This detailed review of the insurrection from the arrival of General Weyler to the Maine disaster and the ultimate advent of the American forces is thorough, vivid, picturesque and full of incident. The sketches of troops and commanders, lifestyles and politics, characters and manners, are finely drawn and illuminating, as are the comments on the abject failings of the American Army commissariat and the crushing indictment of the oppressive Spanish rule.
The war in Cuba left the world with a much changed opinion of the Cuban patriots. They had prevailed against all the forces which Spain could bring against them. The stories of torture, of murder, and of the imprisonment and rescue of Evangelina Cisneros match anything in the history of crime, and bring a spotlight to bear on the cruelty perpetrated by the Spanish aggressors. Yet the author retains enough of his former views to make him give Spain credit for all the good qualities she has. He says in his preface: "Now that right has triumphed and wrong is overthrown we can feel sympathy with the humiliated nation that, blinded by traditional pride and patriotism, cloaked and defended the policy of a corrupt faction to its own undoing."
The later chapters are devoted to the war and chronicle the action from the arrival of the US forces to the final capitulation of Spain at Santiago, depicting in intimate detail the horrors and the heroism of this brief but bloody war, and paying graceful compliment to "the amazing valour of the American soldier" and "the stupendous challenges faced in taking Santiago." In his concluding retrospect the author expresses his belief in the British policy of making an ally of a conquered enemy and his opinion that this should be a priority for the United States as they work to fulfil their moral pledge of giving the Cubans independence.