A french-fry culture

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. By Eric Schlosser. Houghton Mifflin, 342 pp., $25.00.

In these troubling days, Americans are asking important questions about how we are perceived around the world. What draws people to risk their lives in leaking boats to get into our country? What causes others to hijack our airplanes and destroy lives? What defines the image of the U.S. abroad? As we wrestle with international affairs and issues of diplomacy, Eric Schlosser's provocative book suggests that what really shapes the American image around the world is our greasy hamburgers, fried chicken and syrupy sodas. McDonalds is the largest owner of retail property on the globe, and this investigative journalist surmises that their golden arches are now more recognizable than the Christian cross.


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