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The Coke Machine

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  387 ratings  ·  65 reviews

Perhaps it's not too much of a surprise to find the Coca-Cola Company on the stand for these injustices. In this era of cynicism, it's standard practice to believe corporations from Halliburton to ExxonMobil capable of every form of evil, trained by the profit drive of capitalism to turn a blind eye to the worst consequences of their actions. The Coca-Cola Company, however

ebook, 384 pages
Published September 16th 2010 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published 2010)
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This is quite a disturbing book and one that will convince you to stop drinking coke for so many reasons. Not least that it will make you healthier but also make you feel so much better about yourself.

There is a very amusing line by a judge that the name of the product was strange because the company denied there was cocaine in their product where there actually was and said that there was cola nut in it, when there wasn’t. The history of the world’s favourite drink is not
Recently, I have found that I have been the contrarian to these Goodread reviews and have found that disconcerting. For years, I have been able to count on these reviews in helping me identify books I would not have normally read.

I’ve read the anti-Coke reviews of this book and went in with the sneaky suspicion that the author had an agenda and I began reading with that understanding. I believe anyone could pick any company and write a book about them in a similar style.

I have to say as a marke
I wonder if Michael Blanding’s children drink coke in secret, making sure their father would never know. Just like other kids do when they are DOING coke.

I guess, I don’t like to read anything so obviously and openly biased, even if the author’s goal was good and true. I wouldn’t call it eye-opening either. If you somehow came to whatever age you are, and you still haven’t realised there literally aren’t any limits to what corporations might do in search for profit, then you just have to wake u
Paul Pessolano
Do not shy away from this book if you live in Atlanta, the home of Coca-Cola. Do not shy away from this book if you are a loyal supporter and drinker of Coca-Cola. There are things in this book that everyone should know.

The book starts out with a history of Coca-Cola that is both interesting and questionable. If you go to the "World of Coca-Cola" in Atlanta the tour guides will give you the Coca-Cola version of their history. According to Michael Blanding that version leaves out some important f
Rob Warner
Interesting look at unsavory parts of Coke, but the author seemed to have an agenda that his facts insufficiently backed, and leapt to outrage at the non-outrageous. News flash: junk food makes you fat. We know that. People have known that for years. I don't believe companies have any responsibility to make sure customers eat in a healthy manner. People buy and consume what they want.

Coke is a marketing machine and has great advertising. They pay mightily for pushing their brand. They're good at
Kat A
It's hard not to read this title and think that it is stating the obvious, but the details of just how badly this corporation are screwing everyone are still quite shocking. From killing workers who are fighting for a better wage in Columbia, to outright stealing water from poor farmers in India, to overt and relentless marketing to children in North America and Western Europe, this company this company is unbelievable in their dedication to the bottom line and to it's shareholders. Its efforts ...more
Buku ini mengupas tuduhan-tuduhan yang pernah dilayangkan terhadap Coca-Cola Company, sebagai produsen minuman ringan terkenal di seluruh dunia. Pada masa sekarang, rasanya sulit ditemukan seseorang di muka bumi ini yang belum pernah sama sekali mengecap minuman Coca-Cola.

Racikan Coca-Cola merupakan salah satu rahasia terbesar yang pernah ada di muka bumi. Meski begitu, asal usul Coca-Cola masih bisa ditelusuri. Hasil penelusuran mengindikasikan bahwa Coca-Cola tercipta pertama kali sebagai ramu
Picking up this book I knew that the Coca Cola corporation had done some shady things in the past, but i did not know what was in store for me. The details of what this corporation has done to families and the environment is excrusinatly annoying. From killing workers who are fighting for a better wage in Columbia, to outright stealing water from poor farmers in India. Also targeting children as young as infants for marketing in North America and Europe. I found a very good quote in a separate r ...more
It's really more of a 3.5, but I'll bump it to four to counter some of the negative reviews. Blanding outlines all the faults of Coca-Cola as a multinational corporation, and there's quite a bit to outline. The first half of the book focuses on Coca-Cola in America: the founding of Coca-Cola and its extreme investment in advertisement that links it to the American identity; its connection to health problems in the face of its attempts to be sold in schools to kids; and the outright (or close to ...more
Bcoghill Coghill
I guess I knew all of this, having read the newspapers and magazines for the past 50 years. But, I guess it is good to have in one place... I guess.
I drink diet-pepsi and it probably aggravates my acid reflux, but if I was an alcoholic or smoked tobacco that would probably be worse, eh?
Do I contribute to killing union members in third-world countries - probably thru my shoe and IT purchases. What is a body to do in the evil world?
Kelly Kilcrease
The explanation and details about the Columbia murder gets a little long winded. I would have liked to have seen more emphasis toward the health risks associated with Coke.
I am horribly addicted to Coca Cola. I can easily down six or seven cans (or, their equivalent at a restaurant) without batting an eye, which obviously places me in the “heavy user” category by The Coca Cola Company.

