Honor in the Dust
by Gregg Jones
The 1898 Spanish-American War is a largely forgotten conflict, overshadowed in history by the two World Wars that followed it. Neglected further still is America’s resulting war against the independence movement in the Philippines, which was acquired by the United States as part of the peace treaty with Spain. In Honor in the Dust, investigative journalist Gregg Jones details America’s path to war with Spain – a path blazed in large part by Theodore Roosevelt – and the overwhelming American victory that followed. He traces the debate over where America’s responsibilities lay after the victory, whether it should grant independence to the liberated Spanish colonies or itself embark upon the course of empire. Having chosen empire, the nation found itself mired in the challenges of being an imperial power over an unwilling people and waged a brutal war of subjugation against Filipinos, revolutionaries and citizens alike. As the horrific stories of the torture and death of Filipinos at the hands of American soldiers came to light, the opponents of American imperialism fought for a return to the principles of justice and freedom that they believed had made America exceptional. While Jones concludes that the American experience in the Philippines unraveled the grand imperialist design of Roosevelt and his fellow Progressives, it was still a vast departure from traditional American policy, the consequences of which would reverberate for decades.
Praise for Honor in the Dust
“In the end, Honor in the Dust is less about the freedom of the Philippines than the soul of the United States. This is the story of what happened when a powerful young country and its zealous young president were forced to face the high cost of their ambitions.” – Candice Millard, New York Times Book Review
“America’s brutal war of conquest in the Philippines is amazingly little-known, largely ignored in our schoolbooks and history museums. Yet its imperial hubris and its torture scandal eerily foreshadow events of the last decade. In his much-needed, highly readable book on this forgotten war, Gregg Jones has written both a compelling page-turner and a work of careful scholarship.” – Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost
What to Read Next