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

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

Matthew Parker William Dufris / Feb 28, 2020

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

  • Title: Panama Fever: The Epic Story of One of the Greatest Human Achievements of All Time-the Building of the Panama Canal
  • Author: Matthew Parker William Dufris
  • ISBN: 9781602833562
  • Page: 257
  • Format: Audio CD
  • 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 impactThe 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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      Published :2019-07-06T09:13:18+00:00

    About "Matthew Parker William Dufris"

      • Matthew Parker William Dufris

        I m currently working on a new book, due to be published in August 2015, that tells the extraordinary story of Willoughbyland, the forgotten seventeenth century English colony in Suriname that was exchanged with the Dutch for New York.When not reading, writing or staring out of the window, I love making sushi, pubs, growing stuff and visiting remote places.I m a member of the Authors Cricket Club, and wrote a chapter of A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon I am also a contributor to the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Sweets.I live in East London with my wife, three children and annoying dog.


    1. I started this book in a comfortable state-of-mind, in a comfortable chair, and in comfortable clothes. I finished in a humid environment, sweat pouring down, fighting off the mozzies trying to bite me. Yes, it was the height of summer, but still I think the writing had something to do with my changed state of affairs. This book is quite an achievement, taking us from the early explorations of the Europeans to the Central America isthmus through the final completion via the Americans. The jungle [...]

    2. Sometimes, when reading non-fiction, there will be on person that sort of jumps out. Not necessarily someone who was terribly important to the events, but just because they'll have a funny name, or happen to be the one that kept the most extensive diary and get quoted a lot, or have participated in some stupid but illustrative anecdote or something, and then going forward I kind of keep an eye out for them. In this instance, the person is one Claude Mallet, British acting-consul to Panama and as [...]

    3. As an engineer, my life has been dedicated to projects. I have worked on hundreds of them during my career and a typical drive through Southern California will usually bring me to within close proximity of at least one transformation of land that can be attributed to a personal contribution. To many, these things may appear as objects that exist for their own use, created to make life easier: roads, buildings, water towers, dams. And even though my involvement with their creation imprints a pers [...]

    4. Having been all the way through the canal within the past few months, I picked up this book to try to get a feel for how this marvel of engineering came about. Parker's book is very well written and does a fine job of explaining the history of the building of the canal so that non-technical people like myself can understand it. He begins in the time of the Spanish explorers, when Balboa was able to walk from ocean to ocean over the narrow isthmus of land there, through the French efforts and deb [...]

    5. This book was strongly recommended by a friend who visited us in Panama earlier this year. Since we have now left Panama after living there for 6 years, I figured it was a case of "better late than never", that this book would prove a nice nostalgic read but little more. After all, I had visited the Canal Museum a dozen times at least, I had watched ships go by from the observation deck many times, and I even participated in the Ocean-to-Ocean cayuco race in 2007 which means i actually rowed the [...]

    6. Another grand slam from Matthew Parker in my humble opinion and it's now official: this guy is my new favorite history author.Panama Fever tells the story of the building of the Panama Canal which at the time was one of the greatest construction projects of all time. This massive task which was begun and abandoned by the French and then taken up by the US would see the removal of hundreds of millions of cubic yards of soil, tens of thousands of workers from a vast number of countries and project [...]

    7. 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.

    8. I almost gave this book a three star review but held off because it was just the narrator of the audiobook brining the rating down. I am very thankful to be listening to a different audiobook now with a much better narrator. (A British accent usually solves everything.) This narrator also stopped, cleared his throat and backtracked to the beginning of the sentence before continuing. That probably has more to say about the editing director than the narrator but still. I also have to admit that wh [...]

    9. Hace unos cuantos años vi este libro en Metromedia, y no lo compré porque basándome en el reverso del libro, pero pareció que el libro iba a servir para argumentar la gloria de los Estados Unidos y ensalzar su intervención en la geopolítica regional. Sin embargo, tras haberlo concluido, puedo corroborar que estaba equivocado. Matthew Parker en realidad hace una investigación minuciosa e imparcial de los hechos, tal como diversos registros lo pintan. Más allá de las jugadas políticas du [...]

    10. Detailed and comprehensive history of the Panama Canal from the early days of the French effort to the completion by the US. Clearly building the canal in such a disease infested area was a problem to say the least - nobody knows the death toll but is was certainly huge. Another age for sure - such casualties wouldn't even be considered remotely acceptable today.Interesting history of Panama itself and it's relationship to and with the US. Hadn't appreciated the roll the US played in getting thi [...]

    11. A trip to Panama prompted me to purchase and read Matthew Parker's, Panama Fever. Parker's epic isthmus history covers over 400 years, but he takes his reader on a fascinating and thrilling political, social, and technical journey, not to mention a few memorable tangents, of what it took to locate and build the canal. Peopled with colorful, tragic and heroic characters, I would think 'Panama Fever' would be a good read even if you were never planning on visiting Panama and its canal. A splendid [...]

    12. Pros:- This is a well written story.- Very Organized and clear.- Very Detailed and informative.Cons:- The majority of the book is about the pre-stage of building the Canal, and not enough words on the "during" and the "after" phase.- It talks a lot about the " people " involved with the canal and it's establishment but not much about the canal itself.- It's more of a social history surrounding the era of building the canal.

    13. This book makes me want to go through the canal. This is a decent history of the tortuous building of the canal and the politics surrounding it, with lots of personal stories from the people involved.

    14. Interesting book. I am sure there are some out there that might be a little better about the subject but all-in-all an interesting read.