I have tried many times over the past six years to kick the habit going cold turkey for ten weeks or ten months until I convince myself that my birthday or graduation or general stress or the fact that I do not smoke or drink means I should be able to have a can of Coke. Of course, o
It's more than worth learning the reality behind the warm and fuzzy feelings we have when we think about Coca-Cola. The Coke Machine tells the fascinating story of this innocent drink's rise to the top, and a lot of it has to do with the battle for your mind. From early on the company's history they set out to market not so much a beverage as a feeling. Before anyone knew it this had worked so well that Coca-Cola came to represent the American Dream itself, and when that wasn't enough they moved ...more
Many people have criticized this book for stating the obvious, that big corporations are all about profit and "of course" they will do anything they can to maximize returns. While I don't entirely disagree with this, I do think Coke's actions esp. in the third world, are worth reading about. I grew up in a town with a pretty unsavory (pun) factory, Iowa Beef Packers, but murder of labor activists was a bit beyond the pale, even for them. This book details how Coke uses legal instruments, such as ...more
Finished. The first half of the book was mostly dedicated to Coke's history and how the company grew through the years. It covered Coke's leadership changes and challenges leading up to to today's Coke.

There were however a couple of items I didn't realize at the time mostly the transformation from sugar to high fructose corn syrup and the profitability growth and franchising that followed. When I look back, yes I was a coke classic fan and even in college would drink a 32 oz at the start of eve
Христо Блажев
“Мръсната история” на “Кока-кола” шокира

Не прочетох тази книга. Поне не по начина, по който обичайно се чете едно заглавие. Вместо това няколко дни работих върху нея – нанасях корекции, редактирах тук-таме (почти заради принципа, преводачката Жана Ценова е свършила чудесна работа) и прочие неща, които обикновено остават скрити за читателя. Всъщност книгата я прочетох в оригинал още преди доста месеци, когато трябваше да се реши дали ще я превеждаме или не
This was a very interesting book, and - in my mind - got more interesting as it went along.

The first part of the book is about Coke in the U.S., and deals with its history, its growth, its attempts to wriggle out of accusations that it is linked to obesity and environmental problems, and - especially - the scam that is bottle water.

But where I really sat up and took notice is the second part, dealing with Coke's union busting and association with paramilitaries in Latin America, and its effect
Kim Pallister
An interesting history of one of America's most iconic brands and companies. Clearly written with an anti-Coke bias, but even if half of what it accuses is true, then it seriously gives pause. There's an awful lot of smoke for there NOT to be a fire.

The specifics about coke aside, it's an interesting study of how a corporation's immune system kicks into gear to stamp out PR and/or legal problems in the most efficient way possible (which usually isn't actually FIXING the problems they are accused
A lot of very interesting information. Three stars because I thought the book's organization could have been improved and some weak arguments modified or removed.

