The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography

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Univ of North Carolina Press, Oct 12, 1998 - History - 192 pages
3 Reviews
A century after the Cuban war for independence was fought, Louis Perez examines the meaning of the war of 1898 as represented in one hundred years of American historical writing. Offering both a critique of the conventional historiography and an alternate history of the war informed by Cuban sources, Perez explores the assumptions that have shaped our understanding of the "Spanish-American War"--a construct, he argues, that denies the Cubans' participation in their own struggle for liberation from Spanish rule.

Perez examines historical accounts of the destruction of the battleship Maine, the representation of public opinion as a precipitant of war, and the treatment of the military campaign in Cuba. Equally important, he shows how historical narratives have helped sustain notions of America's national purpose and policy, many of which were first articulated in 1898. Cuba insinuated itself into one of the most important chapters of U.S. history, and what happened on the island in the final decade of the nineteenth century--and the way in which what happened was subsequently represented--has had far-reaching implications, many of which continue to resonate today.


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Review: War of 1898

User Review  - Wes Bishop - Goodreads

Good book. If you are interested in a view on the Spanish-American War, its reasons and ramifications, this is the book for you. Easily read in a few sittings, Perez unlike many academics can actually write in a way that is not considered treatment for insomnia. Read full review

Review: War of 1898

User Review  - Isaac - Goodreads

Eye opening. Books like this show the power of history and the damage patriotic jingoism can have on perspective even after the event has long past. Jack Nicholson's quote from the Two Jakes sums up the author's point nicely: "the past never goes away." Read full review


CHAPTER 1 On Context and Condition
CHAPTER 2 Intervention and Intent
CHAPTER 3 Meaning of the Maine
CHAPTER 4 Constructing the Cuban Absence
From Memory to Consciousness

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About the author (1998)

Louis A. Perez Jr. is J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His books include Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution.

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