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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Asia / Southeast Asia
  • Language:English
  • Pages:192
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543972641

Tales of the Philippines

In the Early 1900's

by Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr.

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These are about eighty short tales, mostly humorous, some historical, and some even anthropological written by the young Lieutenant Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr. who was an adventurous and inquisitive young bachelor stationed in the Philippines between 1910 and 1917 when the that country was exotic and dangerous.
This book is a trip back in time. It is a trip back to a time of unspoiled beauty. It is a trip by a young man to a world that no longer exists...and yet, a world that in fundamental ways, lives on. The author had a keen eye for beauty and was an astute observer of human behavior. You will read about the considerable dangers that confronted travelers to the Philippines: head hunters, hostility toward American soldiers, and life threatening diseases such as cholera, dengue, and leprosy. None of this seemed to have phased Lieutenant Buckner. For example, about half way through the book, you will read how he had heard so much about the wildness of the people in the southern part of the Philippines that "I could not resist to go there and disappear for a few days in its jungles" - despite the fact that two Americans had been killed there a mere month-and-half previously. He made this excursion on the twenty-five foot motor launch which his father, the ex-governor of Kentucky, had shipped to him. The book is illustrated with numerous photographs taken by the author. Those who read this account carefully may discern in Lieutenant Buckner those qualities that eventually enabled him to rise in the ranks, become Commandant of Cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and General (4 stars) in command of Army and Marine forces in the Battle of Okinawa, World War II. General George S. Patton Jr. once wrote Buckner to promote the idea that Buckner and Patton should be the two classmates who would lead the invasion of Japan.
About the author
Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr. was a US Army major stationed at West Point in 1922 when he wrote this book about his experiences as a bachelor officer stationed in the Philippine Islands between 1910 and 1917. He was a West Point graduate (so was his father and grandfather). His father was a Civil War Lt. General and later Governor of Kentucky. The author commanded U.S. Army forces which expelled the Japanese who had occupied the Aleutian Islands in 1942, In 1945 he Commanded the U.S. Tenth Army which defeated the Japanese Thirty Second Army on Okinawa. He was killed by Japanese artillery 3 days before the end of organized resistance. He was the highest ranking U. S. officer killed by enemy fire during World War II.