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The Philippine War, 1899-1902 (Modern War Studies) Paperback – January 25, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0700612253 ISBN-10: 0700612254 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Paperback: 442 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; Reprint edition (January 25, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700612254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700612253
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A thoughtful and well-written work about a war that teaches much about the nature of revolutionary warfare—-even today." -- Foreign Affairs

"An objective, well-researched, and engaging book. Destined to become the standard text for understanding this forgotten war." -- History: Reviews of New Books

"Belongs on the shelf of any serious student of U.S.–Asian relations." -- Journal of Military History

"Enhances Linn’s position as the leading authority on America’s military presence in the Pacific before Pearl Harbor." -- Publishers Weekly

"The definitive study of this often misunderstood war." -- Parameters

"This is the most important book so far on one of the most controversial of America’s wars." --New York Military Affairs Symposium Newsletter

From the Back Cover

Army Chief of Staff's Professional Reading List

Air Force Chief of Staff's Professional Reading List

Winner of the Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award

"Will appeal to serious military historians and military professionals, as well as to the general reader."--Robert A. Doughty in the History Book Club News

"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

Customer Reviews

I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in counter insurgency.
Bob Rothman
With the U.S. facing a strong insurgency in both Afghanistan and Iraq today, books like "The Philippine War, 1899-1902" will undoubtedly prove useful.
He rejects the American press accounts as sensationalistic, but makes no effort to draw on coverage from other countries.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 63 people found the following review helpful By T. bailey on April 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
The National Interest 2000 Summer:

...the Philippine War, which formally lasted from 1899 to 1902 but in reality dragged on for several more years as a series of police actions.

Though the Korean War is called the "forgotten war", it is well remembered in comparison to what was once known as the Philippine Uprising. Oddly enough, even the Spanish-American War, which begot the conflict in the Philippines, is much better remembered, in spite of the fact that it involved fewer combatants, fewer casualties and considerably less time. No doubt this is because the Spanish-American War is widely thought to have heralded America's rise to world power, whereas, in the view of most historians, the Philippine War was a blind alley -- a short-lived U.S. foray into colonialism.

When the Philippine War is remembered, it is typically for the purpose of denouncing the United States as an imperialist power. Here, after all, was another U.S. war fought in the jungles of Asia that generated considerable opposition at home and charges of atrocities committed by U.S. troops. (By their own count, U.S. forces claimed to have killed 16,000 Filipinos in battle, four times the U.S. casualties.) New Left histories, such as Stuart Miller's Benevolent Assimilation and Leon Wolff's Little Brown Brother, depict the U.S. war effort in the Philippines in a distinctly grim light. In their telling, the war is reduced to a simple tale of racist U.S. soldiers torturing, killing and raping Filipinos. Such works aim to prove that My Lai was no aberration -- that this is how U.S. soldiers usually behave, or at least how they usually behave when fighting non-Westerners.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A reader on January 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
The author definately shows a mastery of his subject and has written a well-researched, well written account of the war. He goes into great detail on "benevolent assimilation", talks in detail of the respective commanders, and shows a certain expertise in the aspects of guerrilla warfare. This is one of the most authoritative accounts of the Philippine insurrection you can find.

There is one greivance I have with the author's work. The maps. They are, simply, atrocious, and for a military work of this kind they significantly detract from the overall presentation. Many of the fights in the beginning of the book are generally conventional, and the standard US doctrine was a frontal attack in a skirmish line, coupled with flanking efforts, usually against a Filipino defense in dug-in positions. There are no tactical or operational maps that depict the relevant maneuvers. Given that most readers are not familiar with rural Filipino towns this is a significant failing. Eventually the reader must focus on the generalities and campaign level issues because the tactical fights are hard to understand.

The author provides maps of the provinces, on occaision. Rather then provide a simple bar scale, he, for example, provides a a 4 by 4 inch map (p 141)with a scale that reads "1:2,027,520". For the amount of time he spent on this work the poor cartography is a significant fault. One that I hope is reworked in a later issue.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin M Quigg VINE VOICE on February 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
As Linn makes clear in this book, the conflict between the Americans and Phillippines after the Spanish-American War was unexpected. The Fils wanted independence and the American government did not know what it wanted. When McKinley finally figured out he could establish a base in the Pacific and get a colony, the Phillippinos fought the Americans for Manila and subsequently waged a standard and then guerrilla war in the islands for the next three years.

Linn makes it plain that the behavior of American troops overall was very good (my reading). There were some incidents such as stopping inter island trade and concentrating the rural peasants in the towns but there were few killings and torture sessions. In fact, the Phillippino insurgents used more grisly techniques on those who worked with the Americans. They included assassinations and torture. There were some instances of American troops looting and killing innocents, but they were the exception rather than the rule.

Although this book does not preport to be the overall history of this conflict, it gives a good insight as to what happened when the U.S. grabbed the Phillippine Islands as a colony. The book shows the perspective of the common American soldiers from general down to volunteer.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John D on April 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
If one picked up Brian McAllister Linn's book on the Philippine War to expect an account of American imperialism, unabashed atrocities committed by US soldiers, and saturated with apologetic revisionism, they won't find it here. A relatively recent book of a late 19th century war, Linn meant to mark the 100 year anniversary of a conflict that has been, through time, set back to obscurity. Spurred on further by the research into his Master's degree thesis and mentor Allen R. Millett, Linn starts right off with a look into the nebulous administration of President William McKinley's administration and possible motives of the deployment across the Pacific. Linn does succeed in removing the confusion of why so many National Guardsmen participated, given their mandated domestic obligations. In short, they all volunteered and many in the Regular army participated in the campaign in Cuba at the time.

Instead of writing outright that America had visions of creating new colonies in the Philippines, Linn throws the true intent of the McKinley administration into obscurity and handles the overall political environment and international motives in what is, unfortunately, a somewhat clumsy manner that he foretold in his preface due to lack of source material at the highest levels.

In terms of the alleged war crimes committed by American soldiers Linn acknowledges much of the behavior, yet reveals the atrocities committed by the guerrilla forces on both the Americans and against their own countrymen.
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