Malolos: The Crisis Of The Republic
|Author||Teodoro A. Agoncillo|
In "Malolos: The Crisis of the Republic," Teodoro Agoncillo starts where his previous book, "The Revolt of the Masses: The Story of Bonifacio and the Katipunan," ends. The present work is a painstaking and thorough-going analysis of the travails of the Aguinaldo government during the war with the United States. Agoncillo, in an impressive display of historical technique, gives the reader the struggles within the Philippine Revolutionary Government. He expands on the theme of his previous book, namely the conflict between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots', and brings into full play the economic as well as the social motivations of the parties concerned. Sparing no one, Agoncillo, with the historian's impartiality, unmasks the selfish ilustrado class in their attempts at compromise which ultimately weakened Aguinaldo's hand. After reading his chapters on the crucial period of the Malolos Republic, one gains a new attitude towards men like Paterno, Pardo de Tavera, Buencamino, Legarda, Araneta and others, whom history has hitherto presented as heroes.
The well-documented account of the extended negotiations between the Americans and Aguinaldo is one of the high points of the book. The author brings into sharp relief certain American maneuvers which other historians have glossed over or chosen to overlook. In the author's skillful hands, historical events come to life. Without sacrificing impartiality, he is able to write with vigor and vividness.
This is not an anemic account of the past. Events are not presented merely as so many beads strung together haphazardly on the thread of time. Agoncillo has sought to write a history which will answer more than just the who, what, when, and where of our past. He has studied the why behind major events and consequently has presented a meaningful account of one of the most important periods of Philippine history.
This voluminous work is the result of months of serious study here and abroad. In writing "The Revolt of the Masses...," the author complained of lack of ma terials; for the present volume, he had to wade through a plethora of sources. It is an achievement of the author to have mastered so unwieldy a period with its abundance of documents and materials.
Teodoro A. Agoncillo is professor of history in the state university. He is noted not only as a historian, but also as a writer in Tagalog. Before he joined the University of the Philippines in 1958, he occupied high positions in the Institute of National Language and in the Philippine Information Agency. His book, "The Revolt of the Masses" (1956) won the Republic Prize in 1948.
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