Panama and the California Gold Rush by Aims McGuiness
Thoughtful, engaging and highly effective historical text. Traces the lines of encounter and transformation of Americans and Panama in the mid nineteenth century, with heavy focus on racial politics accompanying both colonialism and resistance. The scale is that of macro-level politics and continental tensions, the way Panama developed transit and in so doing was undermined as an autonomous society. Yet it also incorporates an effective presentation of individual lives, with the stark economic structures and tortured political choices invested in this period.