“A brilliant, coherent social and political overview spanning three turbulent centuries.”—San Francisco Chronicle
Stanley Karnow won the Pulitzer Prize for this account of America’s imperial experience in the Philippines. In a swiftly paced, brilliantly vivid narrative, Karnow focuses on the relationship that has existed between the two nations since the United States acquired the country from Spain in 1898, examining how we have sought to remake the Philippines “in our image,” an experiment marked from the outset by blundering, ignorance, and mutual misunderstanding.
“Stanley Karnow has written the ultimate book—brilliant, panoramic, engrossing—about American behavior overseas in the twentieth century.”—The Boston Sunday Globe
“A page-turning story and authoritative history.”—The New York Times
“Perhaps the best journalist writing on Asian affairs.”—Newsweek
Though Karnow claims that U.S. imperialism in its former colony, the Philippines, has been ``uniquely benign'' compared to European colonialism, the evidence set forth in this colorful, briskly readable history undercuts that prognosis. He shows that a succession of U.S. presidents and administrators coddled the archipelago's 60 or so ruling families, perpetuating the feudal oligarchy that continues to this day, and widening the gap between rich and poor. Karnow, whose Vietnam: A History is a standard account of the American venture in Southeast Asia, draws intriguing parallels: the U.S.-Philippine war of 1898, much like the Vietnam experience, dehumanized U.S. troops, who looted and annihilated villages; ex-President Marcos, like South Vietnamese ruler Diem, presented Washington with the problem of how to deal with a client state that squandered its credibility. In Karnow's assessment, the ``new prosperity'' under Corazon Aquino has not touched the Filipino countryside or slums. Photos. Author tour.