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Corregidor in Peace and War Hardcover – May 15, 2007
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About the Author
: Charles M. Hubbard is Professor of History at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, and author or editor of four books, including The Burden of Confederate Diplomacy. Collis H. Davis, Jr., lives in Manila and is an independent documentary filmmaker who has just completed Pinoy Jazz: The Story of Jazz in the Philippines. Both are former Fulbright Senior Scholars to the Philippines.
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By Charles M. Hubbard & Collis H. Davis, Jr.
HB, 216 pp. 53 color and 115 B&W illustrations. University of Missouri Press,2006. ISBN 9780826217127.
The purpose of this book entirely escapes me. It is not large enough to be a coffee-table book, although it is largely filled with illustrations. It presents something of a brief history of Corregidor, but that can hardly be taken seriously, and it would seem too expensive to be a souvenir.
The illustrations, largely period photographs interspersed with current color views of the island, are large and attractive, but other than size, offer nothing really new, except perhaps more Japanese propaganda photos than are commonly seen. Perhaps a better strategy would have been to limit the book to illustrations, omitting the text entirely.
The text is, sadly, a disaster. It best resembles a paper written late the night before it was due, by a high school student devoid of any knowledge of the subject. To cap it off, it is not particularly well written, and shows no signs of having been edited at all.
The book is overflowing with errors, many of which are contradicted elsewhere in the same book. Even an hour spent on the Internet would have caught many of the mistakes. A complete list would be tiresome and far too lengthy, but some of the more glaring, or amusing, include: p. 46 ("Arthur Douglas MacArthur, who in 1944 would attain the rank of general of the army"), p. 53 ("Buffington-Crocier Disappearing Carriage" and "on Corregidor, the primary artillery consisted of fourteen-inch and ten-inch breech-loading rifle cannons"), p. 82 ("battery Crockett boasted two 10-inch guns"), p. 54 ("Fort Drum on El Fraile Island . . . had two custom-built fourteen-inch guns"), and p. 86 ["203 mm (9.4-inch howitzers)]. [Emphasis added] By comparison, confusing the GPF 155 mm gun with the Schneider howitzer of the same size (pp. 88-89), and referring to U.S. 150 mm guns (p. 109) are minor errors.
There is no bibliography, but the endnotes show no real effort to consult the National Archives, or even the Belotes' 1967 standard, Corregidor: The Saga of a Fortress. McGovern and Berhow's 2003 Osprey volume is cited several times, but, sadly, they seem to have only skimmed it. (On p. 137, they list Herbert Markland as a member of Battery Geary's crew.)
This is indeed a baffling book. Even a cursory review would have disclosed the internal inconsistencies, if not the more substantial errors of fact and interpretation. Why this book was written, why it was published, and most of all, why anyone would buy it, remains a mystery.