Something different?

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” — Socrates

Font Size




Menu Style

You are here You are here: Home Library 900-History In Our Image

In Our Image

America's Empire in the Philippines

In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines

Stanley Karnow goes back 500 years to paint a fascinating portrait of Philippine history, ultimately focusing on the U.S.'s imperial experience in the islands.

Here is the truth about America's attempt to remake the Philippines "in our image" — complete with American political, educational, and cultural institutions.  "Authority and great insight." — Time.

494 pages with 16 pages of photographs.

ISBN: 0394549759  —  LCCN: 88042676

Random House © 1969

Login to read/borrow/share


The origins of this book date back thirty years, when as a foreign correspondent I first began to report from Asia.  My vast territory included the Philippines, a country that for me differed drastically from any other in the region — or, indeed, from any I had previously covered in Europe, Africa or the Middle East.

Here I was, in a former U.S. possession, immediately familiar to an American.  Most of the people I initially met spoke Americanized English, and many had been educated in the United States or in American schools.  They knew far more about the United States than I knew about the Philippines, as if they were some kind of lost American tribe that had somehow become detached from the U.S. mainland and floated across the Pacific.  But with each successive visit I perceived that their values and traditions, though frequently concealed under an American veneer, were their own — and often antithetical to the American model.  My observations eventually led to this book, which essentially addresses three questions:  VVhat propelled the Americans into the Philippines?  VVhat did they do there?  And what has been the legacy of their rule?  So this is not a history of the Philippines as much as it is the story of America's only major colonial experience.

If journalism is history written under pressure, as Macaulay said, this is history written by a journalist at a more leisurely pace.  But though I was spared the deadlines that dictated my schedule as a correspondent, I have nevertheless tried to narrate events as they unfolded in an effort to give them a fresh, kinetic quality.  The reader will, I hope, note the transition as I shift from the accounts of others to my own recollections in my descriptions and analyses of the characters and their conduct.  In any case, I have attempted to tell the story through individuals as they behaved at the time, avoiding the revisionist tendency to impose today's ethics on yesterday's norms.  I have not dodged judgments, yet my general attitude, if I can sum it up succinctly, has been one of humility in the face of an enormously complicated subject.  One of the lessons I learned as a reporter was that the more I knew the less I knew.

Chpts. 1-3

1. All in the Family

By September 1986, after four years as secretaty of state, George Shultz had grown accustomed to presiding over official dinners for foreign dignitaries visiting Washington: the rigorous protocol, the solemn oratory, the contrived cordiality.  But he could not recall an occasion equal to this night.  He was honoring Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, the new president of the Philippines, and a spontaneous charge of emotion electrified the affair.

Americans and Filipinos had shared history, tragedy, triumph, ideals — experiences that had left them with a sense of kinship.  Shultz captured that spirit exactly — a "Cory" doll pinned to his lapel, his Buddha-like face beamed and his nasal voice lilted with rare elation.  Breaking with routine, he delivered his toast before the banquet — in effect telling the guests to relax and enjoy.  "This,"  he said,  "is a family evening."

2. In Search of Spices and Souls

On that torrid Sunday morning in April 1521, Ferdinand Magellan had no idea where he was.  A few weeks before, he had sighted an island after his three ships, their crews ravaged by disease and starvation, had sailed for four months across a vast ocean he had called the Pacific.  He cruised through the island chain, finally selecting a spot where the natives seemed to be friendly.

Somehow sensing the importance of the occasion, he donned a white doublet and went ashore at the head of a hundred men, two in full armor bearing the royal Spanish standard.  His cannon sounded a salute as a Catholic chaplain, intoning Latin incantations, baptized the local chief and his followers.  Then he planted a wooden cross to proclaim the triumph of Christianity in this unknown, faraway, faithless place — which. twenty-five years later, another Spanish explorer named the Philippines.

3. The Spanish Bond

Under three centuries of Spanish rule the Philippines suffered as much from neglect as from tyranny.  Spain itself during that span was an anachronism, its political, social, economic, cultural and religious institutions languishing in a medieval cocoon.  Its officials, soldiers and priests brought to the archipelago the archaic, parochial dogmas of their sectarian society — demanding total obedience to their absolute authority as they sought to reap profits and save souls.

