Drive-Thru Dreams
“This is a book to savor, especially if you’re a fast-food fan.”—Bookpage"This fun, argumentative, and frequently surprising pop history of American fast food will thrill and educate food lovers of all speeds."—Publishers WeeklyMost any honest person can own up to harboring at least one fast-food guilty pleasure. In Drive-Thru Dreams, Adam Chandler explores the inseparable link between fast food and American life for the past century. The dark underbelly of the industry’s largest players has long been scrutinized and gutted, characterized as impersonal, greedy, corporate, and worse. But, in unexpected ways, fast food is also deeply personal and emblematic of a larger than life image of America.With wit and nuance, Chandler reveals the complexities of this industry through heartfelt anecdotes and fascinating trivia as well as interviews with fans, executives, and workers. He traces the industry from its roots in Wichita, where White Castle became the first fast food chain in 1921 and successfully branded the hamburger as the official all-American meal, to a teenager's 2017 plea for a year’s supply of Wendy’s chicken nuggets, which united the internet to generate the most viral tweet of all time.Drive-Thru Dreams by Adam Chandler tells an intimate and contemporary story of America—its humble beginning, its innovations and failures, its international charisma, and its regional identities—through its beloved roadside fare.

Drive-Thru Dreams Details

TitleDrive-Thru Dreams
Author
ReleaseJun 25th, 2019
PublisherFlatiron Books
ISBN-139781250090720
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Food and Drink, Food, History, Foodie

Drive-Thru Dreams Review

  • Bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    Another book that looks at the history of fast food in the US and how it's intertwined with US history. He starts back with White Castle and looks with various fast food franchises to the plea for free nuggets on Twitter. Tidbits of information, funny anecdotes, marketing gimmicks, and more.It wasn't quite what I thought it would be and found it rather boring, honestly. There was some interesting information (since I didn't know much about White Castle) but I thought the writing was pretty tedio Another book that looks at the history of fast food in the US and how it's intertwined with US history. He starts back with White Castle and looks with various fast food franchises to the plea for free nuggets on Twitter. Tidbits of information, funny anecdotes, marketing gimmicks, and more.It wasn't quite what I thought it would be and found it rather boring, honestly. There was some interesting information (since I didn't know much about White Castle) but I thought the writing was pretty tedious and tough to get through. So I'm really surprised at all the positive comments that found Chandler's writing was witty or great.Borrowed from the library and that was definitely for the best.
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  • Patrick Pilz
    January 1, 1970
    In Germany, a book with a net content of about 160 pages is called a magazine.But dispite this fact, this is a hilarious story of the fast food in america. It intertwines well with the history of food and the cultural changes in America caused or because of fast food, whether it is the interstate highway system, hot-coffee lawsuits, social media and business success stories.In very concise fashion with lots of entertaining trivia and funny stories, this book arches from the rise of white castle In Germany, a book with a net content of about 160 pages is called a magazine.But dispite this fact, this is a hilarious story of the fast food in america. It intertwines well with the history of food and the cultural changes in America caused or because of fast food, whether it is the interstate highway system, hot-coffee lawsuits, social media and business success stories.In very concise fashion with lots of entertaining trivia and funny stories, this book arches from the rise of white castle 100 years ago, via the icons KFC, Wendy's, Burger King and MickyD to the current fast casual chains Chipotle and Panera Bread.
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  • Dustin
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating facts and history. Chandler places fast food at the heart of the American experience.
  • Susan Grodsky
    January 1, 1970
    I took longer than I might have with this book because I paused to read another one. This is one of the books I read for the book selection committee of the Bender JCC book fair. I recommended that it not be included as a book fair selection. Here is the review I wrote:I do not recommend this book for inclusion.First, the topic itself has zero Judaic content. Given that the book was presented by the Jewish Book Council, I surmise that the author is Jewish, but he makes no reference at all to his I took longer than I might have with this book because I paused to read another one. This is one of the books I read for the book selection committee of the Bender JCC book fair. I recommended that it not be included as a book fair selection. Here is the review I wrote:I do not recommend this book for inclusion.First, the topic itself has zero Judaic content. Given that the book was presented by the Jewish Book Council, I surmise that the author is Jewish, but he makes no reference at all to his Judaism. Book fair attendees will wonder why the book is being included.If attendees skim through the book, they might well be annoyed by the author's grandiose writing style. By his describing Southern California, for example, as a "climate-controlled realization of modern manifest destiny."Huh? What does that mean? Is there a cogent thought here or just some cliches pasted together? Adam, you got a lot of explaining to do.But he doesn't explain. In fact, the entire book is a collection of empty cliches and unsupported claims. The title implies that fast food is in some way emblematic of the American character. OK, interesting thesis. Now tell me (1) what traits are quintessentially American and (2) how fast food supports those traits.The author doesn't do either. He has gathered biographical details about fast-food chain founders (Harlan Sanders, Ray Kroc, others). He presents some statistics that are illuminating, even when marred by incoherent sentence structure (Example: "By 1949, roughly three-quarters of the cars on earth drove on US roads."). But he doesn't weave these disparate facts into a persuasive argument supporting his thesis.I hope to read better books.
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  • Rory
    January 1, 1970
    If Adam Chandler had gotten out of his own way and let his obvious research take hold of Drive-Thru Dreams, it would have made for a far more interesting examination of an important part of American social and industrial history. As it happens, you have to slog through Chandler being oh-so-pleased with himself for his turns of phrase before reaching a few interesting historical nuggets here. But either there are better chroniclers of these fast-food companies to be found, or we can hope that the If Adam Chandler had gotten out of his own way and let his obvious research take hold of Drive-Thru Dreams, it would have made for a far more interesting examination of an important part of American social and industrial history. As it happens, you have to slog through Chandler being oh-so-pleased with himself for his turns of phrase before reaching a few interesting historical nuggets here. But either there are better chroniclers of these fast-food companies to be found, or we can hope that they'll emerge.
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    This is an excellent book. The topic of fast food is not something I am particularly interested in but the author was able to captivate me. I was learning something interesting and useful on every page. The book is very well researched and I can't wait to re-read but this time looking up the source of some of the stories to learn more. Also, I got a s'mores Blizzard from DQ during the time of reading this book
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  • Koen
    January 1, 1970
    Thought this was an okay read. A little bit of history, some sociological aspects of American society and it's love for fast food but it all felt a bit shallow. There's definitely some interesting info but overall i didn't feel it provided me with lots of insights.Not bad, not something i would recommend.
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