By Thomas D. Schoonover, Lester D. Langley

ISBN-10: 0813108365

ISBN-13: 9780813108360

Bold marketers, isthmian politicians, and mercenaries who dramatically altered relevant America's political tradition, economies, or even its conventional social values populate this energetic tale of a new release of North and vital american citizens and their roles within the transformation of crucial the United States from the overdue 19th century until eventually the onset of the melancholy. The Banana males is a examine of modernization, its merits, and its usually frightful costs.
The colourful characters during this learn are interesting, if now not continually admirable. Sam "the Banana Man" Zemurray, a Bessarabian Jewish immigrant, made a fortune in Honduran bananas after he bought into the company of "revolutin," and his exploits at the moment are mythical. His employed mercenary Lee Christmas, a bellicose Mississippian, made a name in Honduras as a guy who may possibly use a weapon. The helping solid contains Minor Keith, a railroad builder and banana baron; Manuel Bonilla, the Honduran mulatto whose reason Zemurray backed; and Jose Santos Zelaya, who governed Nicaragua from 1893 to 1910.
The political and social turmoil of the fashionable principal the USA can't be understood irrespective of the fifty-year epoch within which the USA imposed its political and financial impression on weak valuable American societies. The trouble of crucial american citizens at the present time, as isthmian peoples comprehend, is rooted of their earlier, and North american citizens have had very much to do with the shaping in their heritage, for higher or worse.

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Extra resources for The Banana Men: American Mercenaries and Entrepreneurs in Central America, 1880-1930

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It operated eleven steamships, chartered twenty to thirty more vessels, and ran its three hundred boxcars and seventeen locomotives over more than one hundred miles of track laid exclusively for linking the banana plantations with its coastal warehouses. In 1906 United Fruit erected two radio stations in eastern Nicaragua, one at Bluefields on the coast and the second upriver at Rama. The company already owned a two hundred-foot transmission tower at Bocas del Toro, Panama. When the conservative New England stockholders complained of the expense of operating the stations-each word cost $SO to broadcastPreston confidently retorted that in the uncertainty of the banana business a word was sometimes worth fifty dollars.

In fact, said one traveler returned from Honduras, Burke was losing money, spending $150 to get $100 in gold and living in continual fear of being kidnapped and brought back to face the wrath of Louisianans. W Nevertheless, in the following years Burke prospered, doubtless because his mining enterprises were enhanced by his willingness to lend military experience to Domingo Vasquez, a Honduran political aspirant who figured prominently in the country's revolutionary turbulence in the 1890s. Two dozen or so American soldiers of fortune-most of them ex-Confederate or ex-Union soldiers such as Fred Budde, Joseph Milner, and Frank Imboden-had signed on with Vasquez, and one Herbert "General Heriberto" Jeffries became their commander.

A few 20 THE BANANA MEN lonely voices, especially in the agricultural sector, had begun saying this as early as the 1870s, but the country had always had an enthusiastic agro-export philosophy. Industrialists were more hesitant. After all, they had a grip on labor costs and, theoretically, could shut down production when the market was saturated. Government shielded their property from the destructive power of strikers, and when the vaunted middle class had to choose between its interests and the rights of all citizens to protest, it would choose the first.

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The Banana Men: American Mercenaries and Entrepreneurs in Central America, 1880-1930 by Thomas D. Schoonover, Lester D. Langley


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