Originally published 10/31/2013
"The Bully Pulpit" chronicles the friendship between Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.
Originally published 03/15/2013
In school, most of us learned a couple of facts about America’s evolving imperial ambitions and the Spanish-American War of 1898: the sinking of the battleship Maine in Cuba, the Roughrider charge up San Juan Hill led by Teddy Roosevelt, and Commodore George Dewey’s sinking of the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. But the ensuing, bloody Philippine-American War of 1899 to 1902 is usually neglected in most standard history courses.Within months of the victory over Spain, the American “liberation” of the Filipino population from Spanish colonial despotism became an American war against the Filipino independence movement and for conquest of the islands. After suffering overwhelming defeats in conventional battles, the Filipino revolutionaries adopted guerilla warfare tactics, and the U.S. forces responded with brutality. In what General Frederick Funston labeled a “nasty little war” as soldiers randomly fired into villages, burned homes and crops, summarily executed perceived enemies, tortured combatants and civilians with techniques such as a form of water boarding, and committed other atrocities. More than four thousand U.S. troops died in the Philippines war, whereas fewer than four hundred Americans died in the Spanish-American War -- “a splendid little war,” according to Secretary of State John Hay.
Originally published 01/18/2013
...But with a crowded race for City Hall this year and some likely candidates suggesting they would like appoint a different top cop, it remains unclear what’s might come next for the long-time commissioner. Metropolis spoke with historian Edmund Morris, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of a trilogy about Teddy Roosevelt, on how Kelly compares with New York’s other famous police commissioner. Here is the edited interview:Metropolis: What drew TR into the police force? And how was policing different back then?Morris: TR came back to the city of his birth in 1895, after six long years as a civil service commissioner in Washington, ambitious to be a moral force in the reform administration of Mayor William L. Strong.Ironically, his restless progressivism ran into even more opposition here than it had been in the nation’s capital. This was partly because TR was just one member of the city’s four-man board of police commissioners (as president of the board, he had only titular preeminence). But it was also because he seemed to go out of his way to alienate such entrenched, conservative interests as the saloon industry, Wall Street, and indeed the corrupt ranks of the police force itself.
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