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Stanley Karnow

19 March 2012 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The legendary journalist and historian Stanley Karnow discusses his years covering the Philippines, the book that won him the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1990, In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines (Random House, 1989), and reflects on the Filipino people, as well as the historical figures he covered, with Joseph Planta.

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.

Joining me now is the journalist and historian Stanley Karnow. He was a long time correspondent in Asia from the 1950s through to the 1970s for such organisations as Time, Life, the Saturday Evening Post, the London Observer, the Washington Post, and NBC News. His coverage of the Vietnam War led to his writing of, Vietnam: A History, one of the definitive books on the war. It also led to a critically acclaimed and award winning PBS series, Vietnam: A Television History. In an effort to learn more about Philippine history and politics, I had read another of Mr. Karnow’s books In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines. It’s easily one of the most comprehensive books on the Philippines and its relationship with the United States up to the late 1980s. The book received the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1990. It also inspired another PBS documentary that I saw recently, that’s just a great companion to the book. We’ll talk to Mr. Karnow now about his career, focusing on his time in the Philippines. We’ll discuss some of the historical figures he had encountered in his years of journalism, Douglas MacArthur, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, Ninoy and Corazon Aquino, and others who figured so prominently in Philippine and American history. Stanley Karnow served in the United States Armed Forces during the Second World War. He graduated from Harvard, and attended the Sorbonne, and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. His other books include Mao and China: From Revolution to Revolution and the memoir, Paris in the Fifties. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Society of Historians. He joins me from his home just outside of Washington, in Potomac, Maryland. I’m very pleased to welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Stanley Karnow; Mr. Karnow, good morning.