Search - Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War on DVD

Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War
Crucible of Empire The Spanish American War
Actor: .
Director: Daniel A. Miller
Genres: Educational, Documentary
NR     2007     2hr 0min

Crucible of Empire demonstrates how and why the Spanish-American War constitutes such an important milestone in U.S. history. This program examines the events and attitudes that led to war, followed by an exploration of th...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: .
Director: Daniel A. Miller
Genres: Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Educational, History
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 10/16/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 2hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Great intro to America's first imperialistic war
Jean E. Pouliot | Newburyport, MA United States | 08/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"What I know about the Spanish American War can be rattled off in about a minute -- Remember the Maine! Rough Riders, Guam, Cuba, Puerto Rico and he Philippines. This marvelous PBS presentation begins to fill in the rest. Using interviews with historians (including Stephen Ambrose and Daniel Brinkley) from America, Cuba and the Philippines, interspersed with period sheet music ("We have remembered the Maine, The Admiral Dewey March) and archival footage, "Crucible of Empire" tells the tale of a young and brash post-Civil War America ready to flex its adolescent muscle against a weak opponent. The great characters are here -- Teddy Roosevelt, William McKinley, William Randolph Hearst, but also the ignored Cuban and Philipino insurgents, like General Maximo Gomez and Emilio Aguinaldo. The first half of the show seemed as though it would pooh-pooh the dark side of the war, but PBS chose to more or less follow the changing mood of America itself towards its conquests -- from war fever to disillusionment. By the end of the film, the viewer begins to see the war -- with its racism, paternalism, undemocratic underpinnings, one-sided atrocities and the betrayal of the nationalistic aspirations of native-born people -- as the ugly little affair that it was. An epilogue brings the story to the present day, through independence, world war and revolution."
Depends on the audience . . .
phulana | mexico | 11/20/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"If history is your thing and you want a complete discussion of the Spanish American war--from media tactics to paternalistic foreign policy to military leaders--then by all means, get this video! It's all there!

If, however, you are a high school history teacher like me, and you are thinking of using this with 16 yr olds, just be careful! The "narrative" jumps back and forth between Cuba and the Philippines (even with lots of teacher guidance this confuses kids). But the biggest drawback is the complete lack of narrative suspense and drama.

Great history, but can turn into a painful classroom experience. (And it's loooooooong!)"
Nice Reminder of War Many Have Forgotten
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 07/18/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"My guess is that many of us Americans remember the Civil War and the World Wars, but many of us may have forgotten a war from approximately 110 years ago. We know of Fidel, but some do not know about American dynamics regarding Cuba before him. As the US is currently in a foreign war, this documentary reminds the viewer of another foreign war and perhaps we can learn lessons or make connections between the two.

This work had diverse interviewees: men and women, Americans and foreigners, Blacks, whites, Latinos, and Asians. What little that I read of "Fighting for American Manhood" was very strong and informative, so I was glad to see its author, Dr. K, Hoganson, interviewed for this work.

This work may be great for African-American Studies classes as well. The US sent Blacks to Cuba thinking they could deal with tropical environments better. Just like in the Vietnam War, Black and white soldiers were fighting each other just as much as with the foreign opponent. Black newspapers, just like in World War II, asked, "Why should we fight injustic abroad when no one is helping us seek justice here?" The stupidest thing is that many Americans of the majority background had no idea how many Cubans were Black.

I'm not a hawk in the slightest, but if you are going to watch a documentary on a war, you might as well see this one."