World Canals: Inland Navigation Past and Present. Charles Hadfield. New York: Facts On File Publications, 1986.

A K Craig


Charles Hadfield has spent a lifetime immersed in canals, the evolution of their design, engineering, and economic consequences. He is an authority on waterways of England and his first-hand knowledge of the intricate networks of northwestern Europe is remarkable. However, this book is a world survey in which we predictably find the depth of his treatment inversely proportional to the distance from his home. His course through Southeast Asia is shallow indeed and virtually runs aground here in Florida in his analysis of the Cross-Florida Barge Canal. Hadfield considers the demise of this ecological disaster a "setback" (p. 380) which he attributes to its "effect on the environment, especially the scenic Oklawaha Valley."

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