This post is also available in: Spanish
A highly recommended read for anyone interested in the history of Panama and the Canal is a book just released in this year of the waterway’s 100th anniversary entitled “How Teddy Took Panama” by David Adamson Harper. Described as a historical novel, the book tells the story of the founding of the Republic of Panama, artfully interwoven with a fictitious but highly plausible plot involving a secret service agent charged with the dangerous task of facilitating Theodore Roosevelt’s support of the rebels of Panama, then a province of Colombia, in their bid for independence in order to obtain from them an advantageous treaty for the building of the Canal.
The author’s descriptive style brings to life the details of the meetings and machinations in the White House and among the founding fathers of the new Republic of Panama in their mansions in San Felipe, now better known as Casco Antiguo.
The book contains all the fascinating details of the bid to build the canal, such as the story of Buneau-Varilla, the Frenchman who negotiated the treaty with the U.S.A. going round all the philatelists in Washington buying every one-cent Nicaraguan stamp he could find. The stamp shows a volcano erupting in Nicaragua. He sent one to every senator with a letter saying the country was too geologically unstable to support the canal.
The story of Roosevelt’s coup, as those who know the history will attest, needs little embellishment to put it in the same league with the best fictional plots. Mr. Harper has gone one better and added the sub plot of the handsome clandestine agent and his adventures in Panama which involve intrigue, bloodshed, passion and love.
“How Teddy Took Panama” is well written, well researched, instructive and highly entertaining. It is only available through Amazon.com.
David Adamson Harper spent all his life in the maritime industry, including a dozen years in Panama where he managed the Panama Agencies Company.
Find out more at: DavidAdamsonHarper.com