They were at least consistent; just as their kings and cardinals, appalled by modern trends, secluded Spain from the rest of Europe, so they shielded the Philippines against the contaminating impact of the outside world.  The islands, consequently, remained throughout most of the Spanish colonial period in a state of suspended animation, an isolated sprawl of specks on the map.

Chpts. 4-6

4. America Goes Global

At about half past eleven on the night of April 30, 1898, Commodore George Dewey's squadron of nine ships slipped through the Boca Grande channel and past the island of Corregidor, entering Manila Bay.  Squalls occasionally relieved the heat and humidity.  Clouds concealed the moon and, in the distance, streaks of lightning illuminated the dark sky.  Dewey's flagship, the Olympia, led the American vessels in column formation as they advanced slowly, waiting for daybreak to show them the deployment of the Spanish armada.  Dawn came quickly, as it does in the tropics, and shells from Spanish shore batteries began to lob overhead, falling wide.

Dewey, preserving ammunition, gave no reply.  Dressed in a white uniform and golf cap, he sat calmly in a wicker armchair on the bridge, fingering his lucky rabbit's foot, rising from time to time to train a telescope on the scene as his fleet headed toward Sangley Point, at the tip of Cavite.  There the entire Spanish force of twelve ships, lined up in a row, faced the approaching Americans.  Their cannons flashed, again without effect, and still the American guns held back.  Finally, at a quarter to six on the morning of May 1, within two and half miles of the enemy, Dewey issued the command that was to become his escutcheon.  He leaned over the rail and gently called down to Captain Charles V. Gridley, the Olympia's  skipper:  "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley."

Seven hours later, only a single Spanish ship remained afloat, tattered beyond recognition.  Not one American vessel had been damaged, and only one American had died, of heat prostration.  Nearly hm hundred Spaniards had perished.

5. Imperial Democracy

The American public euphorically assumed that Commodore George Dewey's victory had shattered Spain's rule in the Philippines.  But despite their defeat at sea, the Spanish still held Manila as a growing Filipino insurgency spread throughout the islands.  The United States stumbled into a long, difficult and divisive ordeal, both in the archipelago and at home.  Later regretting the involvement, President McKinley confided to a friend:  "If old Dewey had just sailed away when he smashed that Spanish fleet, what a lot of trouble he would have saved us."

In the wake of his triumph, however, Dewey was supremely confident. He reported to Washington that he dominated Manila Bay and controlled the Spanish naval base at Cavite.  With five thousand men, he said, he could seize and hold Manila "at anytime."  Oscar Williams, the U.S. consul who had returned with the American fleet, promised that the Filipino rebels would help.  After going ashore to consult their leaders, he informed Dewey that thirty thousand insurgents would "cheerfully follow our flag" in an offensive against the ten thousand Spanish troops defending Manila.

The Filipinos, he said, were "brave, submissive and cheaply provided for," and in concert with a U.S. force they could wipe out the Spanish "in a day."

6. Civilizing with a Krag

General Otis knew that he was courting trouble in the middle of January 1899, when he moved the Nebraska regiment to Santa Mesa, an eastern suburb of Manila.  The area, located at the juncture of the Pasig and San Juan rivers, lay inside territory claimed by the Filipinos, and they protested against the intrusion.  Tensions mounted as, night after night, soldiers on both sides exchanged invective.  But Otis disregarded the danger.

He clung like a limpet to his desk at the Malacaiiang palace, the former residence of the Spanish governor, firm in the belief that Spain's surrender legally entitled the United States to impose its presence anywhere in the Philippines.  Despite President McKinley's directive to preserve the peace, he authorized his troops to resort to force if necessary to defend themselves.  They were bored and restless after months of tedious drilling and sentry duty and welcomed the slightest pretext to go into action.

Chpts. 7-9

7. Little Brown Brothers

A jovial giant, William Howard Taft seemed to personify turn-of-the-century America.  He was ambitious, optimistic, diligent and, above all, big-from his bejowled face and elephantine torso to the boisterous laugh that erupted from beneath his extravagant blond mustache.  Passionately devoted to his family, he exuded a warmth that also charmed his friends and colleagues, whose admiration of him frequently bordered on reverence.  He had surprisingly few enemies for a public figure.  Indeed, as a biographer later observed, he was "almost too perfect," and might have even been "obnoxious" had it not been for his good nature.

