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The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King

Key insights from Rich Cohen's

The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King


Key insights from Rich Cohen's

The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King

ratings:
Length:
9 minutes

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook
How a man who started with nothing stopped at nothing to succeed.

Sam Zemurray’s life was complicated, and his legacy remains controversial. Some see Zemurray, a Russian immigrant who turned a few discarded bananas into a multi-million dollar corporation, as the American Dream personified. But there is a darker side to Zemurray’s story — one that involves greed and exploitation. In this Snapshot, you’ll learn the story of Zemurray’s success, as well as the lengths he went to maintain it.

Read this Snapshot if you:

  • Want to learn about American international trade
  • Care about ethically-sourced goods
  • Enjoy true rags-to-riches stories
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Introduction

Sam Zemurray began the 20th century with nothing. A Russian immigrant who sailed to America to earn money for his family, he settled in Alabama and made a living peddling discarded bananas.

Within a decade, he had achieved the impossible: He’d built his own empire, including fleets of ships and countless banana plantations across the isthmus of Central America. But this empire wasn’t completely innocent. As you’ll learn in this Snapshot, Zemurray held tremendous power and influence over others — including the governments of Central America and even the US.

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Samuel Zemurray...

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