The great-grandson of a Spanish-American War veteran, journalist William Craig explores the battlefields and back roads of Cuba's Oriente Province, home to Cuba's greatest spiritual and revolutionary traditions, in his book Yankee Come Home.
Hear Craig discuss his memoir of travel, a “reader-friendly” introduction to the Spanish-American War and the history between the United States and Cuba, on Sunday, February 3, at 2 pm in the Westport Library’s McManus Room. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the program, which is free and open to the public.
Interested in Westport's news, events, community bulletins, blogs and businesses? Sign up for the free Westport Patch daily newsletter, "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
In 1898, the United States set off on a crusade to avenge a spectacular act of terrorism and help an oppressed people win freedom. Americans rejoiced at swift victories—only to find that the real war had just begun. Promoted as a selfless quest, the crusade for “Cuba libre!” became an imperialist land-grab, degenerating into counterinsurgency, profiteering, torture, scandals, and massacres. The embarrassing war was willfully forgotten—along with its warning about the consequences of acting imperially.
Craig shows how America’s past and present influence is visible everywhere in Oriente Province, from Guantánamo, where Red Badge of Courage author Stephen Crane received his baptism of fire, to the hill that Teddy Roosevelt charged from “all the way to the White House.” Following the road that took America from isolationist republic to overseas empire, Craig discovers that, to make sense of post-9/11 America, we need to understand 1898.
Craig is a journalist and professor at New Hampshire's River Valley Community College. He has written for the Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, Spectator, and Boston Review. His fiction has appeared in StoryQuarterly and the New England Review.