But his cheerful manner was deceptive.  Like many fat men who outwardly appear to be jolly, he had a simmering and sometimes uncontrollable temper.  His emotions frequently made him erratic, and a streak of moral rectitude colored his perspective, rendering him stubbornly opinionated.  Anxious for approval, he refused to read newspapers that criticized him, and he nursed grudges for years.  Theodore Roosevelt, with whom he later clashed for subverting his political ambitions, called him "one of the best haters" he knew.

Taft's career, spanning a half-century, was impressive.  Industrious rather than creative, he climbed steadily from assistant county prosecutor at the age of twenty-three to president of the United States at fifty-one and ultimately to chief justice of the Supreme Court — each advance the consequence of a previous accomplishment.

8. America Exports Itself

Under a slate sky on a sultry August morning in 1901, a converted cattle ship, the Thomas, steamed into Manila Bay.  Crowding its decks were five hundred young Americans, most of them recent college graduates, the men wearing straw boaters and blazers, the women in long skirts and large flowery hats.  Like vacationers, they carried baseball bats, tennis rackets, musical instruments, cameras and binoculars.  Few had ever been abroad, and they scanned the exotic landscape with a mixture of fascination and anticipation.

Precursors of the Peace Corps volunteers of a later generation, they were arriving as teachers.  They quickly fanned out across the archipelago to set up schools and soon became known as "Thomasites," after the vessel that had brought them.  The label, pinned on all American teachers of the time, had the ring of a religious movement.  But their vocation, though secular, did have an evangelical design.  Education would Americanize the Filipinos and cement their loyalty to the United States.  "We are not merely teachers," Philinda Rand later wrote to her family in Massachusetts from the island of Negros.  "We are social assets and emissaries of good will."

9. Stumbling Toward Self Rule

Paralleling their educational and economic programs, the Americans pursued an ambitious effort to train the Filipinos to govern themselves.  Once again, they were propelled by missionary zeal, hoping to convert their new proteges to their own exceptional system.  But the political evolution of the Philippines under U.S. tutelage was to be a series of spasms, as priorities and personalities changed both in Washington and in Manila.  The Americans soon discovered to their disappointment that, for all their benign intentions, they were never able to transplant their ideals in a society'with totally dissimilar values.

A high moral purpose had inspired Elihu Root as early as the summer of 1899, when as McKinley's secretary of war he inherited the responsibility for shaping a policy for the new U.S. possession.  It was the first time in history that America had acquired an overseas territory, and he studied Europe's colonies as possible models.  None fit.  So, he concluded, the United States would have to be guided by its own principles.  Trusting reports from American army officers that the Filipinos were "little advanced from pure savagery," he considered it absurd to grant them the U.S. constitutional guarantee of "government by consent of the governed" — much less the right of self-determination.

But America could not dismiss the "immutable laws of justice and humanity," whether at home or abroad.  Thus he directed William Howard Taft to promote "the happiness, peace and prosperity" of the Filipinos in accord with "their customs, their habits and even their prejudices."

Chpts. 10-12

10. MacArthur's Mandate

Douglas MacArthur was a protean figure — a kaleidoscope of diverse and divergent notions and emotions, actions and reactions, shapes, shades and sizes whose paradoxes and contradictions challenge easy portrayal.  Vain, flamboyant and sanctimonious, he was also considerate, sensitive and charming.  He could be generous and petty, inspirational and ignoble, sublime and absurd, wise and shallow. His rhetoric extolled duty, honesty and patriotism, all of which he truly believed even as he contrived shabby schemes to advance his overweening ambitions.

A die-hard conservative, his political opinions reassured right-wing ideologues, yet he appreciated the need for economic reform, social justice and racial harmony.  He blurred his self-image of bravura by weeping in public, and his proud masculinity clashed oddly with an almost pathological submission to a pushy mother.  Though his courage earned him a record array of decorations, some of his own men accused him of cowardice.  Whatever attitudes he aroused, indifference was not among them.  Views of him ranged from blind admiration to fierce animosity.  He relished the acclaim and resented the criticism, reveling in the controversy as proof of his towering stature.

To the Filipinos, he was nothing less than superhuman.  In July 1961, as Asia correspondent for Time magazine, I covered his valedictory visit to the Philippines — his first since the end of World War II.  The reception for him approximated religious idolatry.

