No, I'm not talking about Hillary supporters who think she's got a real shot at being the nominee now that she's won PA (though, the term does apply).  I'm talking about a new book, Banana: the Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World.  I have not read (and I probably won't), but there was a wonderfully entertaining interview with the author last month on Fresh Air— it allowed me to innundate my friends with fascinating (to me, at least) banana factoids for days.  Should you not want to make the 40 minute commitment (well, worth it) to the Fresh Air podcast, last week Salon ran a nice story highlighting many of the most interesting parts of the book, well worth your 5 minutes.  Some of the juicier parts (let's just say, Banana Republic was an appropriate name:

The mass-produced banana first came to the United States in the 19th
century. As the next century rolled on, buccaneering banana men
pioneered such innovative business practices as propping up puppet
heads of states throughout Latin America, keeping them in power through
corporate largesse, and exploiting local workers, when not actually
encouraging local governments to enslave or kill them. By building
railroads, in exchange for land for plantations, United Fruit tightly
entwined itself with the economies of many countries, and came to own
huge swaths of Central America. Its reach was so extensive that it
became known as “the Octopus.”

When local leaders threatened taxes or complained about the
company's abysmal labor practices, such as paying workers exclusively
in company scrip to be spent only at the company store, United Fruit
threatened to leave the country, taking its business next door. Mere
bribes to local officials were strictly junior varsity in this jungle.

In some countries, United Fruit blatantly paid no taxes at all for
decades. In others, when troubled by local officials, it simply
installed a more sympathetic government. In Honduras in 1911, the
banana men not only staged an invasion to depose the current regime and
put in a new one, they had the audacity to demand the new government
reimburse the costs incurred in the invasion!

On the purely fruit front, I was quite intrigued to learn that the bananas we eat today, are a much inferior product to the ones, an entirely different species, that Americans happily consumed 50 years ago, before they were done in by disease. 

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