Baker & Taylor Explains how the Navy's prized battleship failed to protect Cuba from Spanish rule in the United States' first step away from isolationism during the Spanish-American War
Blackwell North Amer On the misty Tuesday evening of February 15, 1898, the battleship Maine blew up in Havana Harbor, with the loss of 260 lives. A court of inquiry determined that a mine had caused the disaster: No blame was assigned. Yet the United States soon rushed into a war that thrust it on a course of expansion and brought responsibilities and commitments that still plague the nation almost a century later. A Ship to Remember tells two riveting stories. The first is the mystery of the Maine--how, why, and by whom she was destroyed--a puzzle that has defied solution over the years. Michael Blow's vivid account of the tragedy and the ensuing investigations is the most comprehensive ever published. The larger narrative of the book is a full-scale history of the Spanish-American War and its satellite conflicts, the Cuban revolution of 1895 and the Philippine "insurrection" of 1899-1902. Blow dramatically re-creates the major battles of the war and gives new meaning to their consequences. As one naval officer put it, "An hour or two at Manila, an hour or two at Santiago, and the maps of the world were changed." The preeminent figure of the period, as civilian and soldier, was the indomitable Theodore Roosevelt--assistant secretary of the navy, colonel of the Rough Riders, president. His prodigious energy and single-minded purpose seemed almost to hurl the nation into a new century. But Roosevelt is only one of the important players. The book's compelling cast of characters includes William Randolph Hearst, whose "new journalism" gives fresh meaning to the word "yellow"; reporter and illustrator Frederic Remington portraying the glory and the misery of the battle for the San Juan Heights; young Winston Churchill, who takes his first lesson in guerrilla warfare in Cuba; the legendary Richard Harding Davis exposing the horror of Spanish concentration camps; General Valeriano Weyler, the man Hearst called "butcher," who learned how to wage total war from William Tecumseh Sherman; "Dynamite Johnny" O'Brien, gunrunner, Cuban patriot, and the Maine's last commander; George Dewey, master of ships, political dunce; Stephen Crane, whose disregard of death seemed a subconscious effort to confirm the psychology of The Red Badge of Courage; and William McKinley, whose backbone proved firmer than his critics had thought. A Ship to Remember is a clear window to an impetuous, neglected era of American history, and it is a detective story that will stand as the definitive account of one of the nation's greatest disasters.
Baker & Taylor Explains how the Navy's prized battleship failed to protect Cuba from Spanish rule in the United States' first step away from isolationism during the Spanish-American War. 20,000 first printing. First serial, Military History Quarterly.