Cousins of Color
This historical work of fiction is based on the Spanish-American War. Its June 1899, and David Fagen has just graduated from college quite an accomplishment for a southern black man at that time, Im sure. He decides to join the Army to fight for his country and show the world that black men can defend the flag as well as white men. Hes sent to the Philippines where the US is allegedly liberating the Filipinos from Spanish rule, but is actually flexing its expansionism muscles to quell the rebels and rule the Philippines until theyre able to rule themselves. My God, nothing has changed in 105 years!
Fagen is used to discrimination in the States, but it continues in the Army as well. His black company is given the crummiest jobs that make the men all the more determined to fight harder and show their worth. He is stunned at the way senior officers lie to and treat junior officers so the seniors look good. He is appalled by their inhumane treatment of the captured rebels and seethes at the officers blatant dislike of the very Filipinos theyre supposedly liberating. No, killing is not liberating, unless youve already tortured the innocent people beyond belief.
The book tells of Fagens difficult decision to abandon his country and join his cousins of color in their fight for independence; his military prowess; his love and devotion to Clarita; and the few joys and many disappointments in his life. This is an interesting, informative and great read.
- Bonus Review -
After Ben Walker returned
from Vietnam, he accepted the only employment offered--a job flying for the Mob in Las
Vegas. When his employers decided his services were no longer needed, they gave a
retirement party on his behalf, but he failed to show. His employers did, however, succeed
at having his wife murdered. When Walker questioned them about this, they said,
"Nothing personal. It was just a routine precaution."