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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling, poetic book, July 3, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal (Hardcover)
Parting the Desert tells the story of one of the most important engineering feats of the 19th century. I knew about the canal mostly because of the 1956 crisis, but this book takes you back to its orginis. Parting the Desert is a wonderful read, and it highlights what people can achieve when they come up with a dream and dedicate their lives to it. Who knew that the idea for the modern canal began with Napoloen Bonaparte, or that the Statue of Liberty was orginally designed for the entrance of the Suez Canal? One man, Ferdinand de Lesseps, was the driver of the work, but he was aided by many others, such as the emperor and empress of France, the rulers of Egypt, and talented engineers. But what makes the book so much richer is that it also had a tinge of sadness. Karabell celebrates the people who made the canal, but he also puts the accomplishment in context and shows how the subsequent history of the canal in the 20th century didn't really live up to the dreams and ambitions of its creators. A marvelous book that makes you think about the world today, especially the Middle East, and how it came to be.
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