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Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America's I mperial Dream Hardcover – February 7, 2012
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This work reflects Jones’ deep immersion in the American counterinsurgency war of 1899–1902 in the Philippines, where he once was a foreign correspondent. Fitting his research of primary military documents into a wider narrative of the war’s effect on domestic American politics, Jones’ attentiveness to the latter importantly reminds readers of the popular backing the war had—confirmed by its Republican Party advocates’ victory in the 1900 election—which should ameliorate the general disrepute of the war and America’s colonial episode among current historical commentators. Jones shows himself a quite evenhanded presenter of contemporary anti- and pro-imperial exponents, Theodore Roosevelt most prominent among the latter. Opponents of overseas expansion, however, strengthened their stance on allegations of abuses of Filipinos by American forces in Luzon, Samar, and Panay, in particular, the on-the-ground details of which Jones sorts out and sets forth as they entered venues such as the U.S. Senate, courts-martial, and the press. Informative as to sources and fluidly readable, Jones’ account effectively introduces this controversial war in its contemporary context. --Gilbert Taylor
"Honor in the Dust is a lively, documented narrative about an important but often neglected story in American history. Though it was not Roosevelt's finest hour, it was an important one that should not be forgotten." - The Dallas Morning News
"...Jones shows himself a quite evenhanded presenter of contemporary anti- and pro-imperial exponents, Theodore Roosevelt most prominent among the latter.... Informative as to sources and fluidly readable, Jones' account effectively introduces this controversial war in its contemporary context." - Booklist
"A well-researched, generally disinterested account whose parallels to today are obvious." - Kirkus Reviews
"Fascinating....In the end, Honor in the Dust is less about the freedom of the Philippines than the soul of the United States. This is the story of what happened when a powerful young country and its zealous young president were forced to face the high cost of their ambitions." -
Candice Millard in The New York Times Sunday Book Review.
“Honor in the Dust is a dramatic page-turner, told with marvelous reporting, crackling writing, and original insights. Gregg Jones presents a fascinating cast of characters and gripping battle scenes in a story that moves with the speed and power of a battleship. Utterly absorbing.” -Jonathan Eig, New York Times best-selling author of Get Capone
“America's brutal war of conquest in the Philippines is amazingly little-known, largely ignored in our schoolbooks and history museums. Yet its imperial hubris and its torture scandal eerily foreshadow events of the last decade. In his much-needed, highly readable book on this forgotten war, Gregg Jones has written both a compelling page-turner and a work of careful scholarship.” -Adam Hochschild, National Book Award finalist and author of King Leopold's Ghost
"Gregg Jones has produced a masterful and fast-paced book. Honor in the Dust may be classified as a work of history, but it reads like a thriller. Jones wisely stays focused and does not project events immediately following 1898 into the future, but the reader does. Foreshadowed are the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan-and on. This book is the vital prequel to understanding the state of American empire today." -Dale Maharidge, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of And Their Children After Them
“Extraordinary… Honor in the Dust is a work of monumental consequence, and its important historical lessons, though they've been frequently unheeded by subsequent administrations, are in any case most worthy of remembrance.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“A ripping read—facts and context interspersed with the smells and sounds of jungle warfare.” —The American Spectator
"History teaches us how to act, or how to not act as the case may be. Honor in the Dust is both good history and good teaching...Contributes significantly to an ignored and marginalized period of American history...concise and compelling."—Marine Corps Gazette
"Honor in the Dust is an absolutely riveting page-turner, a terrific read. Gregg Jones resurrects a long forgotten, but very important slice of American history, in which the country's imperialistic dreams clashed with its sense of honor and justice, severely testing Theodore Roosevelt's young presidency and forcing Americans to confront the horrors of war. Anyone interested in how America uses and abuses its power during times of war should read this book." -Eric Jay Dolin, author of Fur, Fortune, and Empire and Leviathan
"The Philippines Occupation was the first of the United States' quagmires, yet its lessons have been willfully ignored by later generations. Honor in the Dust recovers this essential history, the bombast of Washington's jingoism to the terror of the lost patrol in Samar. Gregg Jones does an admirable job of bringing this extraordinary period and its remarkable characters to life." -Anne Nelson, author of Savages
Top customer reviews
Honor in the Dust is twofold and elaborates upon the period from 1898 to 1902, which begins with President William McKinley’s presidency after the Spanish American War and the preliminary events leading to the Philippine American War a year later and the complexities that ensued that proceeded during Roosevelt’s first term. But as one narrows the lens of the past to a particular segment that had not been retold with greater emphasis, Jones focuses on Roosevelt and the debacle that occurred between US soldiers and Filipino guerilla soldiers that eventually led to misconceptions and misconduct. Based on Jones’s travels as reporter to the Philippines in 1984 covering the Marcos presidency and political events surrounding that activity, he experienced another part of the islands to the south of Luzon and Manila, Visayan islands and the region of Samar, a jungle forest of rigid terrain; a place of historic significance that directly relates to American and Philippine history and with the campaign at Samar, which has been compared to the battle at Little Bighorn. It was a campaign that showed after Filipino guerilla general Emilio Aguinaldo’s retreat and capture in 1901, one of two second in command general Vicente Lukban continued the fight well into 1902. Indeed, historic in comparison and one of several campaigns of the war that set a precedence and left a legacy shared with other histories of brutality and political and social repercussions that would later parallel with wars of the twentieth and twenty-first century from Vietnam to Iraq. However, readers may determine their own perceptions. And if readers are familiar with the works of Brian McAllister Linn, Stanley Karnow, or John M. Gates that have thoroughly examined the initial history of the Philippine American War and the involvement of the US, this book complements each as well as the PBS documentary Crucible Empire: The Spanish-American War. Also, the concluding pages contains much detail of the primary and secondary sources that Jones researched and used to write the book.
After reading Honor in Dust, one may have another after thought, especially a historic one of Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency during its infancy and circumstances that emerged of controversy and conduct of the people that he led. But with the assistance of the political and social climate and how events were communicated during the period, they, too, played an essential role in terms of interpretations.