The Fish That Ate the Whale

The Life and Times of America's Banana King

By Rich Cohen
(Picador USA, Paperback, 9781250033314, 270pp.)

Publication Date: June 4, 2013

List Price: $16.00*
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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

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.




About the Author
Rich Cohen is the author of Tough Jews, The Avengers, and Lake Effect. He lives in New York City.
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