There is an excellent new book on the history of the Panama Canal by British writer Matthew Parker. “Panama Fever”. Subtitled ‘The epic story of one of the greatest human achievements of all time – the building of the Panama Canal’, I can really recommend this book. Fascinating and pleasant to read.
The other classic, ‘Path between the Seas’ by David McCullough, an American is also excellent reading. While covering the same topic, the different nationalities of the writers do result in a somewhat different perpective and focus. Matthew Parker gives more attention to the experiences of the average worker – mostly blacks from the West Indies – on the project and you’ll read a more critical note here and there about the American power politics which is mostly absent from Mr. McCullough’s book.