Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World by Peter Chapman

By Peter Chapman

During this compelling background of the United Fruit corporation, Financial Times author Peter Chapman weaves a dramatic story of massive enterprise, deceit, and violence, exploring the origins of arguably probably the most arguable worldwide organisations ever, and the ways that their pioneering instance set the precedent for the institutionalized greed of today’s multinational companies.

The tale has its resource in United Fruit’s nineteenth-century beginnings within the jungles of Costa Rica. What follows is a damning exam of the company’s rules: from the selling of the banana because the first quickly foodstuff, to the company’s involvement in an invasion of Honduras, a bloodbath in Colombia, and a bloody coup in Guatemala. alongside the way in which the corporate fostered covert hyperlinks with U.S. energy agents comparable to Richard Nixon and CIA operative Howard Hunt, manipulated the click in new, and stoked the innovative ire of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.

From the exploited banana republics of valuable the USA to the concrete jungle of recent York urban, Peter Chapman’s Bananas is a full of life and insightful cultural background of the coveted yellow fruit, in addition to a gripping narrative concerning the notorious upward thrust and fall of the United Fruit corporation.

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Holt, at least four dentists of French, German or British origin and an English brewery owned by R. and A. T. Blackmore, where a barrel of ale (cerveza blanca) could be had for 10 pesos. In common with most of his compatriots, he would have been a regular church-goer and probably a member of his parish confraternity {cofradio), to which he would have made generous contributions. 47 One of the highlights of his year would have been the very popular and well-attended Whitsuntide cock-fights at San Agustin de las Cuevas (now Tlalpan), where a box cost 4 reales in the afternoon and 6 in the evening.

Its most public thoroughfares are places of scandal and indecency and there is a tavern, vice and prostitution on almost every street. Nowhere is safe from crime. 65 Poverty, according to one report in 1843, had become the only topic of conversation: 'Conversations in the home, in the newspapers and everywhere are about nothing else but poverty and more poverty'. 66 In contrast to the majority, who lived in squalid poverty, a small minority, including the nouveau riche generals, financial speculators and 62 J .

8, in F. Tena Ramirez, Leyes fundamentales de Mexico, 1808-1971 (Mexico, 1971), p. 211. 24 The central republic in Mexico, 1835—1846 populace, a mixture of fear of social revolution and a sense of benevolent duty, reflected the manifest and growing economic inequalities. The great majority of the population lived in abject poverty; emancipation from Spain had brought for many a deterioration in their already depressed living conditions. Perhaps in the rural areas, in the pueblos and haciendas where a certain self-sufficiency had always prevailed, the change was only gradual, for there was little sign of popular protest in the countryside.

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