Books: Giant Ditch Digger

DE LESSEPS OF SUEZ (334 pp.)—Charles Beatfy—Harper ($4.50).

A bronze, bigger-than-life statue of Ferdinand de Lesseps. builder of the Suez Canal, stood for 60 years in Port Said. Last December, as Egyptian demonstrators celebrated the withdrawal of the Franco-British invasion force, they expressed their hatred of all things European by blowing up the statue. The great builder would have been neither surprised nor resentful. Irrational violence, betrayal and humiliation dogged him all his long life without dampening his boundless optimism or shaking his firm belief in the essential goodness of man and the basic harmony of nations.

Ferdinand de Lesseps was the ideal...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!