The Path Between the Seas - David McCullough

The Path Between the Seas

By David McCullough

  • Release Date: 2001-10-27
  • Genre: History
Score: 4.5
From 330 Ratings


The National Book Award–winning epic chronicle of the creation of the Panama Canal, a first-rate drama of the bold and brilliant engineering feat that was filled with both tragedy and triumph, told by master historian David McCullough.

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Truman, here is the national bestselling epic chronicle of the creation of the Panama Canal. In The Path Between the Seas, acclaimed historian David McCullough delivers a first-rate drama of the sweeping human undertaking that led to the creation of this grand enterprise.

The Path Between the Seas tells the story of the men and women who fought against all odds to fulfill the 400-year-old dream of constructing an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is a story of astonishing engineering feats, tremendous medical accomplishments, political power plays, heroic successes, and tragic failures. Applying his remarkable gift for writing lucid, lively exposition, McCullough weaves the many strands of the momentous event into a comprehensive and captivating tale.

Winner of the National Book Award for history, the Francis Parkman Prize, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award, and the Cornelius Ryan Award (for the best book of the year on international affairs), The Path Between the Seas is a must-read for anyone interested in American history, the history of technology, international intrigue, and human drama.


  • The Path Between the Seas

    By SteveC0613
    I found this book to be an exhaustive history of the Panama Canal and reading it was exhausting. The depth of research and analysis of the multitude of issues and personalities is impressive. Where I find fault with this book is the fact that the author refers to many important geological details throughout the book, and provides only two very small, postage stamp sized maps. One was virtually impossible to read. The photographs provided are of very poor quality and again too small to be useful. An online search brought up a number of excellent photographs taken during construction of the canal. Mr. McCullough also goes into great detail in describing a variety of mechanical structures, such as the machines used for digging the canal, pouring the concrete and the structure of the locks but provides no photos or diagrams. I found this like reading the mechanical description of an engine or transmission with no diagrams or photos to enhance the readers understanding.
  • Wow

    By gluedtothebook
    Excellent writing with great detail and knowledge
  • Greta history

    By MileHigh buyer
    Most people know that the USA built the Panama Canal. But how many know of the work that was done prior to the US taking over the project. Lots of detail of the many different engineering, medical, organizational and geological hurdles that were over come - just to get started. A great history of a major human endeavor that had such a major impact on society. In many ways, a triumph that even stands above the Apollo moon missions.
  • Denver and the year

    By Boulder Reader
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  • A rave review

    By Crzyhrt
    Hits all the right notes as a masterpiece. Everything you ever wanted to know about the canal and more. Could only be better if it was read by the author and enjoyed as a recording.
  • Interesting book

    By tookieman14
    This was an interesting book, thorough with lots of detail written in a manner that made it hard to put down. I knew this story in pieces, but one comprehensive look at how the canal was built made it all come together.
  • Ok

    By leelb26
    Interesting but it could have been shortened. Too many details and names that deviate from the flow of the story. Not his best work, for sure.