definatly worth a read. Just don't believe everything you read. Not everything about the food industry is evil. Much, which is where the changes need to be made, but not all.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
Helpful Score: 5
Everyone ought to read Fast Food Nation - it's an extraordinary look into the fast food industry - its production processes, treatment of workers, and how it influences consumers. Very provocative read!
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Very insightful, strong book with exellent background research. Easy read. Provocative, regarding how our lives and lifestyles have changed since the advent of "fast food". Sensible health warnings and commentary.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Really interesting stuff, even if not entirely lovely. Author really gets your attention and the feel of how the fast food market is run.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Well researched and well written. This book is about much more than fast food -- it's about how American culture has changed over the past 50 years or so. A fascinating read.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
Helpful Score: 3
Plow through the beginning if you find it dry - there are payoffs later in the book. A must read. I suggest actually giving this book as a high-school graduation present - a lot of life lessons can be found in here, and not to mention it might put these young folks off fast food for good.

I have not eaten a fast food hamburger since reading this book in 2003. I have eaten other fast food, but I won't touch the burgers because of the slaughterhouse stories. The chapter on food scent was absolutely incredible.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A fascinating expose about how fast foods all began and what it has become.
Especially interesting to me was the mention of the town where I live and
the story about the slaughterhouse that once operated here. I went to find
the building. It has been closed for many years. In other places, the
slaughterhouses are still operating full force. I highly reccommend this
book to anyone who wants to know what really goes on. I give it a five.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Gut-roiling reading, but necessary. It makes you rethink your supermarket purchases, that's for sure.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read this book back in 9th grade & the nite I finished it, became a vegetarian. A close friend of mine thought it was ridiculous until he read it, & it caused him to stop eating fast food.

This book is NOT for the squeamish of nature, & if you are squeamish, it might just change your life like it did mine.

It also should not be dismissed because of the film version. The book, being non-fiction & all, is so much better!
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book has an amazing amount of well documented facts that prove the blight of mass produced, GMO and fast-food.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Although a bit dated, this book is still highly informative and interesting. In the spirit of The Omnivore's Dilemma, but with more focus on the impact the fast food industry has on its workers and farmers, especially poor and often illegal, immigrants. A must read for anyone concerned about the safety of the food they eat. A real eye-opener!
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
Helpful Score: 2
A great book. Unfortunately, the people who eat a lot of fast food will probably never read it and they should. You'll never look at
take-out food the same again!
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book starts out slow. I thought I was just going to put it down and not finish it. Then one night I picked it up again and read right through it. It does tell some very graphic things about animal slaughter. I highly recommend this book. It does make you think about what's IN your food and the hype to get you to eat the items that food companies are selling.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a book that will actually change your life. Schlosser offers an excellent dissection of the fast food industry, from the farmers who grow the potatoes in french fries to the high schoolers who man the counters. Although parts of this book will make your stomach turn, Schlosser does not resort to scare tactics to make his point; instead he writes a carefully researched thesis on what's wrong with America's most popular native cuisine. And, it's a great motivator for those New Year's diet resolutions!
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
Helpful Score: 1
Outstanding reporting.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 121 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Makes you think before you go to fast food! Opens up your eyes to what our nation is doing to itself by building houses and commerce on it's farming land.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is not for everyone. When I received it as a wishlisted book I skimmed it, questioned it, looked up some editorial reviews (where some reviewers believe some of the facts are skewed) and sent it on to the next person in queue. I would have preferred a book that was more balanced and not leaning toward one specific political side--not to mention the fact that I couldn't get past the slaughter stories.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 135 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a fascinating study of how the fast food industry has influenced modern American life and the extents they go to to provide the food they serve. Not for the squeamish.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 68 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
"Fast Food Nation" is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. Although the sections on the history of fast food and its more successful chains are interesting, the book as a whole is more of a textbook than an entertaining read.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An interesting read, very one sided though.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Man, this is a serious study, not a pop article series. I read back and forth through it, as it was in places a slog, knew it would be an eye-opener, and it was. Enjoyed the history of how some of the chains got started and the people who started them. Huge reference section in the back, everything is documented. He has had a definite influence on how the fast food industry prepares and presents its wares. My daughter in Holland says, Mom do you notice in pictures taken in the U.S., there are so many fat people, they don't care, do they?
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Depressing, but in a good way.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
ugh...really awful to know the truth! Sadly, things in America are getting worse instead of better. Read this and re-evaluate your lifestyle. I'd rather give my kids cigarettes than French fries.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
Helpful Score: 1
Reviews that suggest that this book is unfair to the fast food/agribusiness is largely exaggerated. In fact, at the beginning of the book, it had made me crave fast food. He also provides some anecdotal evidence of how fast food has improved some people's lives.

