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Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

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Reading Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser is very interesting. It reads fairly smoothly, but it can be boring after an extended period of time. The material covered starts out as interesting, but as the novel progresses, it degenerates into material that is biased (even if well supported with facts) and dull.

Beginning the novel with the history of the rise of McDonalds and other similar fast food chains was interesting. It follows the stories of the men who started their own individual restaurants, and leads up to the growth, industrializing, and franchising of their businesses. After the initial interest in the origin of some of the largest fast food chains in the world, the book strays to the topic of their advertisement and exploitation of children. The author notes a lot of similarities between the men behind McDonalds and Disney World, but ultimately ends by denouncing marketing aimed at children by corporations. At this point, the novel loses more of its bi-partisan look at the industry and begins taking aim at other aspects of fast food.

Employment at fast food restaurants is investigated by Schlosser, mainly to bring to attention the poor conditions of teen workers in McDonalds and other restaurants. The author's viewpoint becomes more and more biased as he continues on his study of fast food employment. He gets even worse when he arrives at employment in the meat packing (or slaughtering and processing).
Schlosser maintains a rather predisposed tone towards employers and businesses in the fast food industry throughout the book. While he can support his arguments very well, they tend to appear very one-sided and rather redundant by the end of the novel. If you are rather dedicated to learning more about fast food industry, slandering it, or just plain finishing the book, it should satisfy your needs. Otherwise, Fast Food Nation is not for the average reader.





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