31st out of 46 books — 9 voters
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The Banana Men: American Mercenaries and Entrepreneurs in Central America, 1880-1930
Ambitious entrepreneurs, isthmian politicians, and mercenaries who dramatically altered Central America's political culture, economies, and even its traditional social values populate this lively story of a generation of North and Central Americans and their roles in the transformation of Central America from the late nineteenth century until the onset of the Depression. T ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 28th 1995 by University Press of Kentucky
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As Lester Langley and Thomas Schoonover so succinctly summarize, The Banana Men “is a book about North and Central Americans and their role in the transformation of Central America during the U.S. imperial era from the late nineteenth century to the onset of the Great Depression” (1). From roughly 1880 until 1930 the modern economies of both the United States and Central America took form, and a few individuals—the “Banana Men”—played important roles in shaping the future of U.S./Central America ...more
This book serves as a guide for the men who fought in Central America from the 1880's through the great depression. It recounts their exploits but really does not get into their motives. Simply calling them soldiers of fortune does not make sense when their exploits are explored in detail. I think this book has value as a starting guide except for the fact that it requires a lot of knowledge on the history to begin with. The author's attempts at trying to determine which groups were responsible ...more
A collection of inter-related stories about various mercenaries and various wars in Central America. Some of the stories are intense, esp. the stories of The Fighting Jew, Lee Christmas and Guy "Machine Gun" Maloney. It's also to read about early U.S. imperialism and how it was connected to monetary concerns of U.S. multi-national corporations (esp. the concerns of The United Fruit Company).
Jan 18, 2012 Lauren rated it 4 of 5 stars
Solid contextual piece for the Central American wars and skirmishes during the late 19th and early 20th-century. Chapters focus primarily on Nicaragua and Honduras, although Guatemala and El Salvador come into play.
Lester D. Langley is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Georgia.More about Lester D. Langley...