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The Fish That Ate the Whale Audiobook

The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King

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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (265 )
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4.6 (228 )
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4.6 (230 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Martin Stone Chevy Chase, MD United States 06-15-16
    Martin Stone Chevy Chase, MD United States 06-15-16 Member Since 2013
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    Story
    "Amazing Story"

    Well researched and compelling. I did not know the history of United Fruit before hearing this book. Fascinating real life characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean 06-13-16
    Sean 06-13-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun business and history."

    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?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin 06-09-16
    Justin 06-09-16
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    "Great lessons in this book"

    What a great book with so many hidden lessons I recommend it for sure thanks

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darren 02-16-16
    Darren 02-16-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Loved it"

    Such an interesting story really enjoyed it. A must read. Would recommend to any one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Thornhill, ON, Canada 11-25-15
    Ben Thornhill, ON, Canada 11-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Interesting and enlightening"

    Behind the headlines maneuvers to events that shaped the world. Wealth of information you won't find in history books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Toronto, ONTARIO, Canada 05-27-15
    Alex Toronto, ONTARIO, Canada 05-27-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Fascinating listen!"

    Amazing how a person can have such influence over history coming from nothing. Great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam 03-04-15
    Adam 03-04-15
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    5
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    "Incredible story!"

    Amazing rags to riches story tied in with overthrowing governments, civil war and the CIA. Recommended listening!
    Enjoyable fun narration also.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andrew 01-28-15
    andrew 01-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Exceptionally Entertaining"

    This book was not only the most entertaining financial education book I've ever read, I also learned a lot. Will definitely listen again soon.

    Andrew

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nick 01-23-15
    nick 01-23-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Fascinating peice of history"

    Great story that seems to have best lost to all but a few people in the sands of time. Banana Cowboy is my new favorite term when describing someone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave H Los Angeles 01-21-15
    Dave H Los Angeles 01-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    12
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    "A part of history everyone should know"

    One if the best books I've listened to in a long time. However knew bananas had such a colorful history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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