Synopses & Reviews
Most any honest person can own up to harboring at least one fast-food guilty pleasure. In Drive-Thru Dreams, Adam Chandler explores the inseparable link between fast food and American life for the past century. The dark underbelly of the industry's largest players has long been scrutinized and gutted, characterized as impersonal, greedy, corporate, and worse. But, in unexpected ways, fast food is also deeply personal and emblematic of a larger than life image of America.
With wit and nuance, Chandler reveals the complexities of this industry through heartfelt anecdotes and fascinating trivia as well as interviews with fans, executives, and workers. He traces the industry from its roots in Wichita, where White Castle became the first fast food chain in 1921 and successfully branded the hamburger as the official all-American meal, to a teenager's 2017 plea for a year's supply of Wendy's chicken nuggets, which united the internet to generate the most viral tweet of all time.
Drive-Thru Dreams by Adam Chandler tells an intimate and contemporary story of America — its humble beginning, its innovations and failures, its international charisma, and its regional identities — through its beloved roadside fare.
"Drive-Thru Dreams is a key text to understanding the American love affair with fast food and the culture around it, including its economic impact and fandoms. This spicy and humorous narrative feels personal while writing the necessary chapter of what may be, for good or ill, some of America's most consumed chow. Brilliant and necessary." Michael Twitty, James Beard Award winning author of The Cooking Gene
"This book will completely change the way even the fiercest health advocate thinks about our nutritional landscape. There is no road to reform without understanding the ways fast food is woven into American history and culture, which Adam Chandler articulates brilliantly."
James Hamblin, M.D., author of If Our Bodies Could Talk
"Eminently readable, smart, and fascinating, Drive-Thru Dreams is, belying its subject matter, a full meal." Entertainment Weekly
"This fun, argumentative, and frequently surprising pop history of American fast food will thrill and educate food lovers of all speeds."
About the Author
ADAM CHANDLER is a writer based in Brooklyn. A former staff writer at The Atlantic, his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Texas Monthly, New York Magazine, Slate, Esquire, and elsewhere.