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Jungle Capitalists

Peter Chapman

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Canongate Books

Published : 2008

Copyright : Peter Chapman 2007

ISBN-10 : PB 1-84767-098-9
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-84767-098-4

Publisher's Write-Up

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' 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.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Jessica (010608) Rating (8/10)

Review by Jessica
Rating 8/10
Jungle Capitalists is an intelligent and highly informative read about the history of the United Fruit Company. Peter guides the reader through his journey, discussing the development of the banana and how near today the fruit is to extinction.

Did you know the extent United Fruit perpetuated wars, massacres and coups in the 'banana republics'? Peter holds no bounds and talks openly about this and other subjects surrounding it.

We meet characters who have in their own way helped to expand the United Fruit Company and who economically conquered Central America. A lot of history dates back from thebUnited Fruit Company. Peter says that by the end of the First World War the company had a wide-spread empire that stretched from Colombia to the Caribbean islands of Jamaica, Cuba and Dominica.

There are many more ins and outs of this company but really it is very complicated and in depth. You should waste no time and read this for yourself - I did and found it very interesting.

The beginning does take a while to get going but once you've read the first couple of chapters, you gradually get into the swing of things. I don’t know if this is everyone's cup of tea, I suppose it depends on what you’re interested in. I’d recommend it to anyone who has a perspective of the fruit business or just enjoys bananas.

A fascinating, finely crafted non-fiction book which takes an in-depth look at globalisation and the banana trade.
Jessica (1st June 2008)

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