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Comment: Clean, crisp copy. Highlighting in first chapter and a note in pen on page 276. Some wear on edges of cover. Cleaned, inspected, and sealed in a protective polybag.
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Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903 Paperback – September 10, 1984


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Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903 + The Philippine War, 1899-1902 (Modern War Studies)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; Reprint edition (September 10, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300030819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300030815
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

There are some very good reasons for this.
steven j forsberg
A very interesting story about the American armies attempt to end the Phillipine insurgency that broke out in the wake of the Spanish-American war.
Seth J. Frantzman
Miller makes a good case that the Filipinos neither needed civilizing or Christianizing since they had both.
Kevin M Quigg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Ironmike on July 27, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent telling of a period that most Americans and Filipinos know little or nothing about. With America's new ownership of the Philippines, we were drawn into a second conflict once the Spanish were routed. The insurrectionist movement against America brought about a bloody and savage war that cost tens of thousands of lives. The third phase was the attempt to subdue the Moros, some of the toughest and most fearless warriors on the planet. The troops involved thought they would only be fighting Spanish regulars and then sent home. Rather, many spent years fighting in jungles and swamps against a clever and determined foe, and many were then shipped off to fight the Boxer's in China in 1900, only to be returned to battle the often fiendish inhabitants of places like Sibago Island, Jolo and Samar. A classic account and ranks with "Muddy Glory" and "Little Brown Brother" to name but a couple. There isn't much written about this conflict, but the information is out there. These lessons should have taught America about getting involved in smaller nations affairs.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By steven j forsberg on December 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
Though well known to professional historians, the US fight against the Filipino "insurrectionists" at the turn of the century remains a blank spot to most Americans. There are some very good reasons for this. Most people don't like to be reminded that the US was an openly racist major power more interested in trade than in freeing the natives of the Philippines. It is disturbing to read about American heros like Teddy Roosevelt denigrating the "niggers" who inhabited the island, and soft-pedalling widespread torture by the US military (most notably the rather nasty 'water cure'). It is also interesting to read how many people did not value the islands that much themselves, but felt that they were needed to be our springboard to the China trade -- which was going to make everyone rich, of course! It took the Japanese empire at its worst to make the US look like a friend to many Filipinos, and this book tells why.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Damon Jasperson on April 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Stuart Miller's book is an excellent study in the political turmoil and subterfuges involved in the transition of America into an imperialist power. The book is not really a military history; the military aspects are secondary to Miller's coverage of how Americans justified, reacted to, and lied about our subjugation of the Philippines. It is a very sobering history of the river of lies poured out by the military, especially General Otis, and the administration of William McKinley. This is also a study in racism; how allegedly "superior" Anglo-Saxons needed to "civilize" and "Christianize" the Filipinos, many of whom were Catholic. Overall, this book is a good primer about a shocking and somewhat vile episode in American history. High School history teachers in particular should read this book and include it in their lessons about the outcome of our "splendid little war" with Spain. It is a sad truth that as a result of this conflict, America did not seem to learn anything about the nature of guerilla warfare with a people fighting to be free of foreign control. Our failure to profit from this episode helped propel us into another such quagmire in Vietnam, a nation not too far from the site of our earlier fiasco in the Philippines.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ethan Bernard on January 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book reviews the politics and media surrounding the actions by the US in the Philippines following the Spanish-American war. It gives great insight into the propaganda used to sell the war to the American pubic and to obfuscate the atrocities that American soldiers committed there. Miller paints a fascinating picture of egocentric American political and military commands steeped in duplicity and self-delusion; these patterns will be interesting and familiar to any student of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq.

The material is sourced mainly from newspaper editorials, political speeches, congressional inquiries and the letters of politicians and high ranking military figures.
This book will not tell you anything about what the war was like for the soldiers on the ground, American or Philippino. It won't tell you much about tactics. It won't teach you anything about Philippine culture of the time, either.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Robert D. Harmon VINE VOICE on November 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was originally from 1982, written in a time of post-Vietnam regret. However, this book may have picked up on themes, very much in the U.S. press in the period of the Philippines war of a century ago, that are suddenly current in fall 2005: systematic use of torture by American forces (particularly the "water cure"); carelessness with the lives of civilians in the battle zones; denunciation of Americans with doubts about the war as unpatriotic or traitorous; the denial of normal legal due process to an enemy deemed too savage and inferior to be worthy of it; considerable confusion on the events where U.S. forces transpose one war (i.e., Spain 1898 or War on Terror 2001) into a new one (the Philippines in 1899 or Iraq today) more by act of U.S. will than enemy action. The author does stretch some comparisons between the Philippines war and Tonkin Gulf and My Lai, but given the events of Operation Iraqi Freedom the book seems eerily more relevant now.

Another reviewer has noted that Mr. Miller's research was almost entirely from U.S. sources. That does take it down from five stars but we should remember that this book, as with the Iraq war, is more about the U.S. mind-set than about the other side. Thus the book's tone is a bit as lurid as the press of that day but it is startling how the U.S. public read this news coverage year after year and then -- as Mr. Miller notes -- forgot. We might wind up putting Iraq out of mind as well, its veterans and victims as forgotten and neglected as those of 1902, a point Mr. Miller does us a favor by raising. Scary.
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