Erie Water West: A History of the Erie Canal 1792-1854. Ronald E. Shaw. The construction of the Erie Canal may truly be described as a major event in the growth of the young United States. At a time when the internal links among the states were scanty, the canal’s planners boldly projected a system of transportation that would strike out from the eastern seaboard, penetrate the frontier, and forge a bond between the East and the growing settlements of the West. In this comprehensive history, Robald E. Shaw portrays the development of the canal as viewed by its contemporaries, who rightly saw it as an engineering marvel and an achievement of great economic and social significance not only for New York but also for the nation. The University Press of Kentucky, 1966, 449pp.