The Path Between the Seas - Study Guide Book 2, Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

David McCullough
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"Against All Odds" describes how the Morgan Committee rejects the recommendations of the Walker Commission, the Senate debates the issues for two weeks, and the explosion of Mt. Pelye and a Nicaraguan stamp turn 100-1 odds against Panama into a narrow 42-34 victory. American national pride and xenophobia are underlying themes.

Chairman Morgan visibly enjoys questioning witnesses in February of 1902. Menocal documents his commitment to Nicaragua but says nothing new for the papers to use. Morgan's badgering of Compagnie Nouvelle spokesman Ydouard Lampry creates overblown headlines but no substance. Old railroad man S. W. Plume tells horror stories to an empty room. Handsome, direct and unaffected, Walker is the first commission member to testify. Since retiring in 1897, Walker has headed with integrity two Presidential canal commissions, despite a lack of engineering background or experience. Morgan considers Walker's support for Panama treasonous and realizes...

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This section contains 1,462 words
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