The Gilded Age and Progressive Era


The Silver Women

Ep. 43

Historians often look for excluded voices, and that task is difficult because archives keep scarcer records of ordinary people leading seemingly ordinary lives. When a scholar finds records that can tell a new story it is exciting. Professor Joan Flores Villalobos accomplishes this task in the story of The Silver Women. She joins me to talk about migrant women who transformed the Panama Canal project.

Essential Reading:

Joan Flores Villalobos, The Silver Women: How Black Women's Labor Made the Panama Canal (2023).

Recommended Reading:

Velma Newton, The Silver Men: West Indian Labour Migration to Panama, 1850-1914 (2004).

Julie Greene, The Canal Builders: Making America's Empire at the Panama Canal (2009).

David McCullough, The Path between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870–1914 (1977).

Walter Lafeber, Panama Canal The Crisis in Historical Perspective (1978).

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