Mr. Gonionskii’s treatise is a scholarly account of the Panama adventure of the Oyster Bay Roosevelt, based upon diplomatic documents of the United States and Colombia, John Bassett Moore’s Digest of International Law, and works of Uribe, Rippy, Ramon, Hill, Latané, Johnson, Nerval, and Pringle. An appendix contains the Treaty of 1846 with New Granada, the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, the Spooner Act, and the 1903 Treaty with Panama.

The author stresses that the American government frequently had friction with Colombia and European powers, as, not satisfied with the railroad concession, it sought to exclude the British and French and at times sent its warships to Panamanian waters. After de Lesseps’ failure to build the canal the United States strongly sought control of the Panama route. Colombia approved the project, but wanted a real share of the income from it and continued control of the Isthmus. After negotiations had broken down, the United States secured the Hay-Herran Treaty by a virtual ultimatum to Colombia, weakened by insurrection. Later, however, the Colombian Congress overwhelmingly rejected the treaty as detrimental to the country’s sovereignty.

At this point the author presents the familiar story of Theodore Roosevelt’s Panama “revolution,” in which William Cromwell and Phillippe Bunau-Varilla, backed by American armed forces, played leading roles. The resulting treaty gave us virtual control of the Canal Zone, with limited payments to Panama, while only slight compensation was offered to Colombia for her loss. Later, Woodrow Wilson sought to recompense Colombia, but Congress balked him, and it was only in 1922, after oil had been found there, that we made Colombia a sizable payment.

Mr. Gonionskii holds that, except for a brief period under Franklin Roosevelt, the United States has dominated Panama, especially during World War II, when the claim of military necessity covered highhanded acts. Of late, growing American pressure has angered many of the people of Panama and caused conflict over sovereignty in the Canal Zone. The disturbances in 1960 were apparently a result of causes that the author lists in some detail.