Synopses & Reviews
will be the first book to explore the incredible rise of the Starbucks Corporation and the caffeine-crazy culture that fueled its success. Part Fast Food Nation
, part Bobos in Paradise
combines investigative heft with witty cultural observation in telling the story of how the coffeehouse movement changed our everyday lives, from our evolving neighborhoods and workplaces to the ways we shop, socialize, and self-medicate.
In Starbucked, Taylor Clark provides an objective, meticulously reported look at the volatile issues like gentrification and fair trade that distress activists and coffee zealots alike. Through a cast of characters that includes coffee-wild hippies, business sharks, slackers, Hollywood trendsetters and more, Starbucked explores how America transformed into a nation of coffee gourmets in only a few years, how Starbucks manipulates psyches and social habits to snare loyal customers, and why many of the things we think we know about the coffee commodity chain are false.
"There's a double shot of skepticism in this account of Starbucks' ascendancy as 'a permanent fixture in the global landscape' written by Clark, a Portland-based journalist, who's been mulling over Starbucks ever since the coffeehouse chain opened three branches in his small Oregon hometown. His coverage begins with a Seattle trio who set out to emulate the high-quality coffee of the California-based Peet's chain, before Howard Schultz took over the company and laid plans for its massive expansion. While Clark grudgingly admires Starbucks' ability to repackage coffee as 'beverage entertainment' for a 'hyperprosperous society in search of emotional soothing,' there's a lot he doesn't like about the company. He's convinced that Starbucks 'diminishes the world's diversity' by ruthlessly outmaneuvering local competition on a global scale, and dubs the baristas' work as 'a textbook McJob.' Even the quality of the coffee, he says, has gone downhill. Though Clark loses some of his focus by trying to rope in so many arguments against Starbucks, overall, his dubious perspective on one of the modern world's most ubiquitous icons is just frothy enough to prove entertaining." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Entertaining, illuminating and reflective are not qualities usually associated with corporate histories. But Taylor Clark, former Willamette Week alt-weekly journalist, Dartmouth College graduate and Portland resident, has written a story about one business that's all of these." San Francisco Chronicle
"Clark peppers his prose with gems of quotations and revealing incidents, such as the marketing science behind how Starbucks chooses locations." Booklist
"An absorbing account bolstered by solid reporting." Kirkus Reviews
Part "Fast Food Nation," part "Bobos in Paradise," this book provides an objective, meticulously reported story of how the coffeehouse movement changed everyday lives, from evolving neighborhoods and workplaces to the ways people shop, socialize, and self-medicate.
About the Author
Taylor Clark is a graduate of Dartmouth College and a Pacific Northwest native. He is a contributing writer and former staff writer for Portand, Oregon's acclaimed alternative weekly Willamette Week.