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


  • Date Published: February 1994
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521433068

£ 97.99

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About the Authors
  • Prize Possession is a history of United States policy towards the Panama Canal, focusing principally on the first two generations of American 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 towards the new treaty settlement of 1977, and the crucial significance of the Canal to American policy-makers and their public. The book is based for the most part on the hitherto largely untapped sources of US government agencies, namely, the State, War, and Navy Department, and the Canal Zone administration, as well as on the papers of notable dramatis personae such as Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt and Philippe Bunau-Varilla. As such it makes an important and original contribution to our knowledge and understanding of a subject which has not yet received its due from historians.

    • The first scholarly study of the Panama Canal
    • The Panama Canal is an important 'icon' in America
    • The author did his research in Panama
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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 1994
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521433068
    • length: 456 pages
    • dimensions: 237 x 158 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.761kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface and acknowledgments
    Part I. Prelude:
    1. The quest for an American canal, 1826–1903
    2. 'I took the isthmus', 1903–4
    Part II. Beginnings:
    3. The zone régime
    4. The labour force
    5. The Commissary
    6. The protectorate
    7. Canal defence
    Part III. Transitions:
    8. The zone régime
    9. The labour force
    10. The commissary
    11. Partnership politics
    12. Canal defence
    Part IV. Recessional:
    13. 'Mandate from civilization'?, Map of the Canal Zone

  • Author

    John Major, University of Hull

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