Author Rich Cohen talks United Fruit, Sam Zemurray . . . and bananas

June 12, 2012

Here's what I'm sure about: You've never thought about reading a book about the banana business and/or Sam Zemurray, the guy perhaps most responsible building it.

Here's what I'm also sure about: You absolutely should read The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King, by Rich Cohen. 

It's the story of a Russian immigrant who started as a lowly fruit peddler and became one of this country's biggest businessmen — one you feel like celebrating one moment and condemning the next. It's also the story of the United States as it rose to dominance in the 20th century. And Cohen is a writer whose passion for his subject bleeds through on every page.

Here Rich Cohen talks about the book — under The Interview Show's new lighting and camera set-up! (Big, big thanks to Ben Chandler and Kevin Viol and for Adam Peindl for helping out with the cameras.)