The Fish That Ate the Whale: the Life and Times of America's Banana King
By Rich Cohen
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. 270 pgs. Biography
Sam Zemurray is not exactly a household name. Read this book and you will know the story of the persevering, penniless immigrant who became one of America's most complex, richest and politically powerful men of the early 1900's. From his first sighting of the curious yellow fruit piled on the dock, to his last years, his life was consumed with the banana. Zemurray's political control extended from the United States through Central America, along the way over throwing governments, influencing Foreign Policy, reinventing the banana industry and finally taking control of his rival, the powerful conglomerate United Fruit Company.
Sam, the Banana Man had the impellent desire to succeed...no matter the cost.
I highly recommend The Fish That Ate the Whale to anyone interested in well researched biographies, early 1900 American business or those curious about the history of the "fruit worth killing for."