Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898-1935. Jim Zwick.
Reviewed by Kelly A. Wöstman
Published on H-Teach (June, 1996)
Having received numerous enthusiastic reviews of his web site, <cite>Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898-1935</cite>, Jim Zwick, a doctoral student at Syracuse University, continues to update this site on a regular basis. <p> I've had success using this site in both a survey of US History course, and an upper-division course, "The US As a Superpower." In the freshman course, I created a worksheet that incorporated instruction on how to navigate the WWW, as well as instruction on how to obtain necessary information from it. Students spent several class periods working together, and were then they were to finish projects on their own. The graphics on Zwick's site, which includes both photographs and political cartoons, are impressive to students as they begin to immerse themselves in the reality of the Spanish-American war and the controversies it brought to the surface of American political debate. While some may argue that many of these artifacts are available in print, their appearance on a computer screen makes them come alive for students. As an instructor, I found that by using this website medium, it easier to direct students to the information I considered most important. In addition, student could not help but to follow links to other material on the WWW, and begin to explore its vast possibilities. I expected students in the upper-division course to spend more of their own time with the site, and to be able to utilize it's material, to answer a test essay about arguments they developed, and their opinion with regard to imperialism and anti-imperialism. Most upper-lever students appreciated the ease of use, and followed site links. Later, students even reported success in finding material for research for other courses. Overall, classroom use of this site has been very successful. I only wish there were more of them! <p> Zwick divides the site into the following categories: "History," "Literature, Essays," "Platforms," "Other Resources," "Unified Table of Contents," "What's New," and a "Citation and Permissions Guide." In the beginning of the "History" section, Zwick points out that the US role in relation to the rest of the world is still a subject of debate. He then gives more background on US foreign policy during the late 1890s. He includes literature documentation links, including both contemporary evaluations of imperialism/anti-imperialism as well as documents dating back to the turn of the century. There's a copy of "The White Man's Burden," as well as accounts that are critical of it. There are also topical poems, and Mark's Twain's view of U.S. involvement in the Philippines. <p> The "Essays" sections provides links to more than thirty-five documents published at the turn of the century. This is followed by the "Organizational Platforms and Petitions" section, which contains almost as many links. The most vivid section for students has been "Other Resources": <cite>The War from a Parlor: Stereoscopic Images of the Philippine-American War and Solderis' Letters Home</cite>, which, in the author's words, presents conflicting graphic and text intepretations of the war. These graphics range from after-battle scenes to portraits of leaders such as Funston and Aguinaldo Diverse Sites of Related Interest include: American Studies, Educational Resources, History, Literature, The Philippines, Politics, Syllabi, and Syracuse University. <p> Collecting usage figures and feedback from those that access the site from around the world, Zwick has compiled <cite>Survey Results</cite> that show how many have used the site for assigned reading, classroom use, and resarch, among other statistics. Between December 1995 and June 1996, the site had been accessed more than 230,000 times. Netscape Naviagator (with which I am most familiar) allows you to print sections of the site, including graphics. Zwick is to be commended for his efforts. He is providing a wonderful resource, which is free to anyone with access to the internet.
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Kelly A. Wöstman. Review of , Anti-Imperialism in the United States, 1898-1935.
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