Organizationally, the first three chapters of the book move chronologically through Coke's history, and we are then unceremoniously dumped into a series of chapters on specific Coke-sanctioned evils--childhood obesity, bottled water, corporate irresponsibility in Mexico, India, Colombia, and Guatemala--which involve a lot of time-jumpi
It is appalling to hear about the lengths that Coca Cola will go to be the world's most popular drink for the power that money will bring. In Coke's world, everything is expendable (environment, people, and health to name a few) to improve the profit margin. Coke has bought its way into politics and schools, it has extorted vendors to sell only Coke, it has left workers in South America (who would be union members) to murdering paramilitary thugs. This book has also reopened me to an awareness o ...more
The first part of the book was the history of Coca Cola, and made me crave fizzy drinks, so my consumption of fair-trade certified drinks increased while I was reading. The whole book was well written and readable, but there were about 1.5 times as many words as I needed. I'm glad I read it.
From the cover: "finding the Coca-Cola company accused of murder is like finding out Santa Claus is accused of being a pedophile." It's true, and documented extensively in this revealing expose about the Coca Cola corporation. This is a must-read for anyone who has tasted that beverage in the red and white can. Coke is here accused of polluting the environment, usurping water supplies in third-world countries,and supporting paramilitaries in Colombia and Mexico who murder employees who get too c ...more
Any organization put under the microscope is going to have skeletons in its closet, and my gut tells me the bigger the organization the more skeletons will fall. That being said we do expect more of those that make us think of baseball and apple pie. The history of the organization is an opportunity to learn about history of large companies in general and marketing specifically. The drama associated with the growth of Coca-Cola, nationally and internationally, makes this an appealing and easy to ...more
Nyaris 100 halaman hanya untuk catatan!

Saat kuliah S2 lalu, salah satu tugas dari matakuliah Pemasaran Internasional adalah membuat ulasan mengenai produk ini. Terlepas dari urusan produk yang belakangan ini sering dibicarakan, pemasaran produk ini memang sungguh luar biasa sehingga bagi beberapa pihak sudahi dianggap merupakan bagian dari kebutuhan hidup.

Penyesuaian citra rasa dilakukan demi kelangsungan hidup produk namun tetap mengacu pada standarisasi mutu.Mau tak mau terpaksa mengakui strat
An interesting read (listen). The first half of the book was great, detailing the history of Coke and it's origins as 'Snake Oil'. The latter half of the book focused on guerrilla warfare in Columbia and water shortages in India. Necessary to tell the story the author was trying to tell, but not nearly as interesting as the first half of the book.
Okay, now I never want another Coke product ever again. This book won't gross you out (much), but it's the insensitivity and downright criminal actions of the Coca-Cola company that this book reveals that makes it very potent. You start off small, learning about the history of the product and its dubious chemical origins. Next, the book goes into their marketing strategies - which range from mild to insidious. Then you get a look at working conditions overseas in other Coke factories and it beco ...more
Oh. My. Goodness. This book was soooo long and soooo boring. It was 300-ish pages in 7 point font size PLUS fifty, seriously, pages of references. Oh my goodness. Who cares this much about Coke? It was obvious that this author had deep opinions. It bothered me that he was trying to cram them down my throat. I wanted to read about Coke and their doings from an objective point of view. I would like to form my own opinions. I suspect that if it had been objective that I would be very anti-Coke righ ...more
While I usually enjoy a good corporation bashing, this book fell short of my expectations. I did find some of the information enlightening. I have not followed the sordid history of Coca-Cola. I was unaware of the alleged links to paramilitary groups in Colombia or the water shortages in India. I recall the uproar over the bottled tap water fiasco, but did not realize the problems in England. Even with all of this interesting material, the book was incredibly boring. I actually forced myself to ...more
This book started off so great - really interesting and thought provoking. Then it got borrrrring! I may end up going back to it tho.

** I think I wrote that more than a year ago. I never went back to it. The problem with this book is that it started off really, really good. It explained how coke got developed, the power of the company, how popular it is, its comparison to Pepsi, etc. Then it went into all the stuff about other countries and it got soooo boring! Had the author cut that section do
Zahro Fath
Very interesting. the fact of coke history and how it made and how the industry today is enlighting!
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Michael Blanding is the award-winning author of The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps (Gotham, 2014) and The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World’s Favorite Soft Drink (Avery, 2010). A magazine writer with over 15 years of experience, he has written articles for The Nation, The New Republic, Consumers Digest, Forbes, Bo ...more
More about Michael Blanding...
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