The Big Ditch: The Panama Canal, 1880-1915 ~ Paperback ~ Richard Braden
This tale involves two different groups of people-the French and the Americans. The French began preparations to dig the Panama Canal in 1880, abandoned the effort in 1904, and the Americans completed the job in 1915. The most important person in this story is Colonel (Doctor) William Gorgas, the man who came to the Canal Zone in 1904 to do exactly what he had been able to do in Havana nine years earlier-defeat yellow fever and malaria. This is the story of how he defeated these merciless diseases and enabled the building of the Panama Canal.