Gideon’s Long War

25 Jun

My new historical, Gideon’s War, is out today under the new Fuselit on-line imprint. When I finished it the first time, as the Iraq War was grinding to the crashing disaster it was always going to be, I had thought that it would attract the attention of some publisher because the would be a revulsion against overseas campaigns sending our troops to die for a lie.

We know how that worked out. But how did we get here? Gideon’s War is an adventure set at the start of America’s imperial arc, when the country was fat, isolated, and almost totally unarmed. Those who wanted an empire for us — Theodore Roosevelt, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr., William Randolph Hearst and Rudyard Kipling in his America phase, had to contrive our involvement in the Cuban war to get what they really wanted, control of the Caribbean and  colonies in the Pacific. Most Americans went to war to free Cuba. Three years later, American troops were storming the Forbidden City in Peking. Some of them were the same men who’d gone up San Juan Hill. That was what it was really about, and still is.

But it could have gone so differently. The troops of Fifth Corps could well have ended up at the business end of a total military disaster. If they had, the myth of American empire — that it comes easily — would probably have been very different, and so would the future.

Gideon Bauer is there at the beginning.

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