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Panama Fever: The Epic Story of One of the Greatest Human Achievements of All Time-- the Building of the Panama Canal

by Matthew Parker

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321881,800 (3.85)3
The building of the Panama Canal was one of the greatest engineering feats in human history. A tale of exploration, conquest, money, politics, and medicine, Panama Fever charts the challenges that marked the long, labyrinthine road to the building of the canal. Drawing on a wealth of new materials and sources, Matthew Parker brings to life the men who recognized the impact a canal would have on global politics and economics, and adds new depth to the familiar story of Teddy Roosevelt's remarkable triumph in making the waterway a reality. As thousands of workers succumbed to dysentery, yellow fever, and malaria, scientists raced to stop the deadly epidemics so that work could continue. The treatments they developed changed the course of medical history. The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 spelled the end of the Victorian Age and the beginning of the "American Century." Panama Fever brilliantly captures the innovative thinking and backbreaking labor, as well as the commercial and political interests, that helped make America a global power.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Very nice book about the building of the Panama Canal. Twenty-five chapters. I read the eBook version. ( )
  MrDickie | Nov 13, 2021 |
Panama Fever: The Building of the Panama Canal by Matthew Parker This is the whole story of the canal and I'm convinced that nothing is left out, it is so comprehensive if not mind numbing at times.A well written and cohesive account that ceratinly goes overboard on statistics and dates and at times I thought that comprehensiveness outweighed comprehensibility.Interestingly interwoven with first hand accounts from both white and black folks albeit with very different stories to tell depending on their race. Certainly not an exercise in enlightenment and no surprises given the American running of stage two of the canal. The French stage failed due to bad planning, lack of finance and a fatally flawed plan. The black workers that spanned both stages stated that life was better under the French.The treatment of non-American and non-white Americans is as bad as you can ever imagine but given the age I guess not surprising.Judgement apart, this is a well researched and well written piece of work.ProsWell researchedWell writtenComprehensiveGood flowConsLong winded ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
This tells the story of the Panama Canal from the origins of the idea with the Spanish explorers to the completion of the canal at the start of WW I. Lots of detail and firsthand accounts, but Parker does a nice job of moving the story along, explaining the technical details without bogging down the human story. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
For a book about a place with so much water - this book was bone dry! I drudged through it hoping it would get better, but no such luck. Too much concentration on the political and scheming side of the construction and NOT on the actual building of the canal. ( )
  yukon92 | Dec 28, 2015 |
Here is what I knew about the Panama Canal before reading this book:
Yellow Fever-something about Walter Reed.
"A Man, A Plan, A Canal: Panama!"

This wonderfully written book takes the reader past the palindrome and examines the history of the Panama Canal from the time the French succeeded with Suez. It's easy to forget the amount of time and work that went into getting the funds, planning the canal, and the debates about which plan to enact-all before America was even in the Panama picture. My understanding of this time in world history has been enhanced greatly because Parker explains everything about the workers, planners, and revolutionaries (both the good kind and the bad) that were instrumental in the American work on the Panama Canal. ( )
  kaelirenee | May 17, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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The building of the Panama Canal was one of the greatest engineering feats in human history. A tale of exploration, conquest, money, politics, and medicine, Panama Fever charts the challenges that marked the long, labyrinthine road to the building of the canal. Drawing on a wealth of new materials and sources, Matthew Parker brings to life the men who recognized the impact a canal would have on global politics and economics, and adds new depth to the familiar story of Teddy Roosevelt's remarkable triumph in making the waterway a reality. As thousands of workers succumbed to dysentery, yellow fever, and malaria, scientists raced to stop the deadly epidemics so that work could continue. The treatments they developed changed the course of medical history. The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 spelled the end of the Victorian Age and the beginning of the "American Century." Panama Fever brilliantly captures the innovative thinking and backbreaking labor, as well as the commercial and political interests, that helped make America a global power.

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