LITTLE BROWN BROTHER by Leon Wolff

LITTLE BROWN BROTHER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The theme of this questionably titled book is explained by its lengthy subtitle: ""How the United States Purchased and Pacified the Philippine Islands at the Century's Turn."" An offshoot of the Spanish-American War over Cuba, a conflict no one wanted but the Yellow Press, Hearst and Theodore Roosevelt, this complicated affair of the Philippines brought with it its own war, which endured for years and cost thousands of lives. In 1898 the Philippine Islands, like Cuba, were Spanish possessions, with the native populations, exploited and enslaved, in a state of chronic revolt under a brilliant leader, Aguinaldo. When the Spanish-American War broke out Roosevelt, assistant secretary of War, ordered Admiral Dewey, who was in Hong Kong with the Asiatic Squadron, to capture the Philippines. This Dewey did, in the one-sided battle of Manila Bay; thereafter the United States had the Philippines on her hands and also Aguinaldo and the ""little brown brothers."" The United States at last paid Spain $20,000,000 for the islands, but failed to ask Aguinaldo and the natives what they thought about it. A desultory and bloody war resulted, with atrocities on both sides about which American knew almost nothing, for the Commanding General, Otis, censored all press dispatches and the Philippines were far away. In 1900, McKinley sent a commission to the Islands under William Howard Taft, and the truth came out, conditions were bettered, and when the book ends, in 1903, the Philippines were supposedly ""pacified."" Too confused and badly arranged for the general reader, this valuable and timely study of former American relations with Spain, Cuba and the Philippines will appeal, largely to students of American diplomacy; it should be required reading for all foreign relation officials.

Pub Date: March 3rd, 1960
Publisher: Doubleday