When Samuel Zemurray arrived in America in 1891, he was tall, gangly, and penniless. When he died in the grandest house in New Orleans 69 years later, he was among the richest, most powerful men in the world. In between, he worked as a fruit peddler, banana hauler, dockside hustler, and plantation owner. He battled and conquered the United Fruit Company, becoming a symbol of the best and worst of the United States: proof America is the land of opportunity, but also a classic example of the corporate pirate who treats foreign nations as the backdrop for his adventures. Starting with nothing but a cart of freckled bananas, he built a sprawling empire of banana cowboys, mercenary soldiers, Honduran peasants, CIA agents, and American statesmen.
©2012 Rich Cohen (P)2012 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"This is popular history and biography at its best, making for an easy verdict: This book will appeal strongly to lay readers and scholars alike. Highly recommended to all." (Library Journal)
"...it is nearly impossible to put the book down, and that's something you don't say about a lot of biographies - and especially biographies of businessmen. For anyone who enjoys a good life story, this one is an absolute must-read." (Booklist)
Well researched and compelling. I did not know the history of United Fruit before hearing this book. Fascinating real life characters.
Fun mix of business and history. The author treats the history with truth and humor. He presents all the information well and explains any biases he may have. Who knew a banana company could have such a torrid background?
Behind the headlines maneuvers to events that shaped the world. Wealth of information you won't find in history books.
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