The elite truly believed they could do anything, at whatever human or ecological price, and the forces of progress would prevail. Lots of detail and firsthand accounts, but Parker Starting as a story of European Victorian confidence and hubris, it develops, via one of history's greatest engineering disasters, into an account of America's ruthless triumph over vast obstacles as it moves forward to dominate the twentieth century.
One noticed that the tops of the trees, the only parts poking up out of the brown floodwaters, were black and moving. Most fascinating for me were the scientific breakthroughs regarding malaria, Yellow Fever and other diseases going on in parallel with thousands upon thousands of workers and administrators dying during the building.
Matthew Parker explores the fierce geo-political struggle behind the heroic vision of the canal, and the immense engineering and medical battles that were fought. Vast numbers never returned. Ferdinand de Lesseps, fresh from his triumph completing the Suez canal, woefully overreached both himself and France by opting for a sea-level route.Most fascinating for me were the scientific breakthroughs regarding malaria, Yellow Fever and other diseases going on in parallel with thousands upon thousands of workers and administrators dying during the building. Average rating:4out of5stars, based on0reviews Having been all the wa It is a shame. This was war waged not just on the rocks and the trees by humans, but on whoever came to Panama for the cause. For the campaign generals the draw was history itself. African-American workers looking for work there were soon disillusioned as well. But he also weaves in the stories of the ordinary men and women who worked on the canal, to evoke everyday life on the construction and depict the battle on the ground deep in 'Hell's Gorge'. The fact that it covers almost all bases by the end means you can have no real complaints, although it works best, I think, as a dip-in-and-out reference book rather than a read-cover-to-cover history. William C. They were desperate for cash, but underpinning the whole enterprise, argues Parker, were concepts of national duty, patriotism and self-denial for the greater good. Overall, it was a fine book; a bit rushed toward the end but still quite good.
The author's look at US intervention in Panamanian politics was eye-opening as well. Gorgas, later Surgeon General of the US in his advocating of the eradication of conditions that were conducive to the spread of these diseases.