"O'Toole is . . . astonishingly good. . . . [He] is a master of the knack of weaving significant detail into his recapitulation of the war." —Alden Whitman, Chicago Sun-Times On the night of February 15, 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine was ripped in half by an explosion in Havana harbor with the loss of 266 American lives. War with Spain followed nine weeks later. After a three-month fight on two fronts half a world apart, the era of isolation was gone forever, as the United States formed alliances and gained spheres of influence that would shape its desstiny for decades to come. G. J. A. O'Toole colorfully depicts the sweep of events and also presents new findings on the mysterious mission of the Maine and on the part played by Washington in the expansion of the conflict.