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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

4.6 (596 )
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4.7 (529 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sean 06-13-16
    Sean 06-13-16 Member Since 2015
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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?

    1 of 1 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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adele 09-21-17
    Adele 09-21-17 Member Since 2015
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    10
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    "Gripping..."

    Brilliantly narrated and written, explains the hidden side of US foreign policy and the levers of power.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    @insurancebillvj 09-14-17 Member Since 2017
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    15
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    "Brilliant, entertaining,"

    So worth my time, delivered way more than I expected. Please listen and appreciate human existence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Midlothian, VA, United States 09-13-17
    Chris Midlothian, VA, United States 09-13-17 Member Since 2010
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    "Moderately interesting"

    Just read "Shoedogs", story of Phil Knight (Nike) and listening to that story and his hurdles he had to overcome was far more compelling than this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mikemccann3 08-11-17
    mikemccann3 08-11-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Incredible story about the banana man"

    The story of Sam Zemurray was fascinating. I had no idea who he was until I heard about this book when it was recommended to me. Amazing tale of how he got started, his hustle, his demise, and the entire build up of the banana industry.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Love To Learn 07-12-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Epic"

    Amazing story and author. Combines a Hollywood story with inspiring business lessons and interesting history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Willette 07-10-17 Member Since 2015

    I like to listen to good scientific books, lots of non-fiction, and the occasional mystery or historical fiction.

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    "a whale of a story"

    one of the best agricultural history books I have listened to. I'm glad that the author didn't try to make Zamarie out to be a hero. he did a great job of being able to show both sides of the coin. the narrator was clear and took good pauses. I was surprised buy how interesting the narrator was able to make this book. I probably could have sat all the way through it in one sitting if I'd had the time. It was that good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackson 06-10-17
    Jackson 06-10-17 Member Since 2015
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    "awesome book"

    was suggested by author of the last audio book I listened to by Ryan Holiday. he hyped it up so much it could overachieve his recommendation, but it delivered. awesome story, portrait of America and enriches the mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Wallick 04-10-17
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    "Must read!"

    This is the first book review I've ever left. This is my favorite book I've finished in at least the past year. Unbelievably interesting story and phenomenally well-written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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