Humans are builders-we make structures to span rivers, to connect points of land, to offer shelter. Indeed, throughout history, civilizations have created structures of such immense scale, requiring such tremendous resources, that they might have been thought impossible. From the Taj Mahal to the Suez Canal, from Solomon's Temple to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, these feats of macro-engineering are a testament to the creativity and foresight of engineers, architects, government officials, and diplomats. Who came up with the ideas for these projects? How did they see them through to completion? What obstacles-diplomatic, legal, logistical, and engineering-had to be overcome for these structures to be built? What impact did these engineering projects have on the economies and cultures of their societies? This encyclopedia answers all these questions, showing how central these great engineering projects are to the history of civilization. It includes the legal documents that launched them. Building the World comprises detailed entries on over forty of the most important engineering projects in world history, such as: Washington D.C., the Eiffel Tower, and the Channel Tunnel. The rich illustration program includes 66 photographs and 30 illustrations, maps, and drawings that document the most important structures ever built. Each entry includes a detailed history of the planning and construction of the project, and a discussion of its subsequent importance. A unique feature of the encyclopedia is an extensive primary source collection that illustrates how the decision to create such a structure came to be, demonstrating the importance of individuals in imagining, planning, and building some of the most famous engineering landmarks in the world.