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The Promoting and the Financing of the Suez Canal

Werner Baer
The Business History Review
Vol. 30, No. 4 (Dec., 1956), pp. 361-381
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3111714
Page Count: 21
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The Promoting and the Financing of the Suez Canal
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Abstract

This timely account of the launching of the Suez Canal project reveals both sides of the coin of innovation. It is, on the one hand, a study of the character and methods of one of the most famous innovators of the nineteenth century. Ferdinand DeLesseps was not a politician, a financier, an engineer, a promoter (in the common sense of the word), or a businessman. Yet he succeeded brilliantly in a venture requiring consummate mastery of all these professional fields. On the other hand is revealed the waterway itself - vital to one civilization, useless and neglected in another, and then of transcendent importance as world history marched on. Realization of the grand scheme envisaged by the Pharaohs came at last when economic and political factors momentarily aligned in a pattern of opportunity for a unique set of entrepreneurial qualifications.

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