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.