Cover image for The war of 1898 : the United States and Cuba in history and historiography
The war of 1898 : the United States and Cuba in history and historiography
Pérez, Louis A., 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xvi, 171 pages ; 25 cm
Reading Level:
1420 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E715 .P45 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



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.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

It is curious that there is no a comprehensive overview of the events of 1898 and their significance, although the conflict that pitted the US against Spain changed the political map of the world and gave birth to an independent Cuba. As Perez points out, the war has loomed large in national discourses of the 20th century. American historiography commemorates what it terms the "Spanish-American War" as the coming of age for US world leadership, whereas Spanish historians look at the war as a disaster, the final stage of Spain's 500-year-old New World Empire. Perez's study is a refreshing and balanced addition to the literature. Focusing not only on 1898 but also on its place in history, he performs the admirable task of exploring and analyzing the events in their greater context. The book is lucid, well documented, and balanced. The author provides a chronology, extensive notes, and a comprehensive bibliographic essay. This is a model study in a handsome edition that is unusually attractive in its graphic layout. Photographs and other visuals would have added even more, however. All levels. R. M. Levine; University of Miami

Table of Contents

Preface Chronology
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
Essay Index