America's Great Patriotic War With Spain: Mixed Motives, Lies, and Racism in Cuba and the Philippines, 1898-1915

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9780833802293: America's Great Patriotic War With Spain: Mixed Motives, Lies, and Racism in Cuba and the Philippines, 1898-1915

With the centennial of this fascinating conflict arriving in 1998, we expect Tebbel's new book to become the pre- imminent work on the subject. The last major effort to tell the story was in the 1950's. Because of its style, the book will appeal to both knowledgeable historians and to those who simply wish to learn from and enjoy a fine historical novel.

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From Publishers Weekly:

The Spanish-American War prefigured Desert Storm in being short enough and sufficiently one-sided to inspire a disproportionate amount of triumphalist, I-was-there writing. To enhance his re-creation of the human experiences of 1898 in this popular history of that war, Tebbel (Turning the World Upside Down) draws heavily on these and other contemporary accounts, employing a present-tense, novelistic style to create a fast-paced narrative of the war's origins, the fighting in Cuba and the Philippines and America's subsequent venture into overseas imperialism. As analysis, the book falls seriously short, however. Tebbel emphasizes the role of journalism in the war's outbreak at the expense of deeper political and economic factors. His account of military operations similarly lacks nuance. His depiction of unrelieved incompetence takes no account of more balanced, albeit less dramatic, studies like Graham Cosmas's An Army For Empire. While Tebbel appropriately highlights the brutality and casual racism characteristic of the U.S. conquest of the Philippines, moreover, he ignores the work of scholars like John Gates and Brian Linn, who have detailed the more complex resonances of the conflict. As an engaging historical adventure, this book has some merit; as serious history, it has far less. Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

In this readable and lively narrative of the Spanish-American War, Tebbel (Turning the World Upside Down, Crown, 1993) sets out to debunk many of the myths that have been part of the traditional historiography of the war, especially in the early 20th century. He stresses the political, commercial, and religious causes of the war and shows that in many ways it was a postscript of the American Civil War. He also believes that the war was strongly linked to the racism of 19th-century America. His book's strength is as much its examination of journalism during that period as its study of the war, because most of his sources are newspaper accounts. The volume does not include footnotes and should be considered popular reading. The book is recommended for most public and academic libraries.?Mark L. Grover, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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John William Tebbel
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