Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
The Coke Machine: The Dir... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Book is used, fast shipping and great customer service.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink Hardcover – September 16, 2010

3.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$26.00
$2.07 $0.01

Security
ITPro.TV Video Training
Take advantage of IT courses online anywhere, anytime with ITPro.TV. Learn more.
$26.00 FREE Shipping. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink
  • +
  • Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash
Total price: $39.27
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Blanding roots his tale in the birth of the advertising era, and he is particularly effective in telling the story of how Coke fought to monopolize the sale of soft drinks to school children." --Salon.com

"Like Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me and Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, The Coke Machine embeds current issues with history, policy, and interviews to reveal the wizard behind the curtain." --Suite101.com

"An eye opening expose which blows the plastic lids off a company known to associate itself with love and happiness... The book lays out the case against Coke in startling clarity." --TowerReview.com

"The book's sixty-three pages of notes attest to [Blanding's] careful research, and lend a vital legitimacy to his allegations--this is much more than an activist's polemic." --[tk] review

"Important and readable... Blanding's painstakingly reported book reminds us that Coke's global success--perhaps like all spectacular global success--came at a price" --The Atlantic

"Every company has a dark side, and you won't believe how dark Coca-Cola's is. After reading this book, good luck having a Coke and smile." --Morgan Spurlock, director of Super Size Me

"Coca-Cola wants to teach the world to sing, but in the process they've trashed water supplies, peddled sugar to generations of kids, and undermined worker rights around the world. Put down your soda, read The Coke Machine and join the global movement to rein in unaccountable corporations." --Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed and Brightsided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

"In The Coke Machine, Michael Blanding takes a tough, unsweetened look at the business practices of this iconic American company. His investigations reveal the costs--in ethics, health, public resources, and sometimes even human life--of Coca-Cola's relentless pressure to expand sales of its products. This book is a terrific introduction to the inner workings of corporate capitalism as it plays out on a global scale." --Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and author of Food Politics and What to Eat

"In shocking detail, Blanding uncovers Coke's numerous transgressions against humanity and nature... Blanding's thoroughly detailed, stimulating and challenging study will have many readers saying, 'Give me a Pepsi.'" --BookPage, September 2010

"By this account, Coke's domination of the market begins to look less like a triumph of advertising and more like a symptom of the dark side of globalisation." --The Financial Times, September 20, 2010

About the Author

Michael Blanding is an award-winning magazine writer whose investigative journalism has taken him around the globe. Based in Boston, he has written for The Nation, The New Republic, Salon, The Boston Globe, Conde Nast Traveler, and Boston magazine, where he is a contributing editor.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avery (September 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583334068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583334065
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,280,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had a hard time deciding which part of The Coke Machine I found most compelling. In the first third of the book Blanding creates an absolutely riveting history of the Coca-Cola corporation despite being shut out for interviews by company employees. Court documents with corporate officials admitting that the original formula had coca leaves and kola nut in it are juxtaposed against current corporate officers' claims to the contrary. Blanding examines Coca-Cola's aspirational advertising push (or should I say "putsche"?), with the company focusing less on product quality and more on emotional branding, including some arm-twisting contracts with public schools designed to brand 5 year old kindergarteners and train them to have a Coke with that gap-toothed smile.

The last section of the book deals with Coca-Cola's constant growth, requiring globalization and aspirational marketing that paints Coca-Cola as a squeaky-clean beverage company even if the reality is dirtied water supplies in India, contaminated sludge sold as fertilizer, toxic chemicals in recycled tap water marketed under the Dasani brand in England and France, or the snuffing out (quite literally, in the case of the murder of union organizer Isidro Gil in Venezuela) of union organization worldwide.

The Coke Machine ties together disparate memes such as obesity, underfunded public schools, environmental damage, corporate overreach and globalization and does it well. A wild ride and a great read.
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
If you're planning on reading Blanding's THE COKE MACHINE there's one thing you need to be prepared for: you'll walk away from the book with a Coke jingle or two stuck in your head indefinitely. Despite this, the book is an excellent read that should be passed along to family and friends because when you're done with it you'll want to discuss it.

From a purely aesthetic point of view, THE COKE MACHINE is well organized, strongly researched and superbly written. The introduction begins with a grueling story of a murdered union worker in Columbia and compels the reader to consider the complex question of corporate responsibility for moral and ethical behavior in the face of a corporation's drive toward stakeholder profits. Blanding builds momentum by describing the history of Coke, its ad campaigns, and its national struggles to resist any negative mark on its brand image. Part two weaves Coke's international story through Mexico, Colombia, India and Guatemala, raising questions about Coke's role in environmental destruction, water shortages, dismantling of unions, and even murder.

There's something interesting for everyone in this book, because the Coca-Cola Company is ubiquitous within the United States and internationally, and because it has affected all of our lives whether we realize it or not. As The Coke Machine describes, Coke has spent its more than one hundred years in existence protecting its image and sales beyond anything else; the "dirty truth" about Coke that Blanding so factually lays out before us. If you're a parent, the book's chapter on "The Battle for Schools" should not go unread.
Read more ›
1 Comment 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Books in the business profiles categories typically fall into two categories - blind adulation or angry tirades. This one tries to avoid becoming "Exhibit A" for the latter...almost admirably. Blanding does a good job in outlining some of the key controversies Coke has been involved in - bottled water, water pollution, handling unions,impact of advertising on kids, etc. While Blanding takes on a decidely, pre-determined critical view of Coke's role, the issues are well recounted, though one would hard-pressed to find anything significantly "new" information.

Blanding's eagerness for a passionate argument for encouraging readers to take a critical look at Coke would have been helped if the book was better organized - perhaps across 3-4 themes - environmental (bottled water, pollution in India), union and labor standards (most of the events around bottlers in Latin America) and other issues such as advertising and obesity. The frequent shifting of the narrative from one of these themes to another is distracting and prevents Blanding from building a real case, even if there is sufficient research (mostly by his own interviews) into his narrative. In fact, the final chapter, "The case against coke" is a disappointment - instead of summarizing the key arguments and suggest remedial measures and/or any actions by an average reader, Blanding falls back to continue his narrative and fails to make a powerful closing argument.

Blanding's recounting and first-person reporting on the issues around bottlers/unions in itself an interesting read. Perhaps, focusing on this theme alone would have given the book far more attention than what it will probably receive. Overall, a well-researched re-hash of Coke controversies - that unfortunately doesn't live up to its potential. An OK read. 3.5*
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some of the chapters start out or include smutty little portions which should have been part of a grocery store tabloid rather than a history of the company with the most-recognized trademark in the world. Maybe this portions belong in the story; the reader must form his/her own opinion. The book is pretty much a no-holds-barred collection of anecdotes and characters who have made the company what it is today. It includes the Pepsi wars and fights for survival as America's and the world's tastes have demanded. Many readers, including this one, were probably not aware that Coke had bottlers in Nazi Germany when WW II was in full swing. Other revelations may strike the reader as reasons enough to drink only distilled water.

With its many twists and turns, it constitutes a readable and interesting yarn, not among my top ten or even 100, but still a pretty good book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink