This introductory chapter begins with a brief description of President William McKinley's dilemma about what to do with the newly acquired Philippines, and then sets out the book's purpose, which is to explore how deploying the visual to signify empire helped further American imperialism in Asia. Through a close reading of a number of visual scapes—including the body, the decorative arts, the mass media, maps, the public spectacle of a parade, and architecture—the book argues that different visual mediums furthered empire while concomitantly fostering a space where debates about empire could take place. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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