Synopses & Reviews
A century after the Cuban war for independence was fought, Louis Pérez 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, Pérez 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.
Pérez 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 centuryand the way in which what happened was subsequently representedhas had far-reaching implications, many of which continue to resonate today.
Focusing on the War of 1898, Louis Perez presents both a critique of the conventional historiography and an alternate history of the war that is informed by Cuban sources.
A provocative reinterpretation that will undoubtedly influence subsequent writing about the war.
Latin American Research Review We have indeed been well served both professionally and publicly by Pérez's critical reappraisal of 1898 and its significations.
The Americas [A] probing and provocative critique of the North American historiographical treatment of the conflict.
Pacific Historical Review [Draws] from his [Pérez's] vast and detailed knowledge of both primary and secondary sources.
Historian Elegantly written and crammed with the ideas and insights of a master historian.
Latin American Studies
Table of Contents
1 On Context and Condition
2 Intervention and Intent
3 Meaning of the Maine
4 Constructing the Cuban Absence
5 1898 to 1998: From Memory to Consciousness