The story of the Panama Canal's construction has been told many times, notably by David McCullough in his bestseller The Path Between the Seas (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1977). Begun in May 1904, the forty-mile (64-km) canal was built by the Isthmian Canal Commission (ICC), a civilian branch of the U. S. Department of War. It was completed by August 1914 at a cost of $352 million. During that decade, 150,000 people, mostly West Indians, worked on the project. What Alexander Missal, a German journalist with a PhD in Anglo-American History from the University of Cologne, and Julie Greene, a professor of history at the University of Maryland, have achieved in their books is to add valuable new dimensions to our understanding of the canal's construction and reception, and of the daily lives of those who built it. In Seaway...

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