Fast Food Nation

The same forces that are homogenizing other cities

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Unformatted text preview: reatest lasting influence, perhaps because their nationalism was so inclusive, and their nation so distant. Children in West German schools were required to study English, facilitating the spread of American pop culture. Young people who sought to distance themselves from the wartime behavior of their parents found escape in American movies, music, and novels. “For a child growing up in the turmoil of [postwar] Berlin… the Americans were angels,” Christa Maerker, a Berlin filmmaker, wrote in an essay on postwar Germany’s infatuation with the United States. “Anything from them was bigger and more wonderful than anything that preceded it.” The United States and Germany fought against each other twice in the twentieth century, but the enmity between them has often seemed less visceral than other national rivalries. The recent takeover of prominent American corporations — such as Chrysler, Random House, and RCA Records — by German companies provoked none of the public anger that was unleashed when Japanese firms bought much less signi...
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