11. War and Redemption

At ten minutes before eight o'clock on a bright Sunday morning, December 7. 1941, the first formation of Japanese fighter, bomber and torpedo aircraft roared over Oahu, and successive squadrons followed.  Their main target was the massive U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, its anchorage crowded with nearly a hundred vessels.  Three hours later, amid the wreckage of sunken ships and destroyed planes and the ruins of docks, oil tanks, hangars and barracks, some four thousand Americans were dead or wounded.  The sudden raid surprised and shocked the United States unlike any disaster in its history.  The nation, its Pacific fleet in shambles, was crippled — at least temporarily.

President Franklin D. RooseveIt, his voice vibrating with emotion, denounced the "infamy" of the attack at noon the next day in a short speech to Congress, which promptly declared war on Japan.  General Hideko Tojo, the Japanese prime minister, proclaimed the hostilities as Tokyo radio broadcast a martial hymn, its morbid lyrics a prescient dirge for the thousands of Iives to be lost in the struggle over the next four years.

Across the sea, corpses in the water.
Across the mountain, corpses in the field.

Whatever their short-term gains from the strike, the Japanese had blundered.  They kindled America's wrath, thus ordaining their ultimate doom.  They might have pushed with impunity into Southeast Asia at a time when the U.S. public was in no mood to fight a war to protect the vestiges of European imperialism.

12. Dependent Independence

Nationalists emerged across Asia after World War II to liberate their lands from the remnants of European colonial authority.  Indonesians defied Dutch rule;  resistance to the British intensified in India, Burma and Malalaya;  and Vietnam erupted as the French prepared to reassert their power.  Only in Manila did the transition occur peacefully as America transferred sovereignty to a Philippine government.

Ironically, the gesture earned the applause of Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese Communist leader who later became America's prime enemy in Southeast Asia.  Late in 1945, as he braced to fight France, he remarked to Major Archimedes Patti, a U.S. liaison officer in Hanoi, "If the Americans had been our masters, they would now be giving us our freedom."

The ceremony that unfolded in Manila on the morning of July 4, 1946, was indeed unprecedented.  For the first time in history, an imperial nation was voluntarily relinquishing a possession as the United States kept its pledge to emancipate the Philippines — a half-century after its original conquest.

Chpts. 13-15

13. Conjugal Autocracy

It was nearly midnight on September 22, 1972, when the telephone awoke Henry Byroade, the American ambassador.  He recognized the soft voice of Richard Usher, the Philippine desk officer at the State Department, calling from Washington.

"Hank, what's happening?"  Usher asked.
"What do you mean?"  replied Byroade as he switched on his bedside light and fumbled for a cigarette.
"The press is reporting that Marcos has just announced martial law."

Usher then began to read news dispatches describing tanks and truckloads of troops rolling through downtown Manila — miles from Byroade's spacious villa in Forbes Park, one of the city's fancy residential enclaves.

Byroade was dismayed.  Over the past week, aware that President Ferdinand Marcos was planning to impose martial law, he had repeatedly advised him against the move on the grounds that it might antagonize the U.S. Congress and ignite an upheaval in the Philippines.  They had again discussed the topic earlier that day at MaIacañang, the presidential palace, and Byroade left convinced that he had dissuaded Marcos from acting rashly — at least for the moment.  Byroade was so confident that he drove to his chancery office overlooking the shimmering expanse of Manila Bay and composed a confidential message for Washington:  "For the time being, possibly for the next six weeks, the likelihood of martial law declaration has lessened."  Now, deceived by Marcos, he awaited the worst.

14. Martyr and Madonna

"I'm going back," Ninoy Aquino announced to me over the telephone one day early in July of 1983.  He was calling from the Boston suburb where he had lived with his wife, Cory, and their children since Ferdinand Marcos had released him from prison to go to the United States three years before.  As garrulous as ever, he launched into a long analysis of the situation in the Philippines.  The country was on the verge of collapse from mismanagement, corruption, foreign debt and insurgencies, and only he could persuade Marcos to reform to avert disaster.  His return might be dangerous, he said dramatically, revealing that he had received several assassination threats, but he bad no choice:  "If I stay here, I'II just be another forgotten politician in exile."

His decision did not surprise me.  He had repeated during our occasional talks in Boston that he would eventually return home.  But, it seemed to me, he was deluding himself to think that he could change Marcos.  I also dismissed his mention of assassination plots as characteristically theatrical.  Though violence and politics were synonymous in the Philippines, the bigywigs usually spared one another, leaving the killing to their hired goons.  As Ninoy rambled on, I realized that he was not seeking my advice as much as fishing for confirmation of his resolve to return — just as he had similarly canvased other friends.

