Hell's Gorge: The Battle to Build the Panama Canal

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9780099484332: Hell's Gorge: The Battle to Build the Panama Canal

2014 is the 100-year-anniversary of the panama canal: one of the most extraordinary engineering feats in world history. Hell's Gorge traces a heroic dream that spanned four centuries: to build a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.The human cost was immense: in appalling working conditions and amid epidemics of fever, tens of thousands perished fighting the jungle, swamps and mountains of Panama, a scale of attrition comparable to many great battles. Matthew Parker explores the fierce geo-political struggle behind the heroic vision of the canal, and the immense engineering and medical battles that were fought. But he also weaves in the stories of the ordinary men and women who worked on the canal, to evoke everyday life on the construction and depict the battle on the ground deep in 'Hell's Gorge'. Using diaries, memoirs, contemporary newspapers and previously unseen private letters, he draws a vivid picture of the heart-breaking struggle on the Isthmus, in particular that of the British West Indians who made up the majority of the canal workforce. Hell's Gorge is a tale of politics, finance, press manipulation, scandal and intrigue, populated by a dazzling cast of idealists and bullies, heroes and conmen. But it is also a moving tribute to the 'Forgotten Silvermen', so many of whom died to fulfil the centuries-old canal dream.

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From the Back Cover:

‘Matthew Parker has picked a fascinating subject and written a book worthy of it... It’s a story of engineering, labour relations, disease, financial crises, politics, idealism and skulduggery. It is peopled with a host of characters, some heroic, others corrupt, almost all out of the ordinary. There isn’t a dull page, and if this book isn’t a candidate for all the non-fiction prizes going, I shall be disappointed.’ Allan Massie, Daily Telegraph

‘Today other armies of impoverished workmen build Dubai, Shanghai or the Three Gorges Dam with barely a murmur of the real price paid by them and by nature. It is a shame. We need writers capable of depicting these epic projects with the same skill Parker brings to portraying the 19th century’s great engineering dream.’ Guardian

‘Parker has written the Panama story for a new generation. He quotes extensively from letters and diaries of ordinary workers writing home to their families. And it is their heartfelt views on the conditions in which they lived and worked that really bring this book to life’ Economist

‘Matthew Parker intertwines the various strands of the story – personal and national, political and financial, geographical and technological – with finesse... Best of all, his prose somehow manages to infect the reader with the Panama fever itself. It is no mean achievement’ Spectator

About the Author:

Born in Central America, Matthew Parker spent part of his childhood in the West Indies, acquiring a life-long fascination with the history of the region. Since graduating from Oxford, he has worked as an editorial consultant on a number of works of history, and written two bestselling books. He now lives with his family in east London. His most recent book was The Sugar Barons.

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 2014 is the 100-year-anniversary of the panama canal: one of the most extraordinary engineering feats in world history. Hell s Gorge traces a heroic dream that spanned four centuries: to build a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The human cost was immense: in appalling working conditions and amid epidemics of fever, tens of thousands perished fighting the jungle, swamps and mountains of Panama, a scale of attrition comparable to many great battles. Matthew Parker explores the fierce geo-political struggle behind the heroic vision of the canal, and the immense engineering and medical battles that were fought. But he also weaves in the stories of the ordinary men and women who worked on the canal, to evoke everyday life on the construction and depict the battle on the ground deep in Hell s Gorge . Using diaries, memoirs, contemporary newspapers and previously unseen private letters, he draws a vivid picture of the heart-breaking struggle on the Isthmus, in particular that of the British West Indians who made up the majority of the canal workforce. Hell s Gorge is a tale of politics, finance, press manipulation, scandal and intrigue, populated by a dazzling cast of idealists and bullies, heroes and conmen. But it is also a moving tribute to the Forgotten Silvermen , so many of whom died to fulfil the centuries-old canal dream. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099484332

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 2014 is the 100-year-anniversary of the panama canal: one of the most extraordinary engineering feats in world history. Hell s Gorge traces a heroic dream that spanned four centuries: to build a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.The human cost was immense: in appalling working conditions and amid epidemics of fever, tens of thousands perished fighting the jungle, swamps and mountains of Panama, a scale of attrition comparable to many great battles. Matthew Parker explores the fierce geo-political struggle behind the heroic vision of the canal, and the immense engineering and medical battles that were fought. But he also weaves in the stories of the ordinary men and women who worked on the canal, to evoke everyday life on the construction and depict the battle on the ground deep in Hell s Gorge . Using diaries, memoirs, contemporary newspapers and previously unseen private letters, he draws a vivid picture of the heart-breaking struggle on the Isthmus, in particular that of the British West Indians who made up the majority of the canal workforce. Hell s Gorge is a tale of politics, finance, press manipulation, scandal and intrigue, populated by a dazzling cast of idealists and bullies, heroes and conmen. But it is also a moving tribute to the Forgotten Silvermen , so many of whom died to fulfil the centuries-old canal dream. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099484332

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Book Description Cornerstone, 2008. Book Condition: New. 2008. paperback / softback. Paperback. Traces a heroic dream that spanned four centuries: to build a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This book explores the fierce geo-political struggle behind the heroic vision of the canal, and the immense engineering and medical battles that were fought. Num Pages: 464 pages, 16. BIC Classification: 1KLCPC; HBJK. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 130 x 30. Weight in Grams: 350. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099484332

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Book Description Cornerstone. Book Condition: New. 2008. paperback / softback. Paperback. Traces a heroic dream that spanned four centuries: to build a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This book explores the fierce geo-political struggle behind the heroic vision of the canal, and the immense engineering and medical battles that were fought. Num Pages: 464 pages, 16. BIC Classification: 1KLCPC; HBJK. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 130 x 30. Weight in Grams: 350. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099484332

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; 2014 is the 100-year-anniversary of the panama canal: one of the most extraordinary engineering feats in world history. Hell's Gorge traces a heroic dream that spanned four centuries: to build a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The human cost was immense: in appalling working condition. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780099484332_rkm

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