Classic History Books


The Path of Empire. A Chronicle of the United States as a World Power
by Carl Russell Fish

period is "The Life and Letters of John Hay," by W. R. Thayer, 2 vols. (1915).

Treatments of American diplomacy as a whole are few. J. W. Foster's "Century of American Diplomacy"
(1901) ends with 1876. C. R. Fish in "American Diplomacy" (1915) gives a narrative from the beginning

to the present time. W. A. Dunning's "The British Empire and the United States" (1914) is illuminating

and interesting. Few countries possess so firm a basis for the understanding of their relations with the

world as J. B. Moore has laid down in his "Digest of International Law," 8 vols. (1906), and his "History

and Digest of International Arbitrations," 6 vols. (1898).

Particular episodes and subjects have attracted much more the attention of students. Of the library of
works on the Monroe Doctrine, A. B. Hart's "The Monroe Doctrine, an Interpretation" (1916) can be

most safely recommended. On the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, M. W. Williams's "Anglo-American Isthmian

Diplomacy," 1815-1915 (1916) combines scholarly accuracy with interest. A. R. Colquhoun's "The

Mastery of the Pacific" (1902) has sweep; and no one will regret reading R. L. Stevenson's "A Footnote

to History" (1892), though it deals but with the toy kingdom of Samoa.

The most important history of the Spanish War is Admiral F. E. Chadwick's "The Relations of the United
States and Spain," one volume of which, "Diplomacy" (1909), deals with the long course of relations

which explain the war; and two volumes, "Spanish-American War" (1911), give a narrative and critical

account of the war itself. E. J. Benton's "International Law and Diplomacy of the Spanish-American

War" (1908) is a good review of the particular aspects indicated in the title. The activity of the navy is

discussed from various angles by J.D. Long, "The New American Navy," 2 vols. (1903), and by H. H.

Sargent in "The Campaign of Santiago de Cuba," 3 vols. (1907), in which he gives a very valuable

documentary and critical history of the chief campaign. General Joseph Wheeler has told the story from

the military point of view in "The Santiago Campaign" (1899), and Theodore Roosevelt in "The Rough

Riders" (1899). A good military account of the whole campaign is H.W. Wilson's "The Downfall of

Spain" (1900). Russell A. Alger in "The Spanish-American War"(1901) attempts to defend his

administration of the War Department. General Frederick Funston, in his "Memories of Two Wars"

(1911) proves himself as interesting as a writer as he was picturesque as a fighter. J.A. LeRoy, in "The

Americans in the Philippines," 2 vols. (1914), gives a very careful study of events in those islands to the

outbreak of guerrilla warfare. C.B. Elliott's "The Philippines," 2 vols. (1917), is an excellent study of

American policy and its working up to the Wilson Administration. W.F. Willoughby discusses

governmental problems in his "Territories and Dependencies of the United States" (1905).

On the period subsequent to the Spanish War, J.H. Latane's "America as a World Power" (in the
"American Nation Series," 1907) is excellent. A.C. Coolidge's "The United States as a World Power"

(1908) is based on a profound understanding of European as well as American conditions. C.L. Jones's

"Caribbean Interests of the United States" (1916) is a comprehensive survey. The "Autobiography of

Theodore Roosevelt" (1913) is indispensable for an understanding of the spirit of his Administration.

W.H. Taft's "The United States and Peace" (1914) is a source, a history, and an argument.

The "International Year Book" and the "American Year Book" contain annual accounts written by men
of wide information and with great attention to accuracy. Such periodic treatments, however, are

intended to be, and are, valuable for fact rather than for interpretation.

 

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