On the afternoon of August 21, a Sunday, he lay dead on the tarmac of the Manila airport, presumably murdered by Marcos's henchmen.  The sensational sequence was televised — from his arrest aboard the plane to the shots minutes later and the gruesome sight of his corpse.  The spectacle shocked a world that, for the most part, had never heard of him.

15. Revolution and Restoration

"Dear God, let it not be me," Cory pleaded in the summer of 1985, flinching at the challenge when she was increasingly cited as the only person who could mend the split opposition to Marcos.  "I didn't want to be the candidate," she recalled to me later.  "I'm very private and wasn't meant to be at center stage."  But she canvased family members and friends — and, begging for divine guidance, she prayed "as I'd never prayed before."

The pressure on her intensified after Marcos scheduled the election.  If she abstained, she knew, the likely contender would be Salvador Laurel, a routine politician of dubious repute.  A priest, couching the issue in moral terms she grasped, was devisive.  In this struggle between good and evil, he said, she alone embodied the values of  "truth, freedom and justice"  that could beat  Marcos.  She agreed to run on condition that her supporters compile a draft petition containing a million signatures.  They did — and, after a day of meditation at a convent near Manila, she declared.

Now, in need of political counsel, she consulted the country's shrewdest politician:  Cardinal Sin.  He advised her to work with Laurel, but she would have him only as her vice president.  Sin then urged Laurel, who had presidential hopes, to accept the number-two slot.  "Cory is more popular than you are,"  Sin flatly told him.  "Make the sacrifice, or Marcos will win."  After waffling for weeks, Laurel conceded.

From Wikipedia

Stanley Karnow, journalist and Vietnam historian, dies (Jan. 27, 2013)Stanley Karnow, journalist and Vietnam historian, dies
(Jan. 27, 2013)Stanley Abram Karnow (February 4, 1925 – January 27, 2013) was an American journalist and historian born in Brooklyn.

After serving with the United States Army Air Forces in the China Burma India Theater during World War II, he graduated fromHarvard with a bachelor's degree in 1947; in 1947 and 1948 he attended the Sorbonne, and from 1948 to 1949 the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris. He then began his career in journalism as Time correspondent in Paris in 1950. After coveringEurope, the Middle East, and Africa (where he was North Africa bureau chief in 1958-59), he went to Asia, where he spent the most influential part of his career.[4]

He was friends with Anthony Lewis[2] and Bernard Kalb.[3]

He covered Asia from 1959 until 1974 for TimeLife, the Saturday Evening Post, the London Observer, the Washington Post, andNBC News. Present in Vietnam in July 1959 when the first Americans were killed,[5] he reported on the Vietnam War in its entirety. This landed him a place on the master list of Nixon political opponents. It was during this time that he began to write Vietnam: A History (1983).

He was chief correspondent for the 13 hour Vietnam: A Television History series, aired on PBS's American Experience;[6] it won six Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, a George Polk Award and an DuPont-Columbia Award. In 1990, Karnow won the Pulitzer Prize for History for his book In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines. His other books include Mao and China: From Revolution to Revolution, which was nominated for a National Book Award; and Paris in the Fifties (1997), a memoir history of his own experiences of living in Paris in the 1950s. He also worked for The New Republic and King Features Syndicate.[3]

Later in life, he tried to write a book on Asians in the United States. A book on Jewish humor progressed only to an outline. He also contemplated a memoir to be titled Interesting times or Out of Asia.[7]

Personal Life

Stanley Karnow, author of Vietnam: A History, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for In Our ImageStanley Karnow, author of Vietnam: A History, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for In Our Image

His first marriage ended in divorce. In 1959, he married Annette Kline, an artist who was working at the time as cultural attaché for the U.S. State Department in Algiers.

Annette, died of cancer in July 2009. They had two daughters.[7] Karnow belonged to theCouncil on Foreign Relations and the American Society of Historians.

