Synopses & Reviews
President William McKinley's image is thought of as a weak, ineffectual man who did not want to get involved in a war with Spain but was forced into it by events beyond his control. The truth--as laid out in Walter Karp's The Politics of War--is quite different. The Spanish-American War--or, more rightly, Massacre or Rout was a manufactured crisis. The parallels are inescapable. War is led by the rich and powerful often against the wishes of the public. While the war strengthened the System for the moment, public hostility to the political and economic status quo began to rise against the ruling parties. What followed was one of the bloodiest centuries mankind has seen. We can only hope that history does not repeat itself.
Politics of War describes the emergence of the United States as a world power between the years 1890 and 1920-our contrivance of the Spanish-American War and our gratuitous entrance into World War I-and by filling in the back story of an era in which mendacious oligarchy organized the country's politics in a manner convenient to its own indolence and greed, Karp offers a clearer understanding of our current political circumstance.