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Fought in both Caribbean and Pacific and turning on America's superior naval strength, this short but decisive war had momentous consequences internationally. It ended Spain's imperial power, and the US emerged for the first time as an active force in world affairs, acquiring -- amidst much domestic controversy -- an empire of her own in the Philippines, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Cuba (whose struggle against Spain had sparked the war). Heavy with implications for twentieth-century America, the war is explored in its widest context in this engrossing and impressive study.