The Path Between The Seas – The Creation of the Panama Canal

“The Path Between The Seas” tells the story of the creation of the Panama Canal. In the hands of the author, David McCulloch, what could otherwise have been a dull account about digging a ditch becomes a thrilling account worthy of any crime novel.

Published 4 years ago

Newsweek said at the launch of this book “McCulloch is a storyteller with the capacity to steer readers through political, financial and engineering intricacies without fatigue or muddle. This is grand-scale expert work”.

Ferdinand de Lesseps was a hero of France having created many millionaires who backed his successful venture to build the Suez Canal.  It was only natural, therefore, that he would receive overwhelming political and financial support when he was successful in his bid to build the Panama Canal.

Unfortunately, he made one disastrous mistake, which ultimately brought France to its knees almost to the point of bankruptcy. He believed he could replicate the Suez Canal and create a passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific without any locks.

Anyone who has been through the Panama Canal will remember the Gaillard Cut, formerly known as the Culebra Cut. Lesseps downfall was sealed here when his attempt to excavate down to sea level failed miserably.

The venture was rescued by the USA who took control in 1904 and it was due to the efforts of a railway engineer and an army doctor that the Panama Canal was ever completed. However behind that summary is a tale of intrigue, misery, and skulduggery.

This is an enthralling story about the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the dream of building a waterway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It contains all the elements of high drama with international intrigue, questionable financial shenanigans, life-changing medical discoveries and political scandals.

If the Panama Canal is on your wish list, or you have transited before, this book should be considered essential reading. Having read the book first, I saw the Panama Canal in a whole new light when I made the transit. For everyone else who has an interest in American history or the history of science and engineering or just want a thoroughly good read, then this book is a worthy investment.

Tom Sampson

Read and Post Related Comments

You must Login or Register to submit comments.