RULERS OF DARKNESS by Frederick J. Lipp


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Kwaiyan, a Far Eastern territory newly granted independence from Japan, is the background for this political novel about free elections and the Allied occupational authority. The time is late 1945. When the allies take over the capital of Myisho, they immediately begin to rig the elections and maintain the police state; otherwise the Communists will take over. Thus Kwaiyan's freedom is a fiction, especially when the allies are aided by terrorist elements. On hand with the allies is an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker, Major Walker Hoegle, whose job is to make educational films for the peasants so that they will know what their new democracy is. The irony is that the peasants only respect oppression and tyranny. As Hoegle develops his film projects, he discovers the depravity and doubledealing of the occupation. The allies have already chosen the figurehead they want ""elected,"" but Hoegle knows of a popular hero the people would rather have. Secretly, he makes a film depicting the second candidate's position and he clandestinely tours the provinces showing his film. Then he is court-martialed and cashiered. Woven through this are two subplots, about a cowardly priest who regains his honor and a disfigured doctor who regains his pride. This huge novel begins seriously enough but tapers off into standard plotting (the Eurasian Mistress versus the Wife Back Home). And it features an inordinate amount of religion, rather as if The Ugly American Meets the Keys of the Kingdom. Perhaps it is this element which has strenthened the faith of the publishers who hope that it will become a big commercial success and it will be strongly backed toward that end.

Publisher: World