John Frank Stevens
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One of America's foremost civil engineers of the past 150 years, John Frank Stevens was a railway reconnaissance and location engineer whose reputation was made on the Canadian Pacific and Great Northern lines. Self-taught and driven by a bulldog tenacity of purpose, he was hired by Theodore Roosevelt as chief engineer of the Panama Canal, creating a technical achievement far ahead of its time. Stevens also served for more than five years as the head of the US Advisory Commission of Railway Experts to Russia and as a consultant who contributed to many engineering feats, including the control of the Mississippi River after the disastrous floods of 1927 and construction of the Boulder (Hoover) Dam. Drawing on Stevens's surviving personal papers and materials from projects with which he was associated, Clifford Foust offers an illuminating look into the life of an accomplished civil engineer.