3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Labor of Love for Fried Chicken,
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This review is from: Colonel Sanders and the American Dream (Discovering America) (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed Josh Ozersky's "The Hamburger," and I love fried chicken too, so I thought I'd give this book a whirl. The "American Dream" theme applies mostly to the first half of the book, which details Colonel Sanders' roots, his rise as a businessman, and the establishment of the KFC empire, owing greatly in part to the Colonel's "handshake" style of doing business.
The second half of the book deals with the succession of corporate takeovers of KFC and their hapless efforts to grow/transform the already successful business, which resulted in frequent clashes with the franchisees and the Colonel's vision for what KFC ought to be. The end of the book descends into a diatribe that has Ozersky channeling the cranky Colonel himself as he lambasts the current corporate owners for plunging quality, expunging the words "Fried Chicken" from the brand name, and cheapening the Colonel's image by turning him into a cartoon mascot meant to appeal to kids afflicted with the latest Pokemon craze.
The latter half of the book may have been improved had Ozersky's argument been better developed (I personally never had any problem with the cartoon Sanders either, I thought he was funny!). Yet he does make a good case that all the faceless corporate restructuring failed to respect the heart of the product. Fried chicken is arguably the most "sit down" meal of all fast foods, and it lends itself much better to feelings of familial warmth than, say, Taco Bell or Burger King. The book ends on somewhat of a sour note, but it at least made me want to add a pilgrimage to the original Sanders Cafe to my "bucket" list :D
In essence, at the heart of the book is a love for the product and a love for the grandfatherly gentleman who made it all happen. I love fried chicken. I love you now too, Colonel Sanders. God bless umer'ca
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Initial post: Jun 6, 2012 10:33:38 AM PDT
Steven Boyd says:
Go to Corbin and see the original cafe. Marvel at the hotel room in the middle of the restaurant (where the pay phone was) that allowed "mom's" to approve of the lodgings peddled by The Colonel, either in Corbin or in Asheville. Truly an amazing little place.
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