The Philippines

A Singular and Plural Place


David Joel Steinberg

Fourth Edition • March 31, 2000 • 288 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813337555 • $40.00 USD$53.99 CAN

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A unified nation with a single people, the Philippines is also a highly fragmented, plural society. Divided between uplander and lowlander, rich and poor, Christian and Muslim, between those of one ethnic, linguistic, and geographic region and those of another, the nation is a complex mosaic formed by conflicting forces of consensus and national identity and of division and instability.

It is not possible to comprehend the many changes in the Philippines — such as the rise and fall of Ferdinand Marcos or the revolution that toppled him — without an awareness of the religious, cultural, and economic forces that have shaped the history of these islands. These forces formed the focus of the first edition of The Philippines. Of that 1982 edition, the late Benigno Aquino Jr., noted that anyone wanting to understand the Philippines and the Filipinos today must include this book in his ‘must’ reading list. The fourth edition has been updated through the final years of the Ramos presidency, and contains a new section on the impact of President Estrada.


David Joel Steinberg is president of Long Island University and author of Philippine Collaboration in World War II winner of the University Press Award in 1969, and co-author of In-Search of Southeast Asia. He has consulted for the Ford Foundation, the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, and the United States government and has testified often before Congress on Philippine matters.

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