The ProsenPeople

Rich Cohen's Children's Book

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

Last month we featured Rich Cohen's forthcoming (June) work, The Fish That Ate the Whale, as a book cover of the week. This month, we're excited to share news about his first children's book, Alex and the Amazing Time Machine, which will be published in May by Henry Holt. Alex and the Amazing Time Machine features Alex Trumble, "a pretty ordinary kid--except for the fact that his IQ borders on genius, and he loves to read books on vortexes and time travel." Check out an excerpt here.


Book Cover of the Week: The Fish That Ate the Whale

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 | Permalink

Posted by Naomi Firestone-Teeter

In June, Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish Rich Cohen's latest book: The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King

When Samuel Zemurray arrived in America in 1891, he was tall, gangly and penniless. When he died in the grandest house in New Orleans sixty-nine years later, he was among the richest, most powerful men in the world. In between, he worked as a fruit peddler, a banana hauler, a dockside hustler, and a plantation owner. He battled and conquered the United Fruit Company, becoming a symbol of the best and worst of the United States: proof that America is the land of opportunity, but also a classic example of the corporate pirate who treats foreign nations as the backdrop for his adventures. In Latin America, when people shouted “Yankee, Go Home!” it was men like Zemurray they had in mind.

Rich Cohen’s brilliant historical profile, The Fish That Ate the Whale, unveils Zemurray as a hidden kingmaker and capitalist revolutionary, driven by an indomitable will to succeed. Known as El Amigo, the Gringo, or simply Z, the Bananaman lived one of the great untold stories of the last hundred years. Starting with nothing but a cart of freckled bananas and built a sprawling empire of banana cowboys, Mestizo Indians, soldiers of fortune, Mafia loan-sharks, Honduran peasants and American Presidents. From hustling on the docks to bankrolling private wars, Zemurray emerges as an unforgettable figure, connected to the birth of modern American diplomacy, public relations, business and war.