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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2008 Matthew Parker; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America
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Critic Reviews

"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." (The Spectator)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By CmH - HB, CA on 06-02-08

Good book, marginal narrator

Great story. The narrator got in the way by imposing overdone and inconsistent accents on french and spanish words. Given that the listeners speak english the pronunciations really get in the way. There are errors and at least one restart that was not edited out. The author deserves a rerecording of this work.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful


By Corinna Steele on 05-05-10

Is there a francophile in the mix?

Interesting tale of how the canal was built.

Well read except for the many French phrases. I cannot imagine not choosing a narrator with a French background or at the very list someone working in the creation of the audio book, who is familiar with French pronunciation.

The funniest part of the book was the phrase "annees horribles" which was so butchered it made me laugh for days. "A-NESS hor-RIB-ble-less" moved the focus from the narrative, to the narrator and surprise over the choice of this one versus other people who could have handled the language changes. A simple consultation and phonetic aides would have made the French entirely possible. This was very distracting considering how much French the author included.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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