Free Study Guide for Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser|
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During the Arab oil embargo of 1973, fast-food restaurants underwent a bad scare, but they recovered. Carl Karcher ran into his own difficulties throughout his career with Carl Jr.’s; however when asked how he felt about all the changes, Carl responded that he believes in progress. He does not miss the good old days.
This chapter provides a historical backdrop from which Schlosser’s discussion of the fast-food nation will begin. Here, the author provides a somewhat nostalgic look into the exciting post-World War II era when the economy was great and big dreams were possible. Interestingly, Schlosser is virtually silent about the tumultuous race relations in Southern California in this period. While he briefly mentions the Ku Klux Klan on page 14, he says nothing about the presence of Mexican Americans. He might have used the founding of Taco Bell to discuss how white Americans in this time and place appropriated images of Mexico in very specific ways. Moreover, Schlosser cites Cary McWilliams when discussing the atmosphere of the 1940s, yet chooses to overlook her seminal study North from Mexico (1949) in which she interrogates the fierce racism Mexican Americans faced. This study suggests a conspiracy of those in power to put Mexican-American youths in jail for a murder they did not commit in the mid-1940s. For further reading, one might consult Eduardo Obregón Pagán’s Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon: Zoot Suits, Race, & Riot in Wartime L.A. (2003), which addresses the tensions between the U.S. Navy, police, the white middle class, and Mexican Americans during World War II.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on Fast Food Nation".
. 16 May 2008