DELUSIONS OF A DICTATOR by William C. Rempel

DELUSIONS OF A DICTATOR

The Mind of Marcos as Revealed in His Secret Diaries

KIRKUS REVIEW

 In the aftermath of his 1969 reelection as president of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos began keeping a secret diary. Rempel (who broke the story of this 2,500-page handwritten testament in The Los Angeles Times in 1988) now draws on entries from the manuscript (still classified in the Philippines) to offer intriguing perspectives on how a corrupt, messianic chief executive convinced himself over a three-year span that it was in his troubled country's interest to proclaim martial law and to govern by decree. By the daily journal's account, as well as by the author's focused narrative, Marcos was an arguably paranoid eminence for whom cognitive dissonance became a way of intellectual life. In the wake of student protests and media attacks precipitated by ill- advised economic initiatives and his involvement in a notably sleazy sex scandal, Marcos came to believe that the nation needed him more than the democratic principles to which his regime paid lip service. Leaving little to chance, he created a Red Menace out of whole cloth, taking calculated refuge in anti-Communist, pro- American politics designed to buy time in ongoing battles with political foes--and to pave the way for authoritarian rule. But when it became apparent that those drafting a new constitution could not be bribed or otherwise persuaded to remove bars to his serving more than eight years in office, Marcos started down the twisty road to despotism. With Manila beset by a series of civil disorders, he staged a well-planned coup and seized absolute power on September 23, 1972. It took Filipinos nearly 14 years to oust him and to regain their freedom. A revelatory record that confirms history's verdict on one of the Third World's least appealing strongmen. (Eight pages of photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: March 9th, 1993
ISBN: 0-316-74015-2
Page count: 264pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993




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