From Publishers Weekly
Linn, a professor of military history at the U.S. Army War College, enhances his position as the leading authority on America's military presence in the Pacific before Pearl Harbor in this well-written, comprehensively researched monograph. Without justifying the annexation itself, Linn demonstrates that the Filipino nationalists enjoyed at best limited popular support and did as much as the U.S. commanders in the islands to provoke a shooting war as an alternative to negotiation. Operationally, U.S. forces were well led, fought hard, and took advantage of repeated Filipino mistakes in both conventional and unconventional warfare. None of insurgent leader Emilio Aguinaldo's lieutenants were able to combine regular and partisan warfare effectively or to build on local successes. Linn's demonstration of the fighting power of regular troops and the short-service national volunteers who succeeded them does much to correct the bias in favor of the regulars that dominates the literature. As Linn shows, however, military success was only half of the war. Civic action was the other element of victory. The Americans built hospitals, opened schools and restored order. When necessary, they sustained that order with punitive measures, including torture. Without whitewashing individual incidents, Linn shows that both the general customs of warfare and U.S. civil and military law allowed for exponentially higher levels of physical coercion than their present-day counterparts. If the U.S. annexation of the Philippines was an exercise in imperialism, Linn makes a convincing case that by 1902 the U.S. government of the island was nevertheless legitimate both de jure and de facto. For an increasing majority of Filipinos, the Americans had become preferable to the insurgents. Illus. not seen by PW. (Feb.)
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From the Back Cover
"Brian Linn, who has the rare ability to craft a readable text without abandoning the scholar's penchant for accuracy, has written another fine book. Meticulously researched and impressively documented, his study draws upon the literature from all sides of a number of controversies. The result is a book of unusual balance, making Linn's accomplishment without equal among the many works on the war."--John M. Gates, author of Schoolbooks and Krags: The United States Army in the Philippines, 1898-1902
"An impressively researched and well written narrative history that brings reasoned analysis to topics previously fraught with partisanship and polemics."--Timothy K. Nenninger, author of The Leavenworth Schools and the Old Army, 1881-1918