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A War in Perspective, 1898-1998: Public Appeals, Memory and the Spanish-American Conflict



In the past one hundred years, historical interpretations of the Spanish-American conflict have varied, depending on the place of origin and ideological stance of the interpreters, and have evolved from amateur to professional analysis. A study of this interpretive variation and evolution illuminates the interrelationship between public memory and academic perspectives. Serving as the basis of different interpretations are the selective coverage of events by the press during the war and the first popular compilations of news and photographs from the war. Historical selection proceeded with official and private accounts and recollections by celebrated participants and diplomats. Soon thereafter appeared the first military histories of the war based on official documentation; these became classics on the subject. Revisionist interpretations followed, and the rise of historical consciousness in young nations contributed to strong nationalist and anti-imperialist perspectives. Debate among historians continues, with some formulating renewed public appeals addressed to communal feelings and memories.

Exhibition Checklist

IntroductionChronology | Part I: Antecedents, 1895-1898 | Part II: Public Appeals, 1898 | Part III: Popular Participation, 1898-1899 | Part IV: Public Memories Part V: Historical PerspectivesAudiovisual Components | Exhibition Checklist | AcknowledgmentsSuggested Reading /About the Library Shop | Related Exhibits/Spanish American War Websites of Interest | Exhibition home page | NYPL Exhibitions

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