The Philippine War, 1899-1902

Brian McAllister Linn

Winner: Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award

This year begins the centennial of the Philippine War, one of the most controversial and poorly understood events in American history. The war thrust the U.S. into the center of Pacific and Asian politics, with important and sometimes tragic consequences. It kept the Filipinos under colonial overlordship for another five decades and subjected them to American political, cultural, and economic domination.

“The definitive study of this often misunderstood war.”


“A thoughtful, deeply researched, and well-written work about a war that teaches much about the nature of revolutionary warfare—even today.”

Foreign Affairs
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In the first comprehensive study in over six decades, Linn provides a definitive treatment of military operations in the Philippines. From the pitched battles of the early war to the final campaigns against guerrillas, Linn traces the entire course of the conflict. More than an overview of Filipino resistance and American pacification, this is a detailed study of the fighting in the "boondocks."

In addition to presenting a detailed military history of the war, Linn challenges previous interpretations. Rather than being a clash of armies or societies, the war was a series of regional struggles that differed greatly from island to island. By shifting away from the narrow focus on one or two provinces to encompass the entire archipelago, Linn offers a more thorough understanding of the entire war.

Linn also dispels many of the misunderstandings and historical inaccuracies surrounding the Philippine War. He repudiates the commonly held view of American soldiers "civilizing with a Krag" and clarifies such controversial incidents as the Balangiga Massacre and the Waller Affair.

Exhaustively researched and engagingly written, The Philippine War will become the standard reference on America's forgotten conflict and a major contribution to the study of guerrilla warfare.

About the Author

Brian McAllister Linn is professor of history at Texas A&M University and the Harold K. Johnson Visiting Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army War College. He is the author of The U.S. Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899–1902 and Guardians of Empire: The U.S. Army and the Pacific, 1902–1940, winner of the 1997 Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award.

Additional Titles in the Modern War Studies Series