From my list on why corporations are powerful but economy stinks.
Who am I?
I’m a professor of modern U.S. History and have written books explaining the political and cultural power of corporations, lobbyists, and business people in American life. To me, the signal event of recent history was when the rapid economic growth that followed WWII ended in the 1970s. From globalization and deindustrialization to the rise of authoritarianism under the guise of populism, from systemic racism and the rise of the carceral state to the proliferation of bad jobs and the gig economy—the effects of that historic change shape every aspect of modern life. But this topic can sometimes seem a little dry, so I’m always looking for books that help make sense of it.
Benjamin's book list on why corporations are powerful but economy stinks
Why did Benjamin love this book?
This book is a wonderful example of how an author can explain but not judge the complexities and contradictions of our modern economy. Chatelain explains the role fast food franchising, and McDonald’s in particular, has played in African American economic and social life since the 1960s. What I found so striking about this was the honest ambivalence: McDonald’s sells unhealthy foods that contribute to obesity and other health problems, and it pays generally exploitative wages; but at the same time, owning a McDonald’s franchise can be a way for African American entrepreneurs to thrive and build both wealth and political power in their communities.