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Waltzing with a Dictator Paperback – October 12, 1988

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Former New York Times correspondent Bonner reports here on the complex 20-year U.S. relationship with the Philippine Marcos regime. Discussing the dictator couple and their entourage he comments, "rarely, if ever, in history have so few stolen so much from so many." Photos.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 570 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Exp Upd edition (October 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394758358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394758350
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,410,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A lawyer-turned-journalist, Bonner has demonstrated a remarkable inability to settle, having held numerous jobs (in law and journalism, lived on every continent (except Antarctica)and reported on coups, revolutions, wars, terrorist attacks, nature attacks (tsunami) from some hundred countries. He has received numerous awards and honors, including a shared Pulitzer and the Louis M. Lyon award for Conscience and Integrity in journalism from the Nieman Fellows at Harvard. He is the author of four books -- "Weakness and Deceit: U.S. Policy and El Salvador" (which received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award); "Waltzing With a Dictator: The Marcoses and the Making of American Policy" (Sidney Hillman book award); and "At The Hand of Man: Peril and Hope for Africa's Wildlife." His most recent book is "Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong," a riveting story of an innocent man condemned to death and his lawyer's efforts to save him, which probes the American justice system.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Okay, since the end of the Cold War nobody's terribly interesting in reading accounts of America cozing up to reprehensible slimeball dictators like Ferdinand Marcos anymore, right? Too bad, since Raymond Bonner's account of American involvement in the Phillippines is one of the best examples of the genre. Bonner follows Uncle Sam's footprints on the archipelago from the granting of independence after World War II until the inglorious fall of Ferdinand and his revolting wife Imelda. Bonner raises the legitimate question as to if such support was necessary for American security. Such questions may be moot now, but they still make for fascinating reading.
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Format: Paperback
This volume is thorough, starting with Ferdinand Marcos's"history"--one of dubious quality to say the least. Inshort, while his father and probably he were collaborators with theJapanese during WWII, Marcos bought some medals and manufactured hisstatus as a war hero who helped save the Philippines from the ruthlessJapanese. Oh, and then there's the murder of one of his father'sopponents, of which Marcos was convicted and later talked himselfout. It was an apt introduction to one of the most consummate liars inhuman history.
Then there's Imelda, worth a volume or twoherself. (More later.)
The reader will recall that Jimmy Carter putthe "human rights" crusade on the map during hisadministration. But when it came to the Philippines, that crusade wastabled. Bonner covers that while Pat Derrian did her best to force theMarcos regime to capitulate, Holbrooke, her superior in the StateDept., would permit no such thing. It seems that Marcos was tooconvenient to the U.S. what with the enormous military bases in thePhilippines, Clark (Air Force) and Subik Bay (Navy). And Bonner goesone step further than many a critic of that era: He challenges theassumption that those bases were necessary, i.e., served any viablemilitary purpose. But they continued, despite all the righteousCarter rhetoric--as did the Marcos regime.
Regan didn't evendecorate himself with things as trite as "human rights"rhetoric. Imelda had flirted with him back in the late 60s while shewas building a cultural center light years beyond the reach of 90percent of Filipinos, so she and Ferdinand were home free. Then therewas Jeane Kirkpatrick and her "Our enemies are totalitariandictators, not [merely] authoritarian dictators like ourfriends.
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