11) Review of Panama and the Canal in Picture and Prose
by Willis J. Abbot
Approximately 400 textual pages, and 600 images including photographs and drawings.
Until I read the story of the building of the Panama Canal, I had no real appreciation for the grand accomplishment that it was, and still is, 92 years after completion. In MY modern, 21st Century world, where I see small mountains leveled in a matter of weeks, I didn't realize that even in this day and age, the building of such a canal would still be a monumental task.
Published in 1913, Panama and the Canal in Picture and Prose tells the story of Panama, and the building of the Panama Canal. It is a story of early explorers, and discoveries, of peoples, and politics, and an incredible amount of simple human spirit, ingenuity, hard work, planning, and desire.
As the title implies, this book is loaded with pictures; primarily photographs, however there are line drawings, and tables, and sketches, etc. There are over 400 pages of text, and over 600 pictures.
The American building of the Canal began in 1904, and was officially completed in August of 1914. Unlike a modern 'retrospective history' of the canal, this book is actually gives a truer, more modern view of the effort, in that familiar post-Victorian, matter-of-fact, view of the world. It's a reminder that our so-called modern world is really not that far removed from 1914. It's easy to understand why then, and now, the Panama Canal is an example of American prestige, and power, and should be viewed with due pride by all Americans.