Rayah's Reviews > The Devil's Causeway: The True Story of America's First Prisoners of War in the Philippines, and the Heroic Expedition Sent to Their Rescue

The Devil's Causeway by Matthew Westfall
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's review
Sep 02, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads

I received this book in a First-reads giveaway.

A fascinating account of a part of American history I've known very little about: American imperialism in the Philippines, resulting from the end of the Spanish-American War. The book focuses on the failed rescue mission of Spanish prisoners, which resulted in American captives, further rescue missions, and death, disease, and heroics on all sides.

Author Westfall is scathing in his criticisms of Lt. Gillmore, whose sense of entitlement and quest for glory essentially caused the debacle. He also tells the story of the unlucky Naval Apprentice under Gillmore's command, Denzell George Arthur Venville. Venville was a well-liked 18-year-old from Oregon who survived the ambush of Gillmore's cutter Yorktown and became a prisoner of war.

The Devil's Causeway is history told as a dramatic adventure tale, painstakingly researched and backed up with incredible photographs and indexes of notes and sources. A great read for anyone interested in American or World History.
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