Shady in origin, dubious in its objectives, spectacularly mismanaged; the Spanish-American War of 1898 has a certain relevance for today and a journalist gives a firm account of it. After much preliminary war talk bolstered by Pulitzer and Hearst, the conflict became inevitable after the USS Maine, on a courtesy call to Cuba, was blown up. Millionaires raised private armies while T.R. recruited his Rough Riders and bought his own self-designed uniform from Brooks Brothers. Because Congress failed to vote funds for sufficient supplies and modern firearms, soldiers were fed spoiled rations and lacked equipment of all kinds. However the Americans survived disaster only because the Spanish were more incompetent and T.R., the darling of the press, received all the laurels while equally brave men died of wounds, hunger, malaria and yellow fever. A concise, biting account, for doves and hawks alike, with an index, and bibliography.