A history of the Panama Canal which should provide for study and reference the definitive book on that project. From the 16th century explorers, the search for the ""doubtful strait"", the first conception of an artificial canal in 1529, this outlines the adventures and aggressions in Spanish waters down to the 19th century and the French revival of the project of a canal. Meticulous tracing of the controversy, of local affairs in Panama, of political and international claims and disputes, of private interests vying with government interests, innumerable surveys, accelerated interest as the gold discoveries in California emphasized the need. Then de Lesseps, and the grandiose scheme and tragic failure, the bankruptcy of the Panama Canal Company and the ensuing scandals. The formation of a new international company, rivalry between Nicaragua and Panama, the U.S. purchase of the concession, the decision for the lock canal, and the amazing achievement with Gorgas and Goethals responsible. A history which is history, politics, finance, science, and which ignores no phase and no detail of the accomplishment that was to unite the world. Background for current history which cannot now be told in full.