The War Lovers

The War Lovers

Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898

Book - 2010
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From the bestselling author of "Sea of Thunder" comes a riveting narrative about America's ferocious drive towards empire during the Gilded Age, and the uncanny resemblance of the Spanish-American War to the Iraq War of today.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316004091
Branch Call Number: 973.891 THOMAS
Characteristics: viii, 471 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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Sep 28, 2017

The book covers most the late 1890s and how we got into a war with Spain over its possessions of Cuba and the Philippines. It would not surprise us today in the early 21st century with advocacy television “news” that a drum beat for war could be sounded loudly and repeatedly. Just as now we tend to believe certain television sources, people then trusted their newspapers, some of which printed outright lies. Also, many politicians thought that we needed a war to stiffen our characters, especially since we hadn’t had one since the Civil War.
Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William James were central characters that the book gives us insights into regarding having war. We also get a good look at the thoughts of William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper man and his Journal newspaper. We can see today how some of the unclear thinking of the past still persist today, including inaccurate reporting and advocacy for a cause.
I thought the book was extremely well-written and researched, but wished it had related more directly the lessons from the past to more contemporary conflicts. Perhaps the reader should see the parallels easily.

Mar 14, 2016

A lot of what I didn't know about the Spanish American War and the beginning of US imperialism. The book provides and interesting interplay between Henry Cabot Lodge (grandfather of the Henry Cabot Lodge of Cold War fame), William Randolph Hearst and Teddy Roosevelt. Not flattering. Trumped up case to invade Cuba and the Philippines but Hearst and Roosevelt. Insight into the mindset that resulted in the invasion of Iraq by Cheney and Wolfowitz. Jingoism lives - except it sort of succeeded then and it definitely failed with Cheney, Rumsfeld and W. - but that's not really what is in this interesting revelation.

Aug 08, 2014

"Remember the Maine!" If you know that phrase, but are unsure of what it means, this is a absorbing, insightful, and resonant book about the events leading up to the Spanish-American War in Cuba and what it meant for America in the 20th century. Roosevelt, who became president after McKinley was assassinated, newspaper magnate Hearst (the model for "Citizen Kane"), and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge are the larger than life figures who wanted war and weren't too scrupulous about how they got it. There are eerie parables between our entry into Cuba and our entry into Iraq: an ill-informed public, media hype, an overstated threat, and instinctive patriotism. Full of compelling characters, including philosopher William James, and lessons for contemporary Americans, this is an invaluable book about a neglected subject. It is really this period that sowed the seeds of American imperialism and empire. Also see "The Imperial Cruise."


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