Scholsser does a fine job gathering statistics to support his claims. Overall, this book is very well researched and biased towards the truth. He does make personal assertions towards the end of the book, especially in the epilogue, but nothing that is not supported by the 200+ pages before he makes them.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
Helpful Score: 1
A must read book for anyone who eats.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
really really good book.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
Helpful Score: 1
This was a really interesting book. It's not done along the same lines as "Supersize Me," going into the nutritional aspects of fast food, but more discusses the history of the fast food industry and how all parts of it are ruining our nation. From the dangerous, dirty slaughterhouses that injure thousands of employees and poison thousands of consumers each year, to the cattle industry that's been taken over by huge corporations and forced small ranchers to close up shop, everything going into the equation is just plain wrong. Americans are getting fatter and small companies- restaurants/cattle farmers/potato farmers- are going out of business. This book really goes into detail about the horrors associated with the "McDonaldization" of America and makes you think twice about the choices you make about what businesses to frequent as well as what foods to put into your body. It took me a while to finish, as it's big and certainly not quick, lighthearted reading, but I definitely recommend it. The issues that Schlosser spent years researching and then discussing in "Fast Food Nation" are truths that everyone in America needs to know.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
Helpful Score: 1
The author is very honest and straight forward about our nation's fast food industry. It will definitely make you think. There are some gross parts; by gross I mean yucky, not an amount. There are a few descriptions (for lack of a better word) that are not for those with a weak stomach. Overall, however, it's an interesting read.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
Helpful Score: 1
A fascinating, disturbing, and definitely eye opening look at our fast food industry and its effect not just on our weight, but wages, agriculture, cattle, and workers. It reminds me of Upton Sinclair's book, the Jungle, which exposed problems in the meat industry. Fast Food Nation will make you think twice about convenience foods.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 167 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reminded me why im a vegetarian. Was so good that my little sister stopped eating fast food. Great book, but graphic. Took me a few times to get past the first chapters, but once i made it through, i couldnt put it down. Very educational.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 186 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found this book interesting especially about the history of the industry of fast food. However, there were some sections that could be considered disturbing.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 91 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
i bet you know the lady who does your hair, your nails, your mechanic.... what about the people who "provide" your food???
look at it like this-
if you would not let a stranger watch your child- why would you let several hundred money hungry morally bankrupt people feed your child???????
this book will change the way you eat and will change the way you think about business in america. it is extremely well researched and documented.
it is scary to think of the power, control, and influence these companies have over the government. i fear it will take many tragedies and many, many more deaths for something meaningful to be done to ensure the safety of the food we eat.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
Helpful Score: 1
This is one of my favorite books, I have bought several copies of it and sent it to friends and family! I think many people aren't entirely aware nor educated about what they are consuming and it's something that we should be informed about. We really do have a huge disconnect from our food and it's actually really sad in my opinion. I've never been a big fan of fast food or hamburgers but after reading this book I will not ever eat fast food/factory farmed food again period! Great read and I recommend it to everyone!!! Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan is also an excellent book that is along these lines!
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book about the hidden side of the fast food industry - everything from the slaughterhouses to the advertisements aimed at children. It will make you think twice before you head to McDonald's
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
Frighteningly eye-opening. A must read.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
An absolute must-read, but it will definitely kill your appetite for the Golden Arches.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 131 more book reviews
A good book for a business class or if you are looking to become vegetarian as it shows the worst side of most meat companies and how they come up with the meat in most of your meals.disgusting and graphic.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 29 more book reviews
A comically scary look at how and what many Americans eat.
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Absolutely amazing book. Will change your life! I havn't eaten fast food since.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
This book was nothing like the movie! It was much better. It contained a historical perspective on fast food and proceeded from the first drive-ins on to mega factory farming and its results. This was one of the best books I've read and highly recommend it to anybody interested in non-fiction and improving the way we as a society eat.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 38 more book reviews
I haven't eaten at McDonald's in the 3 years since I've read this book. AWESOME!
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 67 more book reviews
This book can be a bit dry at time, but the information is very important. Everyone should read this book! We are what we eat.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
While Schlosser is a talented journalist, he certainly slants things in the direction he desires. The facts and statistics are massaged and presented specifically to boost his arguments (but then again, who doesn't do that?). It is a frustrating read for anyone supportive of agribusiness or economic progress, and is very liberally biased.
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Good read, especially for non-fiction.
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Essential reading for American consumers.
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Lots of interesting tidbits not only about the fast-food industry but the globalization of society.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 504 more book reviews
This is a must read for anyone who eats fast food and wants to know all that goes on behind the scenes to bring you you not-so "happy meal" ;) It's very well researched and though very alarming doesn't resort to preaching.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 6 more book reviews
Really good!
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on
This book was not what I had hoped. This book tells about issues in the food industry not just fast food. We learn about slaughterhouses and how the meat we eat is processed whether it comes from a fast food place or the supermarket. The section on artificial flavorings and colorings was very drawn out. These are added to cosmetics to other items bought in the grocery store such as yogurt. It was too long and I needed to skim it to finish.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 5 more book reviews
Intriguing, really made me think! I wonder if things have improved since it's been written (but I doubt it!).
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An eye-opener about the cost of our American way of life. Not for the weak hearted.
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A real eye-opener.
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I didn't want to read this as I enjoy my fast food too much!
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A good read about "Fast Food" not only the eating of, but the ways in which it is produced.
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Very informative!
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This will make you never want to eat at a MacDonald's again. Very thought-provoking.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 181 more book reviews
May change someones' life, but not mine...the guy who wrote this, is just as much of a capatalist pig as the rest of them, just like Michale moore, even worse than the corproations they try to put down, prostitiutes in the worst sense of the word, garbage reading IMO
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It had some interesting points in it. But it was a bit of a dry read, in my opinion.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 91 more book reviews
i bet you know the lady who does your hair, your nails, your mechanic.... what about the people who "provide" your food???
look at it like this-
if you would not let a stranger watch your child- why would you let several hundred money hungry morally bankrupt people feed your child???????
this book will change the way you eat and will change the way you think about business in america. it is extremely well researched and documented.
it is scary to think of the power, control, and influence these companies have over the government. i fear it will take many tragedies and many, many more deaths for something meaningful to be done to ensure the safety of the food we eat.
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 26 more book reviews
very interesting view of the beginnings of McDonald's and the fast food industry, how the company has evolved in terms of economic clout; the abuses and dangers of the meat packing industry is revealed. You'll never look at hamburger the same way again!
reviewed Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal on + 813 more book reviews
If you were sickened or appalled by Sinclair Lewis The Jungle, wait until you read this exposé of the way we eat now! Guaranteed that after reading this you will think twice before even setting foot in a fast food restaurant again. You will think twice about school lunch programs! You will even wonder about your favorite food markets and what you are serving to your family at home. In short, this book could be the completely non-fiction sequel to The Jungle that takes it from raw material straight through to the retail level of an industry that is the most detrimental to human welfare: fast food. Having worked at many forms of the retail food industry, including the military, and having been named a Certified Food Executive I have personal insights into many facets of the industry. This book should be on the mandatory reading list for all secondary school principals, superintendents, school committee members, state legislators, and members of congress. {See also, Chew On This [0-618-71031-0; 978-0-618-71031-7]}
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It's amazing to see how the fast food industry got started and such. I will probably never look at fast food in the same way again.
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A very informative book.
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Truly fascinating.
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A must read if you are seeking to never eat at a fast-food restaurant ever again!
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I'm interested in the food industry and in the politics of food, so I guess I was predisposed to like this book. Although I consider myself a relatively well-informed food consumer, Schlosser goes into a level of detail that surpassed my casual reading so far. I learned about some of the history of the food production industry, such as the industrial trusts that conspired to end small businesses in the 1920s, and had to be broken by government action -- only to replaced almost a hundred years later by a few gigantic companies that have a near-monopoly on the industry. I learned about food flavour additives, and the real difference between natural and artificial flavours. I learned about how dangerous meat processing really is for the people who work in the plants. Most of what Schlosser researched is, obviously, relevant to all the food that most people eat through all channels, not just fast food. This book is more of a study of modern food science and the food industry than it is of fast food specifically (although the chapter on the effects of the largest restaurant chains on the labour market did apply mostly to fast food chains).

