Vestiges of War

The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream 1899-1999

500 pages

200 illustrations

December, 2002

ISBN: 9780814797914



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Angel Velasco Shaw is a film and video maker and teaches in the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program at New York University.

All books by Angel Velasco Shaw

Luis H. Francia's many books include Flippin': Filipinos on America, Eye of the Fish and Brown River, White Ocean.

All books by Luis H. Francia

U.S. intervention in the Philippines began with the little-known 1899 Philippine-American War. Using the war as its departure point in analyzing U.S.—Philippine relations, Vestiges of War retrieves this willfully forgotten event and places it where it properly belongs—as the catalyst that led to increasing U.S. interventionism and expansionism in the Asia Pacific region. This seminal, multidisciplinary anthology examines the official American nationalist story of "benevolent assimilation" and fraternal tutelage in its half century of colonial occupation of the Philippines.

Integrating critical and visual art essays, archival and contemporary photographs, dramatic plays, and poetry to address the complex Philippine and U.S. perspectives and experiences, the essayists compellingly recount the consequences of American colonialism in the Philippines. Vestiges of War will force readers to reshape their views on what has been a deliberately obscure but significant phase in the histories of both countries, one which continues to haunt the present.

Contributors: Genara Banzon, Santiago Bose, Ben Cabrera, Renato Constantino, Doreen Fernandez, Eric Gamalinda, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Jessica Hagedorn, Reynaldo Ileto, Yong Soon Min, Manuel Ocampo, Paul Pfeiffer, Christina Quisumbing, Vicente Rafael, Daniel Boone Schirmer, Kidlat Tahimik, Mark Twain, and Jim Zwick.


  • "An extraordinary collection of literary, artistic, and historical work which fills the huge gap in what Americans know about their nation's relationship to the Philippines, in war and peace."

    —Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

  • "[An] undercurrent of urgency is still true today and it runs through the pages of this anthology, brilliantly organized by Shaw and Francia. It is truly an anthology that "breathes." And I too hope that Vestiges of War will inspire others to engage in similar projects and expand on what the editors have initiated."

    American Studies International

  • "Through forceful poems, archival phots, art, visual essays, plays and memoirs, three dozen contributors. . .weigh in against the glossed over or repressed history of the war and its aftermath in the Philippines. . . . If more textbooks were written like this, there might be fewer wars."

    The Japan Times

  • "It is the rich variety of sources, the many ways of expressing the dilemma and duality of the "special relationship," that is the strength in this volume."


  • "The collection illuminates Filipinos' long and complicated relationship with the United States through the successive tragedies of paleo-, neo-, and postcolonialism."

    The Journal of American History