The Path Between the Seas - Book 3, Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

David McCullough
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"The Chief Point of Attack" concentrates on the reorganized project at its peak under Chief Engineer Goethals. Contemporary writers struggle to communicate the scale of the effort, likening it to the Great Wall of China, the Great Pyramid, and the Washington Monument. If this is hard to understand, worse is the climate of Panama and the effect it has on men and machines. At the height of the work, the U.S. removes the equivalent of the Suez Canal every three years, half as much in one year as the French had dug in 17. In any given day, 50-60 steam shovels work in the Cut, 500 trainloads of spoil is hauled off, and a single day's worth exceeds French digging per month. No other method, even today, could be more effective or work half as well. American engineers had been no less napve than...

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This section contains 1,382 words
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