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Overview

These first-person accounts chronicle the highs and lows of army life during the Spanish-American War. They reveal the wonderment of leaving home and entering camp; the excitement of initially going overseas; the clash of arms; the drudgery of camp life; the boredom of occupation duty, and the anguish of disease. For the historian of the late nineteenth century, the Spanish_American War poses many problems. There is first of all the debate over the causes of the war: the Spanish _reconcentrado_ policy; the sinking of the USS Maine; and the role of the "yellow" press in developing a national mood conducive to war. After wading through the reams of paper sold by Hearst_Pulitzer, the historian might find it difficult to evaluate the revisionist's critique that bases were eagerly sought to protect and further extend American commercial policy or that the war was the final manifestation of Manifest Destiny. The dilemma develops further as the student of this era tries to separate American humanitarian idealism from her basic economic necessities.

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