Ohio History Journal

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Chocolate Eclair or Mandarin

Manipulator? William McKinley, the

Spanish-American War, and the

Philippines: A Review Essay





The Spanish War: An American Epic-1898. By G.J.A. O'Toole. (New

York: W. W. Norton, 1984. 447p.; photographs, notes, bibliogra-

phy, index. $19.95.)

Sitting in Darkness: Americans in the Philippines. By David Haward

Bain. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984. 464p.; notes, bibliography,

index, photographs. $24.95.)





The Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection that

followed were significant historical events that continue to attract

scholarly and popular authors. G.J.A. O'Toole sees the war with

Spain as "a national rite of passage, transforming a former colony into

a world power" (p. 18). His book examines the background of the

conflict, but concentrates most heavily on the military events in the

spring and summer of 1898. David Haward Bain uses the life and ca-

reer of Frederick Funston, and especially his capture of the Filipino

leader Emilio Aguinaldo in 1901, as a basis for exploring the Ameri-

can relationship with the Philippines since George Dewey's victory at

Manila Bay on May 1, 1898.

Though the amount of space which each book devotes to Pres-

ident William McKinley varies with their contrasting purposes,

O'Toole and Bain both attempt to interpret and analyze the twenty-




Lewis L. Gould is Eugene C. Barker Centennial Professor of American History at the

University of Texas at Austin.