Karnow died January 27, 2013 at his home in Potomac, Maryland at age 87 of congestive heart failure.[2] 

Stanley A. Karnow
Born February 4, 1925
Brooklyn, New York

Died January 27, 2013 (aged 87)
Potomac, Maryland, at home
Cause of death congestive heart failure
Residence Potomac, Maryland
Ethnicity Jewish

Harvard CollegeA.B.1947 (European historyand literatureSorbonne, University of Paris, 1947-48

Ecole des Sciences Politiques, 1948-49.
Occupation journalisthistorian
Known for
Influenced by Vincent Sheean
Ernest Hemingway
Henry Miller
Spouse(s) Claude Sarraute (m.July 15, 1948, div. 1955)
Annete Kline (m. April 12, 1959, died 2009)
Children Catherine Anne Karnow
Michael Franklin Karnow
(stepson) Curtis Edward Karnow
Parents Harry and Henriette Koeppel Karnow
Awards Pulitzer Prize in history(1990)
Shorenstein Prize (2002)
Overseas Press Clubawards (1966,1968)
Military career
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army Air Forces
Years of service 1943–1946
Battles/wars China Burma India Theater



  1. ^ "Stanley Karnow" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). Contemporary Authors OnlineDetroitGale. 2004. Gale Document Number: GALE. Retrieved 2013-01-28. Gale Biography In Context. (subscription required)

  2. a b c "Stanley Karnow, journalist and Vietnam historian, dies"Washington PostAssociated Press: p. B4. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  3. a b c McFadden, Robert D. (January 27, 2013). "Stanley Karnow, Historian and Journalist, Dies at 87"The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  4. ^ Fischer and Fischer, American History Awards 1917-1991, p. 345.
  5. ^ "First Blood in Vietnam", American Heritage, Winter 2010.
  6. ^ "American Experience | Vietnam Online | Film Credits | PBS". Retrieved 2013-01-28.
  7. a b Italie, Hillel (January 8, 2010). "Interesting times, indeed, for Stanley Karnow"Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-01-28.


GoodReads Review

From: GoodReads

To a Westerner, the Philippines is a mass of contradictions. A country in which the most vocal calls for representative democracy can come from an unelected, unaccountable male leader of the catholic church; a society in which national identity and patriotic culture are expressed through foreign rituals from TV game shows to the school flag-salute; where the elements most identifiable as Filipino are remnants of imperial conquest – from Spanish patronymics to the ubiquitous catholic faith and to the Filipino language itself.

This impressive work by Karnow presents the history of the Philippines as the history of underdevelopment. He repeatedly returns to the conclusion that the Philippine economic model is basically feudal, with absolute power wielded by a land-owning class consisting of wealthy dynasties.

The social structure at the time of Spanish conquest in many ways resembled Anglo-Saxon Britain. Rather than challenge this ancient society, 300 years of Spanish rule, 50 years of US rule and 50 years of US rule-by-proxy reinforced the plutocracy. The concept of a unified nation governed by a democratic process is an illusion the imperial masters where happy to promote for their own purposes.

Karnow shows how the US relationship has largely made the Philippines what it is today. He shows with great insight and masses of evidential detail how the relationship moved from an initial benign mission to liberate and improve the lives of the Filipinos, eventually to a cynical desire to protect US interests, primarily to maintain the air and naval bases from which the Americans rained death and disaster on Vietnam – the common point being the primacy of US domestic politics.

Feudal Philippines

I read this book at a time when Ninoy Aquino’s son Noynoy is launching a carefully-managed campaign for the presidency, based on appropriating the myths and images surrounding his murdered father and recently-deceased and hugely revered mother Cory. Noynoy’s naive and shallow discussions on policy are unimportant - to win he needs to conflate a sense of dynastic entitlement with a sanctified narrative of good over evil. The Filipino body politic seeks Messianic leaders and almost wants to be deluded. In what other society could Imelda Marcos, having been party to Ferdinand’s plunder of $20Billion return to the country and be touted as a presidential candidate? And when denied, enthusiastically promote her children as suitable members of congress? In what other society can an ex-president (Erap) do jail time for plunder, then return to our TV screens as a sought-after celebrity, and, yes, be touted as a future presendtial candidate?

Karnow’s account of the recent history, and his thesis of a feudal Philippines certainly go a long way to explaining how such things can happen in a society which works hard to give the appearance of a modern democracy. His narrative ends during Cory’s presidency, but his underlying conclusions are still well true today.

In summary the book is impressive in its wealth of detail and its extensive use of highly authoritative sources. If you are interested in the Philippines, get a copy.

