On the centennial of the Spanish-American War, the short and confusing conflict receives comprehensive treatment in a narrative of more than 600 pages. At the close of the 19th century, Americans were looking outward at the world. In a precursor to the foreign involvement of the next century the U.S. Navy found itself fighting in the Philippines, and the infantry (and Theodore Roosevelt's volunteer cavalrymen) entered combat (and battle illness) on the island of Cuba. The Spanish-American War has often been overlooked as an oddity, but those who want to understand its role in American history now have access to what may stand as the definitive history of the war that led to the United States being regarded as a world power.
From Library Journal
Often referred to as "the splendid little war," the Spanish-American War of 1898 was anything but splendid. Musicant (Divided Waters, LJ 8/95), an independent naval historian, presents a solid military history of the war, thoroughly grounded in the sources yet never allowing the detail to overwhelm the narrative. His theme is that the American empire acquired as a result of the war wasn't planned, a point he illustrates rather than states explicitly by showing how both U.S. and Spanish actions were governed by the internal politics in each country and ultimately led to the clash. While discussing the problems and scandals as well as the successes, his very readable history is not as scholarly as David Trask's The War with Spain in 1898 (LJ 5/1/81) but still belongs in most academic and public library history collections.?Stephen H. Peters, Northern Michigan Univ. Lib., Marquette
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