Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I've just started what promises to be a great book: It's titled Moroland — 1899-1906.

It's the story of the American conflict in the Philippines at the beginning of the 20th Century — as the author describes it, "America's first attempt to transform an Islamic society."

This one of those stories you don't learn about in school, though the conflict was arduous and bloody — much more intense than the famous Indian Wars. It presaged American experiences in Vietnam and has obvious resonance with our current situation in the Middle East, confronting Islamic terrorism.

The really cool thing, which I didn't realize until I'd already gotten into the book, is that it is written by a local man, Robert A. Fulton of Bend. It's published by Tumalo Creek Press (www.tumalocreekpress.com). It's available at Paulina Springs Books.

Fulton has done a first-rate job in this, the first of two volumes on this fascinating, little-known subject. The book is clearly exhaustively researched by a man who knows the territory. He was a foreign service officer in the Philippines in the 1960s and walked the country he describes.

The best part is, it is extraordinarily well-written; clear, engaging, readable — qualities not often found in monographs on obscure historical subjects.

I don't know Mr. Fulton, but I intend to track him down. After I've finished this wonderful book.

Jim Cornelius, Editor

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