Cover image for Diary of a dirty little war : the Spanish-American War of 1898
Diary of a dirty little war : the Spanish-American War of 1898
Rosenfeld, Harvey.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, [2000]

Physical Description:
207 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Reading Level:
1110 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E715 .R75 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The Spanish-American War has been called a splendid little war, but, as Rosenfeld contends, it was a dirty little war as well. This colorful account, presented in diary format from the days preceding the declaration of war to the signing of the peace treaty with Spain, reveals how every aspect of American life was ultimately touched by the war. From the beginning, a unique spirit of patriotism pervaded the nation as volunteers flooded local enlistment centers. But it soon was evident that the United States was ill prepared to deal with the demands of training new troops, transporting them to staging areas, and protecting them against disease. Rosenfeld provides readers with the local color of the home front, including the experiences of the Jewish and black communities in the war, and strikes a balance between scholarly and popular writing.

Dramatic accounts of the battle of Manila and the heroism of Admiral Dewey, as well as extensive reports of land battles--including the efforts of Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders--fill the early daily entries. Loved ones eagerly awaited any news of military developments, and weary survivors detailed their ordeals in press accounts. Rosenfeld includes valuable contextual information on the Hawaiian annexation debate and the Puerto Rican expedition. This fascinating approach to an early American foray into international affairs brings to life a war that is often overlooked.

Author Notes

Harvey Rosenfeld teaches English at St. John's University and Pace University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Rosenfeld's book is a daily chronology and summary of the "splendid little war," the Spanish-American War of 1898. In the preface the author calls his book "the recording" of the war. Basing his work mainly on newspapers, especially The New York Times, Rosenfeld also uses other newspapers and journals, and some books. He begins with an account of an extraordinary cabinet session on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1898, which became part of the road to war, officially declared on April 25. He then reports on the fighting and on the peace negotiations. Finally, he gives the terms of the Peace Protocol of August 12. The US had become an empire, controlling Cuba and acquiring Puerto Rico, Guam, Wake, and especially the Philippines. General readers; undergraduates. J. P. Hobbs; North Carolina State University

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
1. Ten Days of Indecisionp. 7
2. Ultimatum Issuedp. 21
3. War Officially Declaredp. 29
4. Victory at Manila Bayp. 39
5. The Long Waitp. 47
6. On the Way!p. 59
7. Attack on San Juanp. 65
8. The Blockade of Cubap. 83
9. The Sinking of the Merrimac and Escalation Against Santiagop. 93
10. The Invasion of Guantanamop. 107
11. Escalation of the Land Forces in Cuba: The Rough Riders and Blacks Stand Outp. 119
12. The Battles of El Caney and San Juan Heightsp. 133
13. Sampson's Gift ... Cervera's Fleetp. 141
14. Bombardment and Capitualtion of Santiagop. 155
15. The Puerto Rican Campaignp. 169
16. Preparations for Peace Negotiations Beginp. 179
17. Hostilities Suspended ... Protocol Signedp. 199
Works Citedp. 203
Indexp. 205