If we are going to compare this book to other works that came after it (most reviewers compare it to Supersize Me), I would compare it to The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, which picks up where this book leaves off. I like this book more, personally, because of the level of research. Because I already don't eat fast food, this was a good review of the effects of capitalism's dark shadow, monopoly, on the food chain. Pollan's book takes this idea even further, exploring the same trends as they influence even seemingly healthy foods. Recommended.
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I can't even get into this book. I expected a lot more, but just got grossed out, and stopped reading it....
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Interesting...
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Should be suggested reading at all high schools. In depth and horrifying details of the US food industry.
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This is an important book to read but could have been written with fewer facts in some places and still would have been just as powerful.
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Good but challenging read on the evils of fast food and American meals.
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Historically relevant.
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A very informative, well-written look at the fast food industry in America. You will look at the industry in a whole new way.
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Very informative book revealing the truth about the food we often eat and feed our children.
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I loved this book. So much great information. Exactly what I was looking for.
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Really terrific book. Well-researched and academic but not stuffy by any means.
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fascinating. I think twice (and sometimes three times) before eating a McD's now.
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I am sure this was a good book to read but I simply could not get past the first section. I found it to be very dry and read too much like a textbook.
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THis book is very stimulating if you are interested in the over zealous weight issues facing the US.
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This is not the book version of SuperSize Me.
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haven't eaten mcdonald's burger since i read this.
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Great book. Quite enlightening!
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The mother of all exposes! This is what started "Super Size Me." A real eye-opener.
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I now know how disgusting fast food is but I still feel compelled to go once in a while.
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Neat read.
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A very dissapointing read. It was incredibly dry, for one thing. More importantly though the author seems to have done all of his research with the predetermined idea that everything in the industry must be bad. This results in a terribly skewed viewpoint throughout the book. Although the fast-food giants are far from faultless he takes it to a somewhat ridiculous extent. Also, he seems to have an intense hatred for Walt Disney - I have yet to understand why or how he even managed to include it in this book, but it seems to pop up with alarming regularity. I'm afraid that I cannot recommend it.
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Must-read! It will change your life for the better.
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National best seller about our fast food industry.