Banana Republic by Eric Sean Rawson is about the comedic struggle of William Sydney Porter during the banana wars of the early 20th century in the fictional Coralio. Porter gets in over his head when he lands in Central America and establishes a newspaper. As he gets settled amid the conflict between the US and native interests, he faces opposition from Walter Whitaker, who is seeking to advance US commercial interests in the area, particularly for his fruit business.
Historically, military interventions, as depicted in the novel, were most often carried out by the US marines and robber barons, which Porter fights using his paper at his own peril. As Whitaker plots against Porter and uses his power to influence the local government, the situation is reminiscent of US actions in Honduras.
While those conflicts were real, Rawson paints an interesting proxy that feels real and compelling. Banana Republic mirrors the historical realities of the time as contracts between local governments and US companies most often involved exclusive rights to a piece of land in exchange for building railroads.
A fun and interesting historical snapshot, Banana Republic is an easy read that will transport you to a fraught tropical paradise, with compelling, curious, and witty characters. In this surefire page-turner, follow Rawson’s Sydney Porter as he struggles against authority to eventually become the legendary writer, O. Henry.
|Page Count||261 pages|
|Publisher||Regal House Publishing|
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