Panama Fever: The Epic Story of the Building of the Panama by Matthew Parker

By Matthew Parker

The Panama Canal used to be the most costly project in background; its final touch in 1914 marked the start of the “American Century.” Panama Fever attracts on modern money owed, bringing the adventure of these who equipped the canal vividly to lifestyles. Politicians engaged in high-stakes international relations with a purpose to effect its building. in the meantime, engineers and staff from world wide rushed to exploit excessive wages and the opportunity to be part of heritage. packed with outstanding characters, Panama Fever is an epic background that indicates how a small, fiercely contested strip of land made the area a smaller position and introduced the period of yankee worldwide dominance.

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Extra info for Panama Fever: The Epic Story of the Building of the Panama Canal (Vintage)

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At Gorgona, originally a small town of a few hundred people, there was pandemonium. It quickly became a bottleneck in the flood across the Isthmus, as the eager gold hunters waited impatiently for scarce transport on the next leg of the journey Such was the shortage and demand that to hire a riding mule could cost up to $20. Numerous tents and shanties sprang up on the hills above the town. For the journey onward to Panama City, the “road” was diabolical. Over much of the twenty-one miles it was a trough rather than a track and if it was the wet season it would be swampy gunge, with mud up to five feet deep.

We are floating in one of the world's key commercial arteries. Since the opening of the canal, over a million ships have used it to travel between the great oceans, some fourteen thousand a year, now passing through twenty-four hours a day. In places the sides of the canal consist of sheer rock, in others there are elaborate terraces of crumbly, reddish soil mixed with dark boulders. Where the ground is flat lie neat, clipped lawns, the rich tropical jungle kept at a respectable distance. As it is before noon, the container carriers are heading from the Pacific to the Atlantic (traveling in a northerly direction).

But at last the weary travelers could descend to the Pacific and Panama City, which they found had quickly realized the money to be made from the prospectors. ” Most were American-owned and run. In the city much of the rushing stampede hit a brick wall, as there were at first insufficient ships to take the men on the next leg of their journey. Arriving steamers would be mobbed as a mass of people fought to get on board. The situation was made worse by the fact that most of the ships entering San Francisco lost their crews, who chose instead to join the gold rush.

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