We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 >   > 
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

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. McCullough expertly weaves the many strands of this momentous event into a captivating tale.
Regular Price:$56.65
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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. McCullough expertly weaves the many strands of this momentous event into a captivating tale.

Like his masterful, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography John Adams, David McCullough's The Path Between the Seas has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This audiobook is a must-listen for anyone interested in American history, international intrigue, and human drama.

©2001 David McCullough (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

  • National Book Award, History, 1978

"A chunk of history full of giant-sized characters and rich in political skullduggery." (Newsweek)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (187 )
5 star
 (85)
4 star
 (64)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (8)
Overall
4.3 (159 )
5 star
 (79)
4 star
 (55)
3 star
 (16)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.1 (151 )
5 star
 (68)
4 star
 (54)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Tim United States 06-25-13
    Tim United States 06-25-13 Member Since 2010

    I use my left foot to type my reviews.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    651
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    360
    356
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    104
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No Stone Unturned"

    I can understand why "The Path Between the Seas", about the Panama Canal is getting mix reviews from other listeners. I'm only the fourth person to write a review on this audiobook and the audio was published just a few years ago. The print version was published over 30 years ago, but the information is not outdated because the Panama Canal is a part of the Earth that was man made.

    If you are not familiar with David McCullough, you will have a rough time getting through any of his books because he will go on and on with detail after detail. There is no stone unturned when he writes about our history. This is why you always know at what you are purchasing when listening to one of his titles.

    David McCullough is a legend among the greats. He will tell you the back stories beyond the focal point, that no one ever bother talking about. They are usually human interest stories on the crew that helped build the structure, or the troops that fought in the war.

    Reading about the Panama Canal was a bit tiring just because I've read a lot of other titles from McCullough this year. The Path Between the Seas was the third book from this historian when it got published in 1977. It won several awards, but he didn't get his first Pulitzer Prize until 16 years after for Truman. If you are a fan of this historian, you must need to invest your time at reading Truman. By far, it is just one of his best.

    As for The Path Between the Seas, it's another apart of history that I totally skipped over when I was in school, but I'm enjoying it now.

    As I mentioned before, I've read a lot from David McCullough in the past months and kind of need to take a break, but I am never disappointed of any of his titles.

    It's the details that keeps the listener to keep listening.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Northern Gal Pennsylvania 07-31-14
    Northern Gal Pennsylvania 07-31-14 Member Since 2014

    Mary

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "American Treasure"
    What did you love best about The Path Between the Seas?

    I love David McCullough...an American treasure! The narrator Nelson Runger did an amazing job. Great voice.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Path Between the Seas?

    The story of ridding the canal of mosquitos.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    History Buff Maryland 07-09-13
    History Buff Maryland 07-09-13 Member Since 2005

    Grace

    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Listening has its downsides"
    If you could sum up The Path Between the Seas in three words, what would they be?

    An incredible saga.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a shame McCullough's publishers didn't hire a better "voice" for this long book. Nelson Runger's desire to read this story in a variety of accents fell quite short of the mark for Spanish. Since a good portion of it needed a French accent, I suppose that is what they were looking for. But the constant repetition of French names, rendered with a "foreign" accent, made it difficult for me to keep the characters straight. In this one respect, I, personally, would have been better off reading the book. On the other hand, the book (really, the tome) is so long, I doubt I would have finished it as quickly.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vikki Overton, NV, United States 09-12-12
    Vikki Overton, NV, United States 09-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "David McCullough never fails to deliver"
    Would you listen to The Path Between the Seas again? Why?

    Yes. Because it is so magnificent in its scope it is impossible to get everything on the first listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The whole drama was incredible...but I like the way David makes the characters (including the canal) three-dimensional.


    What about Nelson Runger’s performance did you like?

    His delivery was fast and clipped...a little too long between sections and chapters. I kept thinking something was wrong with my I-Pod.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    McCullough...at his best!!!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil Washington, Dc, United States 07-30-12
    Phil Washington, Dc, United States 07-30-12

    Dr. Phil

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Otherwise good book desperately needs an editor"

    This is an interesting book. Actually, it is two interesting books and that is the problem. The construction of the Panama Canal is clearly a subject of immense interest to David McCullough, who has written a book about the canal's French and American construction episodes that positively drowns the reader in superfluous detail. Really, this is two different stories which would be best left to two different books. McCullough's editor failed him here, for much of the material in this book would be best left on the cutting room floor. There is plenty of good material in this book, just too much of it. Another shortcoming regards the "performance" or audiobook narration. This book is full of Spanish and French person and place names, and the narrator is simply not good at pronouncing those names. The result is just a bit annoying and painful to listen to.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad St. Louis, MO 05-08-14
    Brad St. Louis, MO 05-08-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Epic and exciting"
    Any additional comments?

    This is two books in one -- the story of the brave but failed French attempt to build a canal and the story of the American success that built on the good work of the French. The author covers back-room politics, the living conditions and daily life on the canal, the history of decision-making, and the triumphant completion of the project. The book is epic in scope and exciting from start to finish.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Houston, TX, United States 03-22-14
    Daniel Houston, TX, United States 03-22-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    745
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding Book and Historical"
    What made the experience of listening to The Path Between the Seas the most enjoyable?

    The history of the Panama Canal is covered in this book and goes into great detail. I have been to the canal several times and had no idea of what went into building it. Gave me a much greater appreciation of the French roll and how the U. S. completed it. A very interesting read.


    What about Nelson Runger’s performance did you like?

    Nelson was great and easy to listen to. I had to finish this book and spent several long hours listening to his rendition.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory Nole Connecticut 06-28-13
    Gregory Nole Connecticut 06-28-13

    G.N.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not McCullough's best and reader was draggy"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The story is interesting, but unlike the Brooklyn Bridge, the back story was not as interesting and McCullough went into long passages of tangential material. I'm a big McCullough fan but this was longer than necessary. And it was made all the worse by a reader who was so painfully slow, you could nap between his sentences. It was like listing to a 45RPM recording at 33. It was 31 hours worth of listing that could have been done in 2/3 the time if the reader had picked up the pace. It was so draggy my mind would wander between passages.


    What didn’t you like about Nelson Runger’s performance?

    His slow pace was a terrible distraction.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guinnessdog Minnetonka, MN 05-08-14
    Guinnessdog Minnetonka, MN 05-08-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The abridged version must be a better choice"
    Any additional comments?

    I finally bailed on this bloated tome about 2/3rds of the way through. This book desperately needed an editor with a sharper blade. It numbs the mind with superfluous detail, down to descriptions of even the most peripheral of characters' lavish facial hair, speaking style, what college they went to and who they hung out with between classes. There is undoubtedly a fascinating tale buried here, but like the French attempts at digging the canal, I exhausted myself in seeking it and came away defeated.The problem is exacerbated by the narrator's ponderous pace. This guy reads so slowly I was having flashbacks to kindergarden story time. I tried listening to it at 1.25X speed, but that didn't aid understanding. I found myself frequently skipping ahead but then not being able to pick up the thread. Eventually boredom won out and I simply moved on to another title.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Lecanto, FL, United States 06-11-11
    Cynthia Lecanto, FL, United States 06-11-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Detail, Detail"

    There are so many characters & details that it becomes very tedious unless you are an avid history lover & can keep track of multiple individuals interacting, often with little results. No wonder it took so long to build. Save yourself lots of time & get the PBS video of the making of the Canal which is well done & conveys the story interestingly.

    6 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.