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The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King | [Rich Cohen]

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

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.
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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

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    Susan Herndon, VA, United States 12-14-12
    Susan Herndon, VA, United States 12-14-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Fascinating history. A lot of questions"
    Would you listen to The Fish That Ate the Whale again? Why?

    Being from South America, I had always been aware of the issues between the "Gringos" and the rest. However this book does a fantastic job, specially towards the end, of bringing these issues to light.


    What does Robertson Dean bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The voice


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It was great for a perfect afternoon drive


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 10-13-12
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 10-13-12 Member Since 2002
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    "the henry ford of bananas"

    Entertaining story of how to use hustle, grit, corruption and your brain to build an analog business. Super narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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