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Path Between the Seas

Path Between the Seas

Written by David McCullough

Narrated by Nelson Runger


Path Between the Seas

Written by David McCullough

Narrated by Nelson Runger

ratings:
4.5/5 (58 ratings)
Length:
31 hours
Released:
Jan 4, 2011
ISBN:
9781442342149
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Winner of the National Book Award for history, The Path Between the Seas tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is a story of astonishing engineering feats, tremendous medical accomplishments, political power plays, heroic successes, and tragic failures. McCullough expertly weaves the many strands of this momentous event into a captivating tale.
Like his masterful, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography John Adams, David McCullough's The Path Between the Seas has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This audiobook is a must-listen for anyone interested in American history, international intrigue, and human drama.
Released:
Jan 4, 2011
ISBN:
9781442342149
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other acclaimed books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, Brave Companions, 1776, The Greater Journey, The American Spirit, and The Wright Brothers. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Visit DavidMcCullough.com.



Reviews

What people think about Path Between the Seas

4.5
58 ratings / 27 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    I've become a real fan of David McCullough's writing. He has a rare talent for writing history like few can. The Panama Canal didn't seem like an interesting topic when I began, but by the end I was astounded at the stories behind this enormous undertaking.? Some of the engineering and technical aspects went a little beyond my understanding. I found the most interesting parts to be about the medical challenges and the blend of politics and technical expertise that went into choosing the site for the canal and whether or not to build it ?a niveau?In my work, I've seen aspects of major projects such as pipelines and the creation or expansion of national parks. There are so many aspects to such projects and Mr. McCullough really shows the multiple issues and interests involved in building the canal, as he did for the Brooklyn Bridge. Some of the highlights for me were: the medical challenges, the kinds of society that developed in Panama, the role of the Canal in Panama's independence revolution, the French investment scandal and the ?cult of personality? surrounding de Lesseps.
  • (3/5)
    Another McCullough with depth and readability. There is much more to this book than just talking about the logistics of moving the dirt for the Panama Canal. The most interesting parts there are Gorgas annihilating yellow fever and malaria in Panama. Actual building of the locks is further down the book. It can easily be mind-numbingly boring. One of the interesting parts of the book was the description of the construction methods used in the completion of the canal locks. Very little time spent on explanation of the then cutting edge hydro electric system.
  • (4/5)
    This epic story of the construction of the Panama Canal, "the greatest engineering feat of all time", begins with the struggles of the French plans with its shortcomings and ends with the success of the United Sates endeavors to cut a corridor from the Pacific to the Atlantic.The details are tremendous telling how the French first decided to start the project after their success with the Suez Canal. The French were granted a concession by the Colombian government (then owners of Panama) to start the construction.Lacking engineering expertise on the team and coupled with the difficulties with the terrain and malaria/yellow fever, the French were doomed to failure. However, the US had its own issues with a preliminary project due to the political atmosphere. The US, with military recommendations pointing toward another site in Nicaragua, not Panama. When Colombia rejected United States plans to build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama, the U.S. supported a revolution that led to the independence of Panama in 1903 who ceded control of the Panama Canal Zone to the US, which took over the Panama sites in 1904. The efforts made in the next 10 years included the building of 4 dams and creation 2 man-made lakes. Research and studies have shown that even with today's technical advances, the construction couldn't have been any faster. What a fascinating project and thoroughly enlightening story told by a master storyteller.
  • (3/5)
    A lengthy but detailed work on how (and why!) a canal was attempted by the French and then completed by the US in Panama. There is very little looking forward in this book. How is it still relevant (the canal)? What are the implications of the canal going back to local contract? Lots of unanswered questions looking to the future, but this is a great overview on why we did it in the first place.
  • (5/5)
    McCullough has written an outstanding account of the creation the Panama Canal, starting with initial discussions as to whether the canal would be located in Panama or Nicaragua, proceeding to the France's failed attempt to build it, America's discussion on its location and subsequent resumption of the French efforts, its construction and the headaches and triumphs that came with it. He's managed to make his narrative quite readable and withstand the test of time. There are a lot of things that I find interesting in the narrative. I found the parts detailing Gorgas' fight against tropical diseases fascinating. I also particularly enjoyed the glimpses into the cultural and social life of canal workers fascinating. He paints fascinating pictures of both Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. A very readable history of a remarkable feat in engineering!
  • (5/5)
    This is a very good book. I learned quite a bit about the canal I had not known. It was no surprise that public officials in those days were just as hard headed as they are today. I always enjoy reading David McCullough his storylines always flow and keep you interested in the subject matter. I would recommend The Path Between The Seas to all readers.