The Canal Builders by Julie Greene
Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal (The Penguin History of American Life)

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A revelatory look at a momentous undertaking-from the workers' point of view

The Panama Canal has long been celebrated as a triumph of American engineering and ingenuity. In The Canal Builders, Julie Greene reveals that this emphasis has obscured a far more remarkable element of the historic enterprise: the tens of thousands of workingmen and workingwomen who traveled from all around the world to build it. Greene looks past the mythology surrounding the canal to expose the difficult working conditions and discriminatory policies involved in its construction. Drawing extensively on letters, memoirs, and government documents, the book chronicles both the struggles and the triumphs of the workers and their fami­lies. Prodigiously researched and vividly told, The Canal Builders explores the human dimensions of one of the world's greatest labor mobilizations, and reveals how it launched America's twentieth-century empire.


About Julie Greene

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JULIE GREENE is a professor of history at the University of Maryland at College Park and the author of Pure and Simple Politics. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Published January 17, 2009 by Penguin Books. 524 pages
Genres: History, Crafts, Hobbies & Home. Non-fiction

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The Path Between the Seas, viewed from a decidedly different angle.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Canal Builders: Making Am...

The New York Times

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Julie Greene’s history of the Panama Canal concentrates on the human dimension of the project: a great army of international laborers.

Mar 29 2009 | Read Full Review of The Canal Builders: Making Am...

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