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The Depiction And The Criticism Of America’s Self Interest

1102 words - 5 pages

Gregg Jones, the author of the Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America’s Imperial Dream, have wrote this book for anybody in the public as his audience. This book illustrates the history of America’s war against Spain, and the annexation of the Philippines in a vividly style of writing. Gregg Jones depicts history as a “live history,” not as any chronological timeline of what something happened. Nevertheless, Gregg Jones criticizes the self-interest and the altruism reasoning towards the America’s imperialistic actions.
First of all, after the outbreak of Spanish American War in 1898, there was couple of schools to interpret history ...view middle of the document...

Pratt expresses that, this war as “intellectual and emotional factors were responsible for the new expansionism.” (Couvares, Saxon, p.103) At this time, Social Darwinism was popular among the society. This Social Darwinism had created a notion and a justification for the United States to take an imperialistic action. After Pratt’s interpretation of the history, William Appleman Williams had published his book about foreign policy, which gave a dramatic influence to the school of New Left. Williams indicate in this book that the US had been imperialistic from the beginning, even before the declaration of independence to Brittan. As the American Frontier declined and vanished, America had to create oversea colonies to fulfill the desire to produce more products, which were results from industrialization.
However, when analyzing Gregg Jones interprets his works, he does not take a stance in any school of historiography. Jones does not focus mainly on any economic factors or the intellectual/emotional factors. Conversely, he focuses on the people who were involved in the Spanish American War and the Annexation of the Philippines. As we can see from the Honor in the Dust, Gregg Jones describes more than enough information on the main characters, such as Theodore Roosevelt, Tony Waller, and so on. He might have written this book in a historiographical context, which the modern age required him to write in such a way.
As mentioned previously, Gregg Jones’ style of writing in this book illustrates the events in Spanish American War and the Annexation of the Philippines as lively and vivid. It has a sense of more like an adventurous narrative, rather than a historical text. This might have been caused by his background as an investigative journalist. Also this book is targeted for the general public, which Gregg Jones had to make them dramatic to attract audiences. Yet, this book consults many academic and realistic books and journals, which makes these harsh war incidents to be depicted more realistically.
Jones criticizes the imperialistic self-interests of the United States in his works. To begin with, Albert Jeremiah Beveridge and Theodore Roosevelt claimed the dominancy of Anglo-Saxons compared to the rest of race and ethnicity. This might have occurred by the popularity of social Darwinism. Roosevelt must...

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