By Zachary Karabell
Award-winning historian Zachary Karabell tells the epic tale of the best engineering feat of the 19th century--the construction of the Suez Canal-- and indicates the way it replaced the world.
The dream used to be a waterway that might unite the East and the West, and the formidable, full of life French diplomat and entrepreneur Ferdinand de Lesseps was once the mastermind at the back of the venture. Lesseps observed the venture via fifteen years of monetary demanding situations, technical hindrances, and political intrigues. He confident usual French voters to take a position their cash, and he received the backing of Napoleon III and of Egypt's prince Muhammad stated. however the triumph used to be faraway from excellent: the development relied seriously on pressured hard work and technical and diplomatic hindrances consistently threatened of completion. The inauguration in 1869 captured the mind's eye of the realm. The Suez Canal used to be heralded as a logo of development that might unite countries, yet its legacy is blended. Parting the wilderness is either a transporting narrative and a meditation at the origins of the trendy center East.
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Extra resources for Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal
But although young Ferdinand de Lesseps protected the Saint-Simonians in the 1830s, twenty years later they came to regret his help. Having saved them, he then appropriated their ambition and made it his own. Lesseps was not the first person to seize someone else’s idea, but he was surely one of the most successful at it. In later years, his name was immortalized. He was indelibly associated with the canal, and the contribution of Enfantin and the Saint-Simonians was largely forgotten. But it took more than Lesseps’s imagination and the industry of Europe.
And who better, thought the transplanted Albanian soldier, to assist in that change than the French? Napoleon was, therefore, an inadvertent matchmaker. He began an affair between France and Egypt that placed Egypt once again at the center of the world. Before that could happen, however, the courtship needed to become more intimate, and it did, in 1833, when a group of missionaries landed at Alexandria proclaiming the union of East and West. CHAPTER THREE INDUSTRY AND THE SAINT-SIMONIANS THE FRENCH REVOLUTION unleashed a torrent of energy in France.
CHAPTER TWO THE FRENCH FALL IN LOVE THE AGE OF Enlightenment was also a continuation of the age of exploration. The world was shrinking, at least for the inhabitants of Western Europe, and ambitions were no longer confined to the continent. In 1672, Gottfried Wilhem von Leibniz had an idea, and he was so enamored of it that he wrote to the Sun King himself, Louis XIV, lord of France. Leibniz was twenty-six years old and living in Nuremberg, a cosmopolitan city surrounded by warring German principalities.
Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal by Zachary Karabell