Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. Book report and critique.

Essay by krabbypatty007College, UndergraduateA+, October 2004

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Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Eric Schlosser. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001, 383 pp. Notes. $13.95.

"This book is about fast food, the values it embodies, and the world it has made," writes Eric Schlosser in the introduction of his book, Fast Food Nation. His argument against fast food is based on the premise that "the real price never appears on the menu." The "real price," according to Schlosser, ranges from obliterating small business, spreading pathogenic bacteria, exploiting workers, accelerating urban sprawl, to creating a generation that is fatter and less fit than ever.

Schlosser grounds these claims firmly with the myriad of facts, figures, and statistics he has compiled. He has exhaustively researched the deep-reaching effects of fast food, the surprising consequences. He paints a human face of the pain caused by the fast food industry. He recounts the agony of dozens of people who have died of infected meat, describes the sufferings of the illegal slaughterhouse workers, and details the sad fate of the independent business owners.

His carefully reasoned arguments, combined with his moving narratives, evoke indignation and sympathy from his readers.

Schlosser's book is also a call to action. In this effort, he enumerates the successes of the people against the corporations. Schlosser aims his book at the average consumer; he urges them to simply "stop buying it." He is able to persuade the reader to join him in his indictment of the fast food industry with the nauseating details he presents. Although never directly stated, the book is permeated with the idea that you, too, will ultimately pay the "real price" of fast food.

Schlosser's argument is objective, full of dry humor and brilliant logic and sprinkled with scathing comments. His writing is witty, clinical, and...