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The Great White Tribe in Filipinia   By: (1876-1953)

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The Great White Tribe in Filipinia by Paul T. Gilbert is a thought-provoking and meticulously researched analysis of Western colonial influence in the Philippines during the 19th century. Gilbert dives deep into the complexities of colonialism, shedding light on the cultural, social, and political dynamics that shaped the interactions between the Filipino people and their American and European counterparts.

One of the strongest aspects of Gilbert's book is his ability to convey a comprehensive understanding of the historical context. He skillfully outlines the various motives behind Western intrusion into the Philippines, from economic exploitation to the spread of Christian evangelism. This contextualization allows readers to grasp the intricate power dynamics at play and better understand the consequences of colonialism for both the colonizers and the colonized.

Gilbert also deserves commendation for his engaging writing style. Despite the density of historical information, the author manages to maintain a smooth, accessible narrative. He seamlessly weaves together primary sources, personal anecdotes, and relevant theories, offering readers a multifaceted perspective on the subject matter. This approach not only makes the book enjoyable to read but also enhances its educational value.

Furthermore, Gilbert demonstrates a commendable commitment to objectivity. While acknowledging the positive aspects of