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Download Panama Fever: The Epic Story of the Building of the Panama Canal Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Panama Fever: The Epic Story of the Building of the Panama Canal, by Matthew Parker Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (183 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Matthew Parker Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The building of the Panama Canal was one of the greatest engineering feats in human history. A tale of exploration, conquest, money, politics, and medicine, Panama Fever charts the challenges that marked the long, labyrinthine road to the building of the canal. Drawing on a wealth of new materials and sources, Matthew Parker brings to life the men who recognized the impact a canal would have on global politics and economics, and adds new depth to the familiar story of Teddy Roosevelt’s remarkable triumph in making the waterway a reality. As thousands of workers succumbed to dysentery, yellow fever, and malaria, scientists raced to stop the deadly epidemics so that work could continue. The treatments they developed changed the course of medical history. The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 spelled the end of the Victorian Age and the beginning of the “American Century.” Panama Fever brilliantly captures the innovative thinking and backbreaking labor, as well as the commercial and political interests, that helped make America a global power. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An epic tale of human folly and endeavor, beautifully told and researched.”

    John le Carré, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Parker offers a detailed study of the myriad personalities and design plans associated with the work, but his limpid prose is best suited to accounts of the dangers the laborers faced.”

    The New Yorker

  • “An absolutely gripping account of the canal’s conception and construction…Exemplary history, vigorously told with a respect for complexity that enriches rather than obscures the pleasure of a great story”

    Los Angeles Times

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Barbara | 2/16/2014

    " This was a fascinating story. It was a slow go at times, but I learned so much about the history of the Canal in anticipation of a Panama Cruise in April 2012. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Russell Woodward | 1/31/2014

    " at times, i got into this book for hours. then i'd put it aside and quit listening. there was a lot of great information with tons of "against all odds" tales about different parts of the canal. give this a listen or a read if you want to learn the intricacies of the canal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nancy Oakes | 1/30/2014

    " Having been all the way through the canal within the past few months, I picked up this book to try to get a feel for how this marvel of engineering came about. Parker's book is very well written and does a fine job of explaining the history of the building of the canal so that non-technical people like myself can understand it. He begins in the time of the Spanish explorers, when Balboa was able to walk from ocean to ocean over the narrow isthmus of land there, through the French efforts and debacle under the aegis of Ferdinand deLesseps, the builder of the Suez Canal, through the Americans time there and their ultimate completion of the Canal. What Parker manages to convey is that the story of how America got its foothold in Panama is not a pretty one. Nor was the story of its construction -- the death tolls were staggering. Another plus of this book is that Parker avoids telling the story from solely the views of American white men; he takes a lot of his information from journals and stories left behind by workers from Jamaica and Barbados, whose treatment as minorities was unequal to say the very least. African-American workers looking for work there were soon disillusioned as well. Even though the people from the West Indies were lauded by the engineers as being the best workers, their treatment was deplorable. Parker also looks at the toll taken by diseases (yellow fever, malaria) and how the US Government at first pooh-poohed the efforts of Dr. William C. Gorgas, later Surgeon General of the US in his advocating of the eradication of conditions that were conducive to the spread of these diseases. The author's look at US intervention in Panamanian politics was eye-opening as well. Overall, it was a fine book; a bit rushed toward the end but still quite good. I would have liked to have read more about the effects of the canal-building effort on the environment, but I suppose that's another volume unto itself. Recommended for people who like a well-written and easily accessible history; also for people who are interested in the topic. Beware -- it's a weighty book but imho, well worth every second spent reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Richard | 1/26/2014

    " Great book to read before going through the Panama Canal. I read it and then went through it in their dry season. I need to go through one more time during rainy season. "

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About the Author

Matthew Parker is the author of several works of nonfiction, including Monte Cassino: The Hardest-Fought Battle of World War II; the Los Angeles Times bestseller Panama Fever, which was a 2008 Washington Post Best Book of the Year; and The Sugar Barons, which was an Economist Book of the Year. He lives in London.