This book blends international relations and gender history to provide a new understanding of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars. Kristin L. Hoganson shows how gendered ideas about citizenship and political leadership influenced jingoist political leaders' desire to wage these conflicts, and she traces how they manipulated ideas about gender to embroil the nation in war. She argues that racial beliefs were only part of the cultural framework that undergirded U.S. martial policies at the turn of the century. Gender beliefs, often working in tandem with racial beliefs, affected the rise and fall of the nation's imperialist impulse.
In 1898, the United States entered a war with Spain to liberate Cuba from the European power's imperialist grasp. A few years later, it waged war against the Philippines--but this time to further its own imperialist agenda. Over the last 100 years, historians have pondered the causes of these conflicts, basing their theories on economics, politics, or culture. Here, Hoganson (history/literature, Harvard) adds a new dimension to the historiography of the wars by examining how gender beliefs may have been motivational factors for leaders in both struggles. This unique work, based on the author's dissertation and relying on a host of primary and secondary sources, might go well with John Tebbel's more popularly written America's Great Patriotic War with Spain (LJ 10/15/96) and Ivan Musicant's Empire by Default (LJ 12/97), a readable military history. A useful addition to any academic or larger public library.--Theresa McDevitt, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania