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The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 | [David McCullough]

The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914

Winner of the National Book Award for history, The Path Between the Seas tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Applying his remarkable gift for writing lucid, lively exposition, McCullough weaves the many strands of the momentous event into a comprehensive and captivating tale.
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the National Book Award for history, The Path Between the Seas tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is a story of astonishing engineering feats, tremendous medical accomplishments, political power plays, heroic successes, and tragic failures. Applying his remarkable gift for writing lucid, lively exposition, McCullough weaves the many strands of the momentous event into a comprehensive and captivating tale.

©2003 David McCullough; (P)2003 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon and Schuster Audio Division, Simon and Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A chunk of history full of giant-sized characters and rich in political skullduggery." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (380 )
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4.4 (95 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tom Truckee, CA, USA 04-01-04
    Tom Truckee, CA, USA 04-01-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Something for Everyone"

    A little bit for everyone: international intrigue, history, finance, public health, history, engineering. But alas this is an abridged version. From my perspective, to much time was spent on the politics in Washington to build the canal and not enough time on the engineering and public health issues of building the canal. Perhaps the unabridged version, unfortunately not available on Audible :-(, gave more time to the subjects I found of interest.

    I would have liked to have seen Ambrose written on the subject. With his writing on the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads and how they came to be, he would have done a masterful job with equal weightings to all the subjects mentioned above.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Dexter, MI, USA 07-19-08
    Thomas Dexter, MI, USA 07-19-08
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    "The Path Between The Seas"

    David McCullough's work should NEVER be abridged...but if abridgements of his work MUST be offered, an unabridged version should go without saying. It is a matter of profound wonder and amazement that this work is not available in its entirety. What were you guys thinking? Edward Hermann is an outstanding narrator. But I feel cheated. I somehow missed that this outstanding work was abridged. I would have never purchased it had I known that it was.

    I don't get it.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith San Diego, CA, USA 07-24-09
    Judith San Diego, CA, USA 07-24-09
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    "The Path Between the Seas Abridged"

    I never buy abridges books but A Path Between the Seas by David McCullough wasn't available unabridged.

    This is a book of history but so much info is left out. There are gaps in the retelling of the very interesting time of American history. People just appear and disappear abruptly. Incidence and documents are referred to with no explanation or foundation. A careful listen still leaves the reader wondering.

    I feel cheated. I listened several times to the book thinking I had missed episodes that were important to the meaning of the flow of history, but I hadn't, things were left out. The reader was left hanging wondering what happened between here and there, and who is this important person and where did he/she come from

    The least Audible could do is warn their customers that this book is poorly abridged and that there is no unabridged version. It's a good read as a novel but falls short of McCullough's other high quality unabridged history books. The abridgement degrades Mr. McCullough's fine reputation.

    From audible.com:
    "What the Critics Say"
    "A chunk of history full of giant-sized characters and rich in political skullduggery." (The New York Times)

    The Critics must have read the unabridged version.

    A disappointment. Simon and Schuster missed the boat here.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward C. Charbonnet Memphis, TN 02-21-09
    Edward C. Charbonnet Memphis, TN 02-21-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Not just dry history but deep personal stories"

    The author starts with the French valiant but doomed attempt to build a canal across Panama and as always he tells very deep and personal stories - not just a collection of dry facts. You will learn so much more about this complex enterprise and come to admire the men and women who tried and failed and then succeeded.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David West Newton, MA, USA 08-16-06
    David West Newton, MA, USA 08-16-06 Member Since 2004
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    "Another great McCullough read"

    This is a wonderful book - great pace and very interesting. While I did know some of the basics of the Panama Canal - the author goes into far greater details, over many years, as to the political ramimifications of the ulitmate canal site - the operational and business aspects and how various diseases were combated along the way. Ed Hermann does another good job as narrator. Highly recommend!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Longley Dallas, TX USA 12-29-03
    S. Longley Dallas, TX USA 12-29-03 Member Since 2000
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    "Enlightening"

    I had always viewed the building of the Panama Canal as something akin to the building of the Empire State building or the Apollo space program... something that was far on the fringe of engineering possibility of the time. While I assumed construction captured the attention at the time and was admired as an engineering feat afterwards. After listening to this title, I now realize that building the canal could be characterized as an obsession of an era... a just-out-of-reach-vision for half a century.

    I found the book both well written and well researched. Narration was first rate.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Armon Marina del Rey, CA United States 02-04-10
    Cheryl Armon Marina del Rey, CA United States 02-04-10
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    "very fast moving..."

    I am very interested in the story and did not realize it was abridged. Seemed there were chunks missing. Otherwise it was great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Houston, TX, USA 07-01-06
    Robert Houston, TX, USA 07-01-06 Member Since 2003
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    "Outstanding"

    Mr. McCullough does it again. Provides a compelling description of a challenge and how it was overcome. Tight prose, colorful characters, attention to detail but not overly so are characteristics that come to mind. Recommend for the history buff.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Royal Oak, MI, USA 08-18-03
    Robert Royal Oak, MI, USA 08-18-03
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    "decent, but slow at times"

    The story was interesting, and the detail was great to hear, especially how they?re dealing with mosquitoes causing diseases (shades of West Nile!). However, there wasn?t enough personal experience, most is seen through the eyes of the leaders, and not enough of the workers. You want to know how these men spent their days, but too much time is spent on the French and how they failed.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arnold Atlanta, GA, United States 12-13-09
    Arnold Atlanta, GA, United States 12-13-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent"

    I visited the Panama Canal in August and then listened to this audio book. It is very informative about everything you ever wanted, or needed to know about the Panama canal.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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