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An American Company: The Tragedy of United Fruit (Anglais) Relié – 1976
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Don F. Holmgren
McCann's inside coverage of an epic American company - the corruption, the political influence, and the disregard for the immense negative impact on South America - is a case study of the importance of global ethics.
McCann mixes personal history and relationships with the 100 year history of one of the biggest US and global companies of all times (United Fruit / United Brands) - creator of "Banana Republics." The sensational writing makes it a great read - I was glued to every page - but it leaves me questioning his objectiveness as the story sometimes degraded to petty personal complaints. Much of the foreign politics are hear-say. The same book with more research behind it would be a must-read.
The book feels quickly written as though McCann rushed to get this out after Eli Black's death in 1975 (the kicking off point of the book). It assumes an intimate knowledge of early 1970's finances and politics that its 1976 audience would have had, but left me Wikipedia-ing details of the time.
Later this month Boston's Quinlan Press will reissue the business classic "An American Company; The Tragedy of United Fruit," a controversial inside account of the rise and fall of the original black-hatted multinational corporation. Written in 1976 by Thomas McCann, United's former vice president for public relations and now a Boston film maker, the book was an international bestseller, especially in the Soviet Union where it was revered as an anticapitalist manifesto.
Deeply enmeshed with the State Department and the CIA, and loyally financed by the Bank of Boston, United Fruit reigned as a de facto government in several Central American countries, earning it the derogatory nickname of E1 Pulpo, or the Octopus. The company was also the target of one of the first hostile takeovers, by corporate raider ELi Black, who became chairman and later committed suicide by jumping off the 44th floor of New York's Pan Am building as the company's fortunes soured.
Why republish now? "This is a story about the genesis of some of the problems we're facing in Central America today," says Henry Quinlan. Also due out from Quinlan: a tell-all autobiography from former Mercury astronaut Walter Schirra, in which Schirra blasts the current NASA management for its pre-occupation with worldly, budget-busting stunts -- like launching school teachers into space Bottom of Form
1976 Facts on File, November 13, 1976
U.S. firm linked to Bay of Pigs raid
United Brands Co. of the U.S., then known as United Fruit Co., had actively participated in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba at the request of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, according to a book published Oct. 21.
The book, titled "An American Company: The Tragedy of United Fruit," was written by Thomas P. McCann, a former vice president of the firm. McCann said United Fruit had dealt directly with the late Robert F. Kennedy, then U.S. attorney general, in planning the Bay of Pigs invasion. The CIA's main contract at the firm was the late J. Arther Marquettee, then vice president in charge of steamships and terminal operations, McCann said.
McCann quoted Marquette as saying that Kennedy "wanted us to supply two of our freighters to convey men, munitions and material during that invasion. The arrangements were made, and it was all very cloak and dagger: our own board of directors didn't know about it, and certainly only a handful of us with the company were party to the secret."
After the abortive invasion, McCann said, the logs of the two ships were sent to Washington, sealed with was and then returned to the company. "As far as I know, they are still in company valuts -- the official record of our participation in that fiasco permanently safe from public view," McCann said.
Burke Wright, United Brands' current public relations director, said he was unable to find anyone in the company who knew about its participation in the invasion, the Miami Herald reported Oct. 23.