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MEMORY OF MY BROTHER HENRY WARING LATANE THE HERO OF MY CHILDHOOD AND THE
INSPIRATION OF MY YOUTH A STRONG AND NOBLE LIFE CUT SHORT IN A CAREER FULL OF EARLY ACHIEVEMENT
AND OF BRILLIANT PROMISE
THE FORCIBLE COLLECTION OF Public Debts
'HIS, the last volume of narrative text in The
American Nation, takes up the story where it is left off by Professor Dewey's National Problems (Vol. XXIV.), at the point where, after the election of 1896, the country began to take an absorbing interest in the insurrection in Cuba. The main field of the volume is therefore the Spanish War of 1898 and its consequences on the spirit and policy of the American people; but it also includes the great administrative and economic questions which have pressed for a solution.
The first four chapters are wholly devoted to the preliminaries of intervention in Cuba, the war with Spain and the following Peace of Paris; with a fifth chapter on the Philippine insurrection. The perplexing questions as to the status of the new dependencies is treated in chapter viii., (which includes Porto Rico), and in chapter ix. on the progress of government in the Philippines. Another phase of the outcome of the Spanish War is the history of the Republic of Cuba (chapter x.). On the other side of the world the possession of the Philippines brought the United States into new relations with the Orient, and into the Chinese Boxer movement of 1900, described in chapter vi. The latest phases of the silver agitation are the currency standard bill of 1900 described in chapter vii., and the election of 1904 in chapter xiii. Five other questions of foreign policy: the Alaskan Boundary, Panama Canal, International Arbitration, the Monroe Doctrine, and the collection of public debts in Latin America, are the subjects of chapters xi.-xii., and xiv.-xvi. The volume closes with a study of the immigration problem (chapter xvii.), and of the economic problems of the time, particularly the regulation of corporations (chapter xviii.)
The special importance of this volume in the series is that it brings almost to the date of publication, and in many cases to a conclusion, questions which have arisen within the fields of other volumes. It rounds out the political and particularly the diplomatic history of the last half-century. Professor Latané's treatment is objective, and as far removed from prejudgment as is possible on questions so instant and so absorbing. The special service of the volume is to bring out clearly how the Spanish War and its results set the nation in a strong position among the world's great powers, and gave to the American people a new set of interests and purposes.
HE difficulties of writing contemporary history
can be fully appreciated only by those who have essayed the task. In employing a method, which, while progressive, is topical rather than strictly chronological, the first problem is the selection of those topics which best illustrate the progress and tendency of events and the exclusion of those that would unnecessarily burden or obscure the narrative. Many interesting and some important subjects have been omitted for lack of space. Another problem is that of proportion—the relative emphasis which each subject should receive. As the title of this volume would indicate, special attention has been given to questions of international and colonial policy, and the space devoted to internal affairs has been correspondingly reduced. A third and still more difficult problem is the treatment of the personal element, which enters as a prime factor into the history of every age. It is impossible to pass anything approximating final judgment on living men, for the real motives underlying their acts are rarely, if ever, fully revealed during their