    15. What amazed me most about the book is the amount of information the author has collected from multiple sources while putting together this epic story in the form of a book. The smallest of incidents that happened more than a century back are all well documented and archived in multiple sources. The book is about the epic story of building one of the greatest engineering marvels of the modern era the Panama canal. For centuries kings,business leaders and explorers were constantly looking at ways [...]

    16. In this brilliant historical epic that rivals and in some ways exceeds David McCullough’s mighty tome, The Path Between the Seas, from the author of The Battle of Britain and Monte Cassino, Matthew Parker tells a tale that will not be ready lightly in Panama Fever. For those looking for a quick, short story about how the Panama Canal got built, turn away now. For those wanting to know how much back-breaking labor, how many lives were lost, how many companies and families were bankrupted, and h [...]

    17. They say the slaves built the pyramids! They built the Panama Canal too. The workers suffered from Yellow Fever, Malaria, malnutrition, heat and wet, unfair working conditions, racism, and hideous accidents. But their work is monumental. After 100 years the locks at the Panama Canal are still intact and working. This is an amazing account of an amazing work. I loved it.The French began the digging in 1880. The US finished the job in 1914. But the idea, planning and hoping started long before 188 [...]

    18. SUMMARY: A thrilling tale of exploration, conquest, money, politics, and medicineThe Panama Canal was the costliest undertaking in human history. It literally required moving mountains, breaking the back of the great range that connects North and South America. Begun by the French in 1880, its successful completion in 1914 by the Americans marked the end of the Victorian Age and the beginning of the “American Century.” The building of the Panama Canal was a project whose gestation spanned hu [...]

    19. This book should be of great interest to those who are students of history, or have an interest in the building of the Panama Canal. The Canal was the costliest undertaking in history starting with the French in 1880 and finishing with the United States in 1914. The book goes into detail as to the politics and engineering of builing the canal. The political problems were almost as difficult as the engineering problems. When reading the book the reader will sometimes wonder how the canal ever got [...]

    20. (Audiobook review)Simply a tour de force. The breadth and depth of this book is immense. It feels very well researched. The pace is overall quite good. The intrigue is just at the level that I believe it at face value, rather than suspecting over hyping in order to turn pages and sell books.My knowledge of the era is poor and of the canal in particular terrible. This book passed my test by giving me tidbits of knowledge that I want to pass on and talk to other people about. This book is French p [...]

    21. It's nice to know that someone has done the Panama Canal story in depth and detail. I'd always encountered it as one of those important but boring events in history that didn't warrant much more than the once-over it got in the textbooks. Parker shows us what a long and involved ordeal it was. The nightmarish logistics of gathering, paying, sustaining and disciplining thousands of men in absolutely wretched conditions are detailed with sober directness. The ravages of tropical disease are descri [...]

    22. 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 [...]

    23. An enjoyable tale of the building of the Panama Canal. I read "Path Between the Seas" by David McCullough about seven years ago, but I can't remember how good that was compared to this book. This book definitely flowed well -- it has just enough information to keep it informative while still remaining interesting and continuing the story. It's really an amazing story. I think most people take for granted this major accomplishment, similar to how many people take for granted landing a man on the [...]

    24. One of the things that makes history writing so fruitful is the number of different ways one can approach the same events. When I learned about the Panama Canal in grade school, the primary emphasis was on the victory over Yellow Fever, with a secondary emphasis on the split between Panama and Colombia. While Matthew Parker has managed to discuss many topics, his special emphasis is on race relations. While progress was made in almost all fields of endeavor during the decades of canal constructi [...]

    25. Parker's book on the building of the Panama Canal is heavy on the worker's point of view. The book is engaging and very readable. Most of the history we learned in David McCullough's book on the Panama Canal almost 30 years ago. Parker's book sheds light on the average laborer working on the canal, both during the French and American period.It must be stated that without Caribbean labor, the canal would never have been completed.Like most huge engineering endeavors, many gave their lives for thi [...]

    26. ["Read" via unabridged audiobook.]In my professional life I work on large engineering projects, so I'm naturally hearing about other ones. Great engineering projects in an earlier time are interesting because the technology is so central to the activity, yet the human motivations, ambitions, and demands are so similar even when separated by more than a century.This book goes into what felt like considerable detail, and covered the earlier aborted French attempt as much as the successful American [...]

    27. Matthew Parker's Panama Fever is an outstanding book. I read it in two shifts. The first shift was before making a trip to the Panama Canal in May. After my return I picked it up again. Here's what I did not expect. It is a very good study of American racism. The line that sticks with me remember Panama was south of the Mason-Dixon line. But it was more than that. Sometimes I think, perhaps we have advanced, but then a quick review of our political situation with its own racism. Nope, haven't ch [...]

    28. A Man, a Plan, a Canal -- Panama!Much was the*yellow fever*malaria*incompetence*venality*danger*dirt*machinery*ambition*moolah*prejudice*secrecy*esprit de corps*corruption*comradery400 years in the imagining; 40 years in the executing. Result: a hundred-years canal that still wows and continues to serve. Parker tells the story of the canal with great verve. If you've already read McCullough's Path Between the Seas, Panama Fever might not be an essential read, but it's fascinating nonetheless and [...]

    29. I don't think this is as good a book as David McCullough's The Path Between the Seas. McCullough's portrait of Ferdinand de Lesseps, the Frenchman who tried to build the canal 30 years before it was actually built was memorable. Parker's book is not as well written but on the other hand it does spend more time focusing on the workers who built the canal and the structure of discrimination that was built by the US when it was its turn to finish the canal. Some time I'll have to go there and see i [...]

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