Panama's Brooding History

Strange Paradise by Bill Donahue
The Atlantic, January/February 2009

"The birds, I learned later, were toucans. But as I made my way through the Panamanian jungle, their dry, echoing call--whoosh, whoosh, whoosh--sounded almost mechanical, which seemed fitting. Before me, on an open plain in the Galeta Island Protected Landscape, was a mesh of 100-foot-high wires used by the United States during the Cold War to monitor Soviet submarines."

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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