The Fish That Ate the Whale

The Life and Times of America's Banana King

    • 4.2 • 153 Ratings
    • $11.99
    • $11.99

Publisher Description

Named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and The Times-Picayune

The fascinating untold tale of Samuel Zemurray, the self-made banana mogul who went from penniless roadside banana peddler to kingmaker and capitalist revolutionary


When Samuel Zemurray arrived in America in 1891, he was tall, gangly, and penniless. When he died in the grandest house in New Orleans sixty-nine years later, he was among the richest, most powerful men in the world. Working his way up from a roadside fruit peddler to conquering the United Fruit Company, Zemurray became a symbol of the best and worst of the United States: proof that 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.

Zemurray lived one of the great untold stories of the last hundred years. 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. From hustling on the docks of New Orleans to overthrowing Central American governments and precipitating the bloody thirty-six-year Guatemalan civil war, the Banana Man lived a monumental and sometimes dastardly life. Rich Cohen's brilliant historical profile The Fish That Ate the Whale unveils Zemurray as a hidden power broker, driven by an indomitable will to succeed.

GENRE
History
RELEASED
2012
June 5
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
288
Pages
PUBLISHER
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
SELLER
Macmillan
SIZE
1.4
MB

Customer Reviews

Rajarrific ,

Good yarn!

Great story on a fascinating character! Reads more like a novel at times and not always sure how much is true, but a entertaining and informative nonetheless.

Carlos-Block ,

The Fish that shape Latin America…

Having been born in one of those “banana republics” growing up under the umbrella of ‘Corporate America’, this story is remarkable of an era that shaped my own journey in life.
I remember my family getting free bananas when a shipment went bad…
Many family members worked for U.F. a.k. Chiquita Banana brand.
As a kid, I visited those relatives, saw their “privileged homes, parks, schools, swimming pools & life styles.
My father’s earlier job upon marrying my mother was as a foreman on one of them plantations…
Life was good for many, horrible for the most!
This book has brought many memories, illustrated many things I did not know of that life, growing up in banana country, the back yard farm of the might US of A…

Class 80 ,

Amazed

This is the most interesting history I have read. As a former student from the Escuela Agricola Panamericana, I totally identify myself with Zemurray's working philosophy as it was part of Zamorano's daily tuition program. Excellent book.

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