Subtitled ""The Ordeal of the Philippines, 1929-1946,"" this distinguished effort is intentionally confined to the period in the development of its subject about which most readers probably know the least. The approach is primarily historical, but the author has brought in some insight from the social sciences as well."" Seldom has a book of this sort had a stronger opening sentence: ""Imperialism tends to be vicious; nationalism, vulgar."" The style, tone, impartiality, and pertinence of the commentary, remain pretty ranch on that level. The story of the Philippines' emergence from colonialism is, due to several lucky circumstances, one of the least unhappy. For one thing, the U.S. ""did not need the Philippines economically and could govern with some measure of disinterest."" On the other hand, it was this very disinterest which allowed the Japanese to conquer and hold the islands. Mr. Friend has spent several years with his subject and as well as digesting all the known material, has turned up and made good use of much that is new. He has done an excellent Job within the boundaries he set for himself, and one looks forward to the appearance of his promised fuller treatment of the wartime occupation phase.