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The Hamburger: A History (Icons of America) Paperback – May 26, 2009


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The Hamburger: A History (Icons of America) + Hamburger America: Completely Revised and Updated Edition: A State-by-State Guide to 150 Great Burger Joints + Hamburger America
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Product Details

  • Series: Icons of America
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (May 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030015125X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300151251
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #549,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

For decades America took its beloved ground-beef-patty sandwich pretty much for granted, the only controversy concerning whether it should have a slice of cheese melted atop the meat. Thanks to the ubiquity granted it by America’s mobile culture, the hamburger’s hegemony is now threatened on both nutritional and economic fronts. Ozersky traces the well-documented history of the hamburger, debunking many of the myths surrounding its nineteenth-century origins. He gives special attention to the origins of the White Castle chain of burger drive-ins, showing how it anticipated many of the innovations most people ascribe to McDonald’s. Ozersky finds the hard-driving Ray Kroc, author of McDonald’s success, a contradictory character, at once valuing conformity yet gathering around himself creative minds to ensure McDonald’s marketplace dominance. Ozersky’s analysis of Burger King’s and Wendy’s differing strategies to make their burgers somehow distinctive within the American fast-food market makes for great reading. --Mark Knoblauch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"'This entertaining and informative book, which traces the burger's evolution from working man's snack during the Depression to symbol of American corporatism, is nothing less than a brief history of America in the 20th century.' The Economist 'The book is more than an overview of the sandwich; it is an impassioned argument for its significance in American culture and a celebration of its power.' New York Magazine 'A sexy little volume on the history of the patty from its 18th-century beginnings to its postwar boom thanks to White Castle.' Rachel Wharton, New York Daily News"

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Frederick S. Goethel VINE VOICE on June 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The history of the hamburger would seem to be a relatively mundane and fairly well known issue. If you thought that, as I did, you would be very mistaken. The history of the hamburger is much more complicated than simply the invention and selling of meat on a bun.

The author starts the book by debunking most of the current myths about how and who invented the hamburger. And, the author uses pretty strict criteria for what a hamburger is and is not. He puts to rest the claims of many of the people who claim to be the originator and comes up with a plausible explanation of how the burger was actually invented.

From that point, the author looks at the social implications, as well as the corporate structure that made the hamburger what it is today. How did McD's get started and how did a lowly piece of meat create one of today's largest corporations? You'll just have to read the book to find out. What happened to the company that started it all? And, no, that would not be McD.

The book, while relatively short, is well written and very readable. I enjoyed learning about the sides of the hamburger that I never knew existed.
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By elvis9s on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the book of history of hamburgers is great but I was also looking for some new recipes for hamburgers,fun to read
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LoneRighter on August 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As far as it goes, The Hamburger an interesting work for its look into the personalities behind Wendy's, McDonald's, etc. Sadly it falls short of its goal; sort of like writing a book about the history of the U.S. and leaving out Columbus. How could anyone write a book about the hamburger and leave out any mention of In-N-Out Burger. A big enough short-fall to rate only two stars in my book.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Geary E. Statham on September 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Revealing History into why the Hamburger has emerged as an American Icon in the last century.
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