In this powerful and gripping book, Peter Chapman shows how the pioneering example of the banana importer United Fruit set the precedent for the institutionalized greed of today’s multinational companies.
From the business’s 19th Century beginnings in the jungles of Costa Rica, via the mass-marketing of the banana as the original fast food, United Fruit’s involvement in bloody coups in Guatemala and El Salvador, the mid-1970s and the spectacular suicide on Park Avenue of the company’s chairman, from its bullying business practices to its covert links to the US government, United Fruit blazed the trail of global capitalism through the 20th Century.
Chapman weaves a dramatic tale of big business, lies and power to show how one company pioneered the growth of globalization and - in doing so - has helped farm the banana to the point of extinction.
“A fast-paced and shocking romp through the pioneer spirit of globalisation”
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“If you only read a handful of non-fiction books this year, Jungle Capitalists is among your recommended five portions.”
“The term banana republic has become so divested of meaning that it’s been adopted by a mid-range clothing chain. Its sobering reality is spelled out in this clear, dryly witty account of United Fruit …”
“Excellent, darkly humorous expose”
Peter Chapman is a journalist and writer, and a former BBC foreign correspondent in South America. His previous book, The Goalkeeper’s History of Britain, was acclaimed as ‘the football book of the year’ by When Saturday Comes.