Booknotes Interview

In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines   Program Air Date: May 28, 1989 Transcript

Stanley Karnow, author of "In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines," traces America's colonial experience in the Philippines. Beginning with the U.S. victory over the Spanish at Manila in 1898, Karnow discusses the process of "Americanization" and the impact of U.S. policies on the Philippines. Significant events such as the influence of General Douglas MacArthur, the rise and reign of President Marcos, and the revolution that brought President Corazon Aquino to power are examined. Mr. Karnow concludes by predicting what will happen to the Philippines in the next 10-20 years. Mr. Karnow also talked about his 1983 book, Vietnam: A History.


Random House  © 1969

Written in


Edition Notes

1st Edition


494 with 16 pages of plates

Dewey Decimal Class






Episode One: Colonial Days
Episode One - part 1
Episode One - part 2
Episode One - part 3
Episode One - part 4
Episode Two: Showcase of Democracy
Episode Two - part 1
Episode Two - part 2
Episode Two - part 3
Episode Two - part 4
Episode Three: People Power
Episode Three - part 1
Episode Three - part 2
Episode Three - part 3
Episode Three - part 4

900-999 – History

Prev Next Page:

Forbidden history : prehistoric technologi…

Publisher descriptionChallenges the scientific theories on the establishment of civilization and technology • Contains 42 essays by 17 key thinkers in the fields of alternative science and history, including Christopher Dunn, Frank Joseph, Will Hart, Rand Flem-Ath, and Moira Timmes • Edited by Atlantis Rising publisher, J. Douglas Kenyon In Forbidden History writer and editor J. Douglas Kenyon has chosen 42 essays that have appeared in the bimonthly journal Atlantis Rising to provide readers with an overview of the core positions of key thinkers in the field of ancient mysteries and alternative history. Link to read online — Forbidden History

Read more

The Secret History of the World

The Secret History of the World

The Secret History of the World   And How To Get Out Alive About Synopsis Author Reviews Details {tab= Preface | blue } Preface by Patrick Rivière This book of revolutionary importance is essential reading. With this original work, Laura Knight-Jadczyk shares with us her prodigious discoveries that put into question History as well as our habitual observations concerning the myth of the “Grail”. She does this by revisiting the Bible and comparative mythology, looking closely into parallel universes and hyperspace, and penetrating into quantum physics, genetics, and the mysteries of the diverse creations populating the hyperdimensions of the Cosmos. Throughout her exposé, Laura Knight-Jadczyk refers to two powerful works of the scientist-alchemist Fulcanelli: The...

Read more

In Our Image

In Our Image

In Our Image America's Empire in the Philippines About Synopsis Author Reviews Details Videos Stanley Karnow goes back 500 years to paint a fascinating portrait of Philippine history, ultimately focusing on the U.S.'s imperial experience in the islands. Here is the truth about America's attempt to remake the Philippines "in our image" — complete with American political, educational, and cultural institutions.  "Authority and great insight." — Time. 494 pages with 16 pages of photographs. ISBN: 0394549759  —  LCCN: 88042676 Random House © 1969 Login to read/borrow/share {tab= Preface | blue } The origins of this book date back thirty years, when as a foreign correspondent I first began to report from Asia.  My vast territory included the Philippines, a country that...

Read more

Gold Warriors

Gold Warriors

Gold Warriors America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold About Synopsis Author Reviews Details Blank {tab= Great Masses of Treasure | blue } Great masses of treasure in gold, platinum, diamonds, other precious gems, solid gold Buddhas, art works, ancient artifacts, priceless manuscripts, were confiscated or stolen from 12 countries conquered by Japan between 1895 and 1945. In 1943 a U.S. submarine blockade prevented Japan from shipping all the war loot home. It was hidden in caves and underground vaults in the Philippines using POWs and slave labor, under the command of General Yamashita and Japanese princes including Emperor Hirohito's brothers. U.S. agents caught, tortured and bribed Yamashita's driver who showed them 12...

Read more

A World Ruled by Cannibals

The Wétiko Disease of Aggression, Violence, and Imperialism By: Jack D. Forbes — Professor of Native American Studies and Anthropology – University of California, Davis Any man who is attached to the senses and to the things of this world, is one who lives in ignorance and is being consumed by the snakes which represent his own passions . . . [Such a person is] one who is distracted, who is ruled by his senses, and who lives for himself rather than for his people. [From The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk's Account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux, recorded and...

Read more

Contents: 900 – History