Premiered August 23, 1999, on PBS.
Roosevelt charging up Kettle Hill, the Rough Riders and the sinking of the Maine - these are what many people commonly know about the United States' 1898 war with Spain. What they may not remember is that this was the war that moved the United States to center stage as a world power.
Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War, narrated by award-winning actor Edward James Olmos, examines the colorful characters and historic events surrounding this 100-year-old-war and its relevance through the 20th century.
Using reenactments, interviews with noted authors and popular historians, and more than a dozen newly arranged popular songs from the period, Crucible of Empire looks at the influence of race, economics, new technologies and the news media on America's decision to go to war.