Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011. First Printing [Stated]. Hardcover. xv, , 420,  pages. List of Illustrations. List of Tables. Illustrations. Tables. Notes. Index. Stamp on bottom edge. Depression on front cover and front of DJ. Noel Maurer is an associate professor of International Affairs and International Business at the George Washington University. Maurer earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1997. Between 1998 and 2004 he worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at ITAM, a university in Mexico City. Maurer also worked at an NGO dedicated to helping small rural communities in Chiapas find new business opportunities. After a brief unexpected stint as a full-time employee of the federal government in 2002-03, he began work as an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School in 2005. In 2015, he took the opportunity to join the faculty at George Washington University. Maurer’s primary research interest is how private actors defend their property rights under dictatorial governments or political instability. The Big Ditch: How America Took, Built, Ran, and Ultimately Gave Away the Panama Canal chronicles the economic and political history of the Canal, from Spain’s 1529 proposals through the present day. The book shows that the Canal produced great economic dividends until 1945, despite massive cost overruns and delays. Relying on geographical advantage and military might, the United States captured most of these benefits. By the 1970s, however, when the Carter administration negotiated the turnover of the Canal back to Panama, the strategic and economic value of the Canal had disappeared. And yet, contrary to skeptics who believed it was impossible for a nation plagued by corruption to manage the Canal, the Panamanians ultimately succeeded at running it better than their northern patrons. Condition: Good / Good.
Keywords: Panama Canal, Canal Zone, Economic Development, George Goethals, Isthmian Canal Commission, Imperialism, Ferdinand de Lesseps. Manuel Noriega, Theodore Roosevelt, Transportation