9781565844117 / 1565844114

McLibel: Burger Culture on Trial


Publisher:New Press, The



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About the book:

McLibel is the unlikely but true story of how a pamphlet called Whats Wrong with McDonalds? led to the longest trial in British history. In what has become front-page news around the globe, the trial pitted the multibillion dollar corporation against five members of London Greenpeace accused by McDonalds of libel. Three activists capitulated and apologized; two persevered.

McLibel tells the story of the McLibel Two and the two-and-a-half-year trial in which the jeansclad and impoverished defendants represented themselves against the best powdered-wig lawyers McDonalds could buy.

Does the fast-food chain exploit children? Depress wages? Level South and Central American rain forests? Subject its cattle and chicken to mass slaughters? A final chapter explores these allegations and details the $98,000 verdict against the activists Morris and Steel, which is widely viewed as a moral victory for the defendants and a public relations fiasco for McDonalds.

Environmental reporter John Vidal covered all two and a half years of the trial. In the tradition of Michael Moores Roger and Me, he brings this David and Goliath story to life, shedding light on the corporate machinations of a secretive multinational company, the British legal system, and the implications for any individuals inclined to critique a $30-billion-a-year powerhouse.

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