John Frank Stevens

John Frank Stevens

Civil Engineer
Clifford Foust
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/23/2013
Format: Hardback 11 b&w illus., 4 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-01061-2
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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.

Author Bio

Clifford Foust is Professor Emeritus of History, University of Maryland.


“An illuminating look into the life of an accomplished civil engineer, self-taught and driven by a bulldog tenacity of purpose.”

“Author Foust is to be commended for presenting a complete and unbiased account of this extraordinary man’s working life.”
 — Michigan Railfan

“This tome is a great read for anyone that seeks to know more of the in-depth facts that surrounded the success of this world acclaimed engineer. ”
 — Lexington Quarterly

“Clifford Faust has produced an excellent biography that is certainly not hagiography; it is a warts-and-all portrayal. . . . The study is thoroughly researched and Foust used a large body of previously unused family papers . . . Readers of this journal will find the chapters on the work Stevens accomplished for the railroads of particular interest. ”
 — Railroad History

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Table of Contents

1. A Boy of West Gardiner
2. Beginnings
3. The Great Northern
4. The Panama Canal: In
5. The Panama Canal: Out
6. Interlude
7. Railroading in Russia
8. The Final Decades
Select Bibliography

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