When Temple University history professor Bryant Simon embarked on a five-year, 11-country journey through 450 Starbucks, he didn't know if an eventual book would gather foam of high praise or land him in hot water.
Actually, both, Simon said of "Everything but the Coffee: Learning About America from Starbucks."
"Anti-Starbucks people gravitated to the book. There is a vibe that pushes the importance of independent coffee shops," Simon said. "Some people who are not so much pro-Starbucks -- it's like 'tea party' people -- there's a little bit of a knee-jerk reaction that's a little bit of McCarthyism. They see it as a critique of Starbucks, thereby a critique of our system, therefor I'm a socialist and it puts me in the camp of Obama."
Simon, on the heels of the book's 2008 release, finds holes in his teaching schedule to visit bookstores and colleges, exploring the company's psychological, emotional, political, and sociological approach.