In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines

Stanley Karnow

Book cover

Very good, and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the Philippines–particularly Americans who, like me, haven’t had much exposure to the history of the country. Although this book does focus on the relationship between the Philippines and America, it’s a pretty comprehensive history of the country, from the arrival of Magellan through Cory Aquino. Karnow is a good storyteller and, I think, a fairly objective historian. I was kind of hoping to find in this book some Filipino heroes to look up to, and while there are certainly some good people, no one is put on a pedestal, even Karnow’s personal friend Ninoy Aquino. I was somewhat reminded, in reading this, of the history of Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic–a smallish country that is often outside the grand stage of world affairs, but often gets buffeted about by what is happening there, and occasionally gets drawn onstage for a few minutes as well.

My Goodreads rating: 4 stars