The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898

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The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898

Author: Evan Thomas
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 413
Cover Price: $ 29.99

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On February 15th, 1898, the American ship USS Maine mysteriously exploded in the Havana Harbor. News of the blast quickly reached U.S. shores, where it was met by some not with alarm but great enthusiasm.

A powerful group of war lovers agitated that the United States exert its muscle across the seas. Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge were influential politicians dismayed by the "closing" of the Western frontier. William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal falsely heralded that Spain's "secret infernal machine" had destroyed the battleship as Hearst himself saw great potential in whipping Americans into a frenzy. The Maine would provide the excuse they'd been waiting for.

On the other side were Roosevelt's former teacher, philosopher William James, and his friend and political ally, Thomas Reed, the powerful Speaker of the House. Both foresaw a disaster. At stake was not only sending troops to Cuba and the Philippines, Spain's sprawling colony on the other side of the world-but the friendships between these men.

Now, bestselling historian Evan Thomas brings us the full story of this monumental turning point in American history. Epic in scope and revelatory in detail, The War Lovers takes us from Boston mansions to the halls of Congress to the beaches of Cuba and the jungles of the Philippines. It is landmark work with an unforgettable cast of characters-and provocative relevance to today.

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Background Information

When the American warship USS Maine blew up in Havana Harbor in 1898, it provided the spark needed to launch America into war with Spain. Theodore Roosevelt was a progressive political leader, conservationist, war hero and adventurer. Henry Cabot Lodge was a member of one of Boston's prominent old families and served in the United States Senate. William Randolph Hearst parlayed a family fortune built on silver mining into a media empire that spanned newspapers, magazines, movies, and more. The major ground campaigns of the Spanish-American War were in Cuba, where the army of Spain was completely overmatched by the US Army. The United States had its first experience with people who didn't appreciate being liberated when they took the Philippines from Spain and then faced a native revolt.