The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King
  • The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King
  • The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King
  • The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King
ISBN: 0374299277
EAN13: 9780374299279
Language: English
Pages: 288
Dimensions: 1.2" H x 9" L x 6" W
Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Format: Hardcover
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Book Overview

This Description may be from another edition of this product.

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.

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Book Reviews (9)

5
  |   9  reviews
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5
   Great style of writing
Rich Cohen has an interesting style where he tells a fascinating story and pulls back for a while to reflect on what he is saying and why he decided to write what he did.
 
4
   A Peek Into US History in Central America
Sam Sam Zemurray was an amazing man who valued the Earth, his workers and his country while ignoring the political aspirations of all governments. His success came as a hard competitor, through ruthless work, innovation and staying close to the business formula for success in most every endeavor. This book in some ways shows what has happened in the Middle East, where Western powers dealt with land and people as if they were chess pieces on a game board. This is a time of history that few Americans know much about and even less understand.
 
5
   The Fish that ate the Whale
I belong to a family that purchased the Plantation in Louisiana from the Zemurray Foundation in 1974. Regret to say that Huricanne destroyed Katreena almost the lodge and surrounding gardens. The old cabin was used in the film Lolita, directed by Adrian Lyons as The Enchanted Hunters Lodge. Anyone curious about how the plantation appeared, try and find a video of this film and you will see Sam's Plantation. Great book and will tell everyone that I have been to Zemurray Gardens with me to get a copy and read it.
 
5
   Everyone I recommend this to loves it.
From page 1, this book captivated me. I recommend books only very rarely to anyone, however it was well received. An amazing story comes basically from nothing and builds into a powerhouse. In this case, there is a lot of risk involved. I, however, tell everyone to reflect back and learn how you can apply the lessons learned here in your life.
 
5
   The best book I read in 2020
Non-fiction books that are as good as fiction books are hard to come by, but this one was fantastic. Zemurray is a complex character, but one of the heroes of his time that you have probably never heard. What a person can do in a lifetime by sheer force of will blows me away. It was not all good looking through our lenses of today, but it was breathtaking in scope and impact.
 
1
   Annoying style. Author makes it up as he goes.
In the first few pages, I knew that the author had cited dialogue from a secret meeting. At 3 : 00, we were born. In the New Orleans Red Light District, there is a red light district. In 1910 or so, in 1910. Like a cloak and a dagger novel. All made up : Not only does he presents dialogue wholesale, he infers the inner thoughts and motivations that were in the minds of each person and produces them, as would a fiction author. He keeps injecting himself as well into the narrative. Meh's is a little bit different. It was returned.
 
5
   Great
The book was really great, enjoyed it greatly! Did a fair job of giving a good review of a titan of capitalism.
 
4
   Your time isn't more valuable than how interesting this book ...
Your time isn 't more valuable than how interesting this book is. Read it for the history and how it will make you consider the way in which kingdoms are created.
 
5
   Five Stars
Good read about a true Rags to Riches man, but confirms USA United Fruit meddling in Central America.
 
1