Thursday, December 08, 2005

One of Our Guys

Max Boot reviews a book on Leonard Wood:

The American Empire in the early 20th century produced a cornucopia of striking characters: Marines like Smedley Butler and Dan Daly; soldiers like Frederick Funston and Frank Ross McCoy; colonial administrators like William Cameron Forbes and Charles Magoon. Almost all are forgotten today. That's a shame, because the American Empire has seen a resurgence in recent years. Modern-day proconsuls in Kabul or Baghdad could do a lot worse than to study their predecessors' experiences in Havana or Manila for tips on how to run a liberal imperium.

Of the great American imperialists, Leonard Wood is certainly among the most remarkable, but he too has fallen into undeserved obscurity. Thus we can be grateful for Jack McCallum's dutiful biography, which gives us a reliable, if uninspired, chronicle of Wood's meteoric ascent and a detailed record of his imperial achievements.
I'm still trying to get an article published that makes a similar argument.

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