The canal builders: making America's empire at the Panama Canal

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2009.
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The Panama Canal has long been celebrated as a triumph of American engineering and technology. In The Canal Builders, Julie Greene reveals that this emphasis obscures a far more remarkable element of the canal's construction-the tens of thousands of workingmen and -women who traveled from around the world to build it. Drawing on research from around the globe, Greene explores the human dimensions of the Panama Canal story, revealing how it transformed perceptions of American empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.For a project that would secure America's position as a leading player on the world stage, the Panama Canal had controversial beginnings. When President Theodore Roosevelt seized rights to a stretch of Panama soon after the country gained its independence, many Americans saw it as an act of scandalous land-grabbing. Yet Roosevelt believed the canal could profoundly strengthen American military and commercial power while appearing to be a benevolent project for the benefit of the world.But first it had to be built. From 1904 to 1914, in one of the greatest labor mobilizations ever, working people traveled to Panama from all over the globe-from farms and industrial towns in the United States, sugarcane plantations in the West Indies, and rocky fields in Spain and Italy. When they arrived, they faced harsh and inequitable conditions: labor unions were forbidden, workers were paid differently based on their race and nationality (with the most dangerous jobs falling to West Indians), and anyone not contributing to the project could be deported. Yet Greene reveals how canal workers and their families managed to resist government demands for efficiency at all costs, forcing many officials to revise their policies.The Canal Builders recounts how the Panama Canal emerged as a positive symbol of American power and became a critical early step towards twentieth-century globalization. Yet by chronicling the contributions of canal workers from all over the world, Greene also reminds us of the human dimensions of a project more commonly remembered for its engineering triumphs.
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ISBN:
159420201
9781594202018
9781400190676
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 2f43248e-7124-47f1-a390-c5dbe42ca2f3
Grouping Title canal builders making americas empire at the panama canal
Grouping Author greene julie
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-08-19 04:48:17AM
Last Indexed 2019-08-19 04:51:34AM

Solr Details

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author Julie Greene
author_display Greene, Julie
available_at_arlington Aurora Hills
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
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display_description

The Panama Canal has long been celebrated as a triumph of American engineering and technology. In The Canal Builders, Julie Greene reveals that this emphasis obscures a far more remarkable element of the canal's construction---the tens of thousands of workingmen and -women who traveled from around the world to build it. Drawing on research from around the globe, Greene explores the human dimensions of the Panama Canal story, revealing how it transformed perceptions of American empire at the dawn of the twentieth century.

For a project that would secure America's position as a leading player on the world stage, the Panama Canal had controversial beginnings. When President Theodore Roosevelt seized rights to a stretch of Panama soon after the country gained its independence, many Americans saw it as an act of scandalous land-grabbing. Yet Roosevelt believed the canal could profoundly strengthen American military and commercial power while appearing to be a benevolent project for the benefit of the world.

But first it had to be built. From 1904 to 1914, in one of the greatest labor mobilizations ever, working people traveled to Panama from all over the globe---from farms and industrial towns in the United States, sugarcane plantations in the West Indies, and rocky fields in Spain and Italy. When they arrived, they faced harsh and inequitable conditions: labor unions were forbidden, workers were paid differently based on their race and nationality (with the most dangerous jobs falling to West Indians), and anyone not contributing to the project could be deported. Yet Greene reveals how canal workers and their families managed to resist government demands for efficiency at all costs, forcing many officials to revise their policies.

The Canal Builders recounts how the Panama Canal emerged as a positive symbol of American power and became a critical early step towards twentieth-century globalization. Yet by chronicling the contributions of canal workers from all over the world, Greene also reminds us of the human dimensions of a project more commonly remembered for its engineering triumphs.

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publishDate 2009
record_details
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
overdrive:838917bf-d6c8-4127-8123-87dc12cb4957 eAudiobook Audio Books English Tantor Media, Inc. 2009
ils:.b13008109 Book Books English Penguin Press, 2009. 475 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations : illustrations ; 24 cm.
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series Penguin history of American life
series_with_volume Penguin history of American life|
subject_facet Canal Zone -- History
Panama Canal (Panama) -- History
title_display The canal builders : making America's empire at the Panama Canal
title_full The Canal Builders Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal
The canal builders : making America's empire at the Panama Canal / Julie Greene
title_short The canal builders :
title_sub making America's empire at the Panama Canal
topic_facet History
Nonfiction