Prize Possession: The United States Government and the Panama Canal 1903 1979 by John Major

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About the Book – Prize Possession: The United States Government and the Panama Canal 1903 1979


Prize Possession is a comprehensive history of U.S. policy toward the Panama Canal between 1903 and 1979. Although the book focuses on the first two generations of tenure of the Canal Zone, between 1904 and 1955, John Major also provides an extensive look at the nineteenth-century background, the making of the 1903 canal treaty with Panama, the move after 1955 toward the new treaty settlement of 1977, and the crucial significance of the Canal to American policy-makers and their public. The main body of the work surveys five key issues raised by American control of the Canal: its defense against naval bombardment, sabotage and air attack, and its role in U.S. war planning; its highly paternalistic administration; the racism of its labor relations; its severe commercial impact on Panama; and the profound influence of the Zone on Panamanian politics and government. The book is based for the most part on the hitherto largely untapped sources of U.S. government agencies, namely, the State, War, and Navy departments and the Canal Zone administration, as well as on the papers of such key figures as Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt and Philippe Bunau-Varilla. It makes an important and original contribution to our knowledge and understanding of a subject that has yet to receive its due from historians.

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Prize Possession: The United States Government and the Panama Canal 1903 1979 by John Major
Prize Possession: The United States Government and the Panama Canal 1903 1979 by John Major

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