THE MARCOS DYNASTY by Sterling Seagrave

THE MARCOS DYNASTY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A well-documented indictment of the Marcoses by Seagrave, a free-lance journalist specializing in Far Eastern affairs, author of The Soong Dynasty (1984) and Yellow Rain (1981), among others. In this j'accuse of a book, Ferdinand Marcos comes across as rotten to the core from his earliest days, when he was charged with the murder of a popular congressional politician (Marcos was convicted, sentenced to prison, then later pulled strings to have the conviction overturned). Seagrave documents how Marcos beefed up his flimsy war record in later years, basically buffaloing three US Presidents into publicly recognizing his heroic stature. (One, LBJ, was less than impressed. After his meeting with professional extorter Marcos, Johnson warned William Bundy, ""If you ever bring that son of a bitch within fifty miles of me again, I'll have your job."") Locally, Marcos was known as a ""ten percenter,"" meaning that that was his price for completing any government deal. But it was the people who paid, whether for his blatant philandering (one wag stated: ""In the Philippines, a philandering husband has to pay for the rest of his life. Marcos just used our taxes"") or in state revenues lost by his plundering 100 billion dollars of ""Yamashita's gold""--bullion buried by the Japanese during WW II in Philippine tunnels and caves. Marcos had the inside track on the whereabouts of this hidden treasure, and used his knowledge to add to his great personal wealth. Seagrave documents how private US contractors--including retired general Singlaub of lrangate fame--used their own contacts to search for this treasure (Singlaub to this day continues the quest, having struck private deals with Corazon Aquino to turn over 75 percent of any find to the Philippine state). Seagrave is brutal in his condemnation, but seems to blind himself to the true extent of communist insurgency which even hampers the sainted Aquino. In all, however, this book should pound the final nail into the coffin of the Marcoses' dead reputation.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1988
Publisher: Harper & Row