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The Spanish-American War Books

José Martí, José Martí: Selected Writings (2002)

Description: Cuban poet, philosopher, and freedom fighter José Martí wrote essays about his homeland, his mixed heritage, American democracy, racial injustices, and his day-to-day observations while serving in the Cuban war for independence. Although Martí died before the Spanish-American War, his essays offer some clues as to the outcome of the conflict.

José Rizal, Noli Me Tangere (1887)

Description: Upon completing this work in 1887, Jose Rizal described Noli Me Tangere to a friend: "The Novel is the first impartial and bold account of the life of the tagalogs. The Filipinos will find in it the history of the last ten years." His gripping and controversial tale of Spanish colonial injustice awakened national consciousness among Filipinos and contributed to the rise of the Filipino independence movement.

Theodore Roosevelt, The Rough Riders (1899)

Description: In this memoir, Theodore Roosevelt chronicles the recruitment, training, and frontline experiences of the Rough Rider Regiment, a volunteer cavalry comprised of men from all walks of life, including Harvard graduates, farmers, American Indians, ex-Confederate soldiers, and African-Americans. Roosevelt's account has served as one of the key primary texts used by American historians to describe "the splendid little war."

Willard Gatewood, ed., Smoked Yankees and the Struggle for Empire: Letters From Negro Soldiers (1987)

Description: Throughout the course of the Spanish-American War, African-American soldiers wrote home to describe their experiences and to tell of their accomplishments on the battlefield. Many sought to refute accusations made by Theodore Roosevelt regarding their competence as fighters, and to prove that black soldiers were "among the bravest and most trustworthy of this land."

Louis Pérez, Jr., The War of 1898: The United States and Cuba in History and Historiography (1998)

Description: Cuban historian Louis Pérez explains the ways in which American politicians and historians have erased Cubans from the Spanish-American War. A provocative—and highly readable!—book that will inspire you to dig deeply into the familiar narratives of history.

Walter LaFeber, The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1860-1898 (1963)

Description: American historian Walter LaFeber seeks to prove that the Spanish-American War was hardly an accident or an absent-minded adventure. Instead, he argues, American elites believed war would bring economic relief and, more importantly, launch the U.S. as a world power.

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