Wednesday, April 18, 2012
First Great Triumph
First Great Triumph : How Five Americans Made Their Country a World Power
by Warren Zimmermann
"We were sure that we would win, that we should score the first great triumph in a mighty world-movement."--Theodore Roosevelt, 1904
Americans like to think they have no imperial past. In fact, the United States became an imperial nation within five short years a century ago (1898-1903), exploding onto the international scene with the conquest of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, and (indirectly) Panama. How did the nation become a player in world politics so suddenly? What inspired the move toward imperialism in the first place? Read and find out.
The authors center the story on five men Theodore Roosevelt, Alfred T. Mahan, Henry Cabot Lodge, John Hay, and Elihu Root. These five friends pushed for the U.S. to be involved in international affairs at a time when their elders remembered or fought in the Civil War and knew how awful war could be.