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Fast Food Nation

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Highly Recommended!

Fast Food Nation
Author: Eric Schlosser
Hardcover (January 2001)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Co.
Estimated Price: $20.00

Book Description
On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast food restaurant, without giving either its speed or its thriftiness a second thought. Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie, but the industry's drive for consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America's diet, landscape, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways. Eric Schlosser, an award-winning journalist, opens his ambitious and ultimately devastating exposť with an introduction to the iconoclasts and high school dropouts, such as Harlan Sanders and the McDonald brothers, who first applied the principles of a factory assembly line to a commercial kitchen. Quickly, however, he moves behind the counter with the overworked and underpaid teenage workers, onto the factory farms where the potatoes and beef are grown, and into the slaughterhouses run by giant meatpacking corporations. Schlosser wants you to know why those French fries taste so good (with a visit to the world's largest flavor company) and "what really lurks between those sesame-seed buns." Eater beware: forget your concerns about cholesterol, there is--literally--feces in your meat.

Schlosser's investigation reaches its frightening peak in the meatpacking plants as he reveals the almost complete lack of federal oversight of a seemingly lawless industry. His searing portrayal of the industry is disturbingly similar to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, written in 1906: nightmare working conditions, union busting, and unsanitary practices that introduce E. coli and other pathogens into restaurants, public schools, and homes. Almost as disturbing is his description of how the industry "both feeds and feeds off the young," insinuating itself into all aspects of children's lives, even the pages of their school books, while leaving them prone to obesity and disease. Fortunately, Schlosser offers some eminently practical remedies. "Eating in the United States should no longer be a form of high-risk behavior," he writes. Where to begin? Ask yourself, is the true cost of having it "your way" really worth it? --Lesley Reed


McDonaldization

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Highly Recommended!

The McDonaldization of Society
Author: George Ritzer
Paperback Revised edition (September 1995)
Publisher: Pine Forge Press
Estimated Price: $21.95

Book Description
Originally published in 1992, The McDonaldization of Society caused something of a stir within the sociological academy. This was due to both its informality of style, and its attempt to reinvigorate the Weberian critique of the instrumental nature of modern society. Its content therefore, if not its stylistic approach, challenged the often optimistic and playful vision appropriated by many writers who, at the time, identified themselves more with the themes and motifs of postmodern social theory. In contrast, Professor Ritzers work presented a somewhat dark and foreboding vision of an increasingly alienated and disenchanted world. This McDonaldized world was one in which the straitjacket of formalised rules, regulations and the governance of the impersonal and technocratic organisation, was finally coming to dominate the everyday world of human interaction. Yet the books novelty, and thus some would argue, its appeal was precisely in this somewhat alarming juxtaposition of an implicitly dark and nightmarish 1984 future-scape, analysed in the context of the everyday tales of the happy and carefree world of Ronald McDonald and the Happy Meal. --Hancock Review.


McDonaldization Revisted

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McDonaldization Revisited
Author: Mark Alfino (Editor), John S. Caputo (Editor), Robin Wynyard
Paperback - 232 pages (January 30, 1998)
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
Estimated Price: $19.95

Book Description
An international multidisciplinary group of scholars examines the thesis of George Ritzer's popular book The McDonaldization of Society. The essays analyze the premise of "McDonaldization," provide richer theoretical discussions of the relationship between Ritzer's analysis and semiotics, critical theory, feminism, and postmodernism, and extend the thesis to other areas of consumer culture.


Mindfulness

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Highly Recommended!

Mindfulness
Author: Ellen J. Langer
Paperback Reprint edition (April 1990)
Publisher: Perseus Press
Estimated Price: $10.00

Book Description
"A landmark work of social psychology" (Booklist) now in paperback at a popular price. " . . . Harvard psychology professor Langer seeks to dramatize the rigid conditions and mindsets that often produce a pervasive state of automatized stupidity . . . (and) proposes a life-enhancing alternative." --Kirkus Reviews.

About the Author
Ellen J. Langer is Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. She is Chair of the Social Psychology Program and a member of the Division on Aging of the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Professor Langer is the author of over seventy-five journal articles and chapters in scholarly works. Her two previous books are Personal Politics (with Carol Dweck) and The Psychology of Control. In 1988, she received the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology in the Public Interest of the American Psychological Association.


Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

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Highly Recommended!

Influence: The Psychology of Pursuasion
Author: Robert B. Cialdini
Paperback - 320 pages Revised edition (September 1993)
Publisher: Quill
Estimated Price: $12.00

Book Description
Arguably the best book ever on what is increasingly becoming the science of persuasion. Whether you're a mere consumer or someone weaving the web of persuasion to urge others to buy or vote for your product, this is an essential book for understanding the psychological foundations of marketing.

Some people just won't take no for an answer. In Influence, Dr. Robert Cialdini explains the six psychological principles that drive our powerful impulse to comply to the pressures of others and shows how we can defend ourselves against manipulation (or put the principles to work in our own interest).

Influence guarantees two things: Readers will never say yes again when they really mean no, and they'll be more persuasive than ever before.

About the Author
Robert Cialdini received graduate and postgraduate training in experimental social psychology at the University of North Carolina and at Columbia University. He is currently Regent' Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University in Tempe.


McDonald's: Behind the Arches

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McDonald's: Behind the Arches
Author: John F. Love
Paperback - 486 pages Revised edition (August 1995)
Publisher: Bantam Books
Estimated Price: $11.96

Book Description
An informative study filled with behind-the-scenes stories follows the rise of McDonald's and its remarkably successful marketing strategies, in a completely revised edition with a new epilogue.

McDonald's: it is the world's premier entrepreneurial success story, a company whose growth worldwide continues to be astonishing. In tough financial times, McDonald's proved that ingenuity, trial and error, and gut instinct were the keys to building a service business the entire world has come to admire. In the years since McDonald's: Behind The Arches was first published, McDonald's has been a trendsetter in advertising, focusing on different ethnic groups as well as the physically disabled. McDonald's created McJobs, a program that employs both mentally challenged adults and senior citizens. And because its franchisees have their fingers on the pulse of the marketplace, McDonald's has evolved successfully with the health food revolution, launching dozens of new products and moving toward environmentally-safe packaging and recyclable goods. Inspiring, informative, and filled with behind the scenes stories, this remarkable saga offers an irresistible look inside a great American business success.


Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonald's

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Grinding It Out: The Making of McDonalds
Author: Ray Kroc, Robert Anderson
Mass Market Paperback Reissue edition (July 1990)
Publisher: St Martins Mass Market Paper
Estimated Price: $5.59

Book Description
Few entrepreneurs can claim to have changed the way we do business or the way we live. Ray Kroc is one of them. Now meet the man who became a millionaire within a decade, and share in his contagious enthusiasm, perceptiveness and innovative thinking. Includes eight pages of photographs.


McLibel: Burger Culture on Trial

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McLibel: Burger Culture on Trial
Author: John Vidal, Ralph Nader
Hardcover - 354 pages (January 1998)
Publisher: New Press
Estimated Price: $24.00

Book Description
A lively account of the food fight that became the longest trial in British history. When a flyer entitled ``What's Wrong with McDonald's'' circulated around London, the burger giant took umbrage and sued Helen Steel and Dave Morris, members of London Greenpeace (an environmental group not affiliated with the international organization Greenpeace), for libel. Here Vidal, who covered the trial for the London Guardian, recounts some of the issues addressed and the difficulties faced by the two underdogs who, without benefit of a court-appointed lawyer or funds from legal aid, acted as their own attorneys in facing the corporation's crack legal team in a bench trial (they were denied a jury). British libel law required that Steel and Morris prove the accuracy of virtually every statement made in the flyer. The company may since have come to regret their suit: The pair, assisted by a network of volunteers, did a very credible job of tracking down information in support of the flyer's claims. This effort leads Vidal to discussions of the nutritional value of McDonald's food; whether or not that food contained any beef raised on former rainforest land; the corporation's treatment of workers; and its reactions to employees' efforts to unionize. By the time Vidal is finished with such subjects, the Golden Arches look a little tarnished. But his account would have benefited from waiting for the verdict that was handed down this summer, and from concluding with more rumination on the case and less grandstanding on the evils of multinational corporations. Still, Vidal's blend of human interest and sheer outrageousness make this a ripping legal yarn. If the case itself hasn't already given Ronald McDonald indigestion, this book might. (8 pages black and white photos.)