Ditch of Dreams: The Cross Florida Barge Canal and the Struggle for Florida's Future (Florida History and Culture)
Traces the long standing effort to build a canal across Florida
"Offers timeless lessons about pork-barrel politics and the power of citizen-environmentalism. Most important, it reminds us that today’s economic coup may well be tomorrow's environmental crisis."--Cynthia Barnett, author of Mirage
"Ties the exploitation of the Ocklawaha to Florida history across nearly two centuries. Moreover, they bring to life the personalities of canal supporters and detractors, including such dynamic individuals as Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Claude Pepper, and Marjorie Harris Carr."--Frederick Rowe Davis, author of The Man Who Saved Sea Turtles
For centuries, men dreamed of cutting a canal across the Florida peninsula, despite the enormous technological and financial challenges of doing so. Heedless of environmental concerns, groups of water transportation advocates consistently lobbied the federal government to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, a project intended to place Florida at the very center of American commerce and prosperity.
Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, Steven Noll and David Tegeder trace the twists and turns of the project through the years. The story of the Cross Florida Barge Canal, crucial to twentieth-century Florida history, is complex, featuring competing interests amidst the changing political landscape of modern Florida. Ditch of Dreams reveals much about the clashing visions of progress, economic growth, and environmental preservation in the fragile ecosystem of Florida, while exploring the tangled web of politics, influence, and power in the Sunshine State.
The history of the canal is not just a story of Florida’s past, but a compelling lesson for its future.
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