Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal Questions and Answers
by Eric Schlosser

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In chapter 1 of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, some readers find it counterproductive to the author Schlosser's argument against the fast food industry that he would create such a sympathetic portrait of fast food pioneer Carl Karcher. What is the relevance of providing this background information in formulating an argument?

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First, in formulating an argument, it always is beneficial to have an "admittedly" paragraph—or if you writing a book, an admittedly chapter—in which you admit to and accept all the strongest arguments your opponents can make. This is exactly what Schlosser is doing in delving into the story of Carl Karcher. People who know about the fast food industry are likely to bring up the good hearted people like Karcher who were just trying to make a living in the best way they knew how and saw that the automobile culture was here to stay. Schlosser is admitting from the start that good people jumpstarted the fast food industry—it is not these folks he is going after.

By doing so, Schlosser acknowledges that fast food as a concept is not inherently evil or bad. That is not the point he is trying to make. He doesn't want to condemn individual entrepreneurs who pushed fast food in an innocent way. It is not fast food per se that is bad but what has been done to it by big businesses determined...

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