David J. Silbey, “A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902” (Hill and Wang, 2008)
The Spanish-American War was not only the beginning of a new imperial period for the United States, David Silbey observes in his book A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902 (Hill and Wang, 2008), it was also the point at which the Filipino people first began to... Read More
Mark Bradley, “Vietnam at War” (Oxford UP, 2009)
My uncle fought in Vietnam. He flew F-105 Thundercheifs, or “Thuds.” He bombed the heck out of an area north of Hanoi called “Thud Ridge.” He’d come home on leave and tell us that it was okay “over there” and not to worry. I didn’t because I was sure “we”... Read More
Mark Bradley and Marilyn Young, “Making Sense of the Vietnam Wars” (Oxford UP, 2008)
What to think about the Vietnam War? A righteous struggle against global Communist tyranny? An episode in American imperialism? A civil war into which the United States blindly stumbled? And what of the Vietnamese perspective? How did they–both North and South–understand the war? Mark Bradley and Marilyn Young have assembled... Read More
Richard Fogarty, “Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army,  1914-1918” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2008)
The thing about empire building is that when you’re done building one, you’ve got to figure out what to do with it. This generally involves the “extraction of resources.” We tend to think of this in terms of things like gold, oil, or rubber. But people can be “extracted” as... Read More
James Willbanks, “Abandoning Vietnam: How America Left and South Vietnam Lost Its War” (University of Kansas Press, 2008)
U.S. forces invade a distant country in order to disarm an international threat to American security. They fight well, and win every major battle decisively. They become occupiers, and find themselves engaged in a low-level guerrilla war against a determined though shadowy enemy. The American-backed government has a tenuous hold... Read More
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