Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Frontmatter

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. vii

Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-x

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xii

Originally conceived as a shortcut, the Panama Canal does not always serve this purpose, asWoody Allen’s character Alvy Singer and I can testify. After many years of discussion, research, and writing, I am pleased to be able to thank the people and institutions instrumental in the...

read more

Approaching the Panama Canal: An Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-20

The Panama Canal, at least from a Western perspective, is a feature of world history. It symbolizes a century-old dream, the passage to India, connecting oceans and continents. At the time of its completion in 1914, it was an engineering feat of unique and mind-boggling dimensions...

read more

1. Logistics of Expansion: The Long Road to Realization

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-54

For the European explorers and conquerors, the Isthmus of Panama was a historic place. On his fourth voyage, Christopher Columbus entered the mouth of the Chagres, still believing he was facing the coast of East Asia. Nine years later, in 1513, the Spaniard Vasco Nu

read more

2. American Triumph: Explaining the Canal Project

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 55-79

When most of the Panama authors were writing their books and articles, the Canal had almost become a reality. But could the average American actually comprehend what had been achieved in the Isthmian jungle, thousands of miles away, employing technological and...

read more

3. The Engineered View: The Panama Canal in Pictures

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 80-121

In their efforts to interpret the building of the Panama Canal, policymakers and popular authors relied both on texts and images. The dimensions of the project surpassed all prior achievements in the history of engineering. At the same time, it took shape in a foreign country, in...

read more

4. Ideal Community: The Canal Zone as an American Utopia

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 122-163

The staggering dimensions of the Panama Canal and the wonder of the engineering work were the main factors that drew the public’s attention to the Isthmus. The Panama authors devoted a large part of their descriptions and interpretations to the construction of the giant...

read more

5. Celebrating the Canal: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 164-196

The success stories of the Panama authors had all been written with a happy ending in mind: the grand opening of the waterway. But political developments in Europe interfered, and the event turned into an anti-climax. On June 28, 1914, a Serb nationalist killed the heir to the...

read more

Conclusion: Visiting a Construction Site

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 197-201

A few years before its centennial, the Panama Canal essentially remains the same structure that was completed in 1914. Even though some ships had already been too big for the passage by the 1930s, few changes were made in the following decades. Only...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 203-259

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 261-267