I finally got a chance to read The Fish That Ate The Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King by Rich Cohen, which Ryan Holiday mentioned a few times in his emails and posts. It was AWESOME.
It was such a fascinating rags to riches story about a Russian Jewish immigrant to America who through hard work and a detail-oriented, reality-based perspective built successful businesses. It was incredible to read how he shaped the world around him to meet his goals: overthrowing governments so they would not mess with his business, buying the same piece of land from two disputing owners to avoid bureaucracy and lawyers, and helping to create and protect the Israeli state through the guise of his banana business. It was also super interesting for me to hear about his life in New Orleans and his impact on the city, having visited NOLA a couple years ago for the first time.
This is not a book about bananas or pirates; it's a book about hard work, ingenuity, Jewish chutzpah, and the unwavering belief in one's own agency in the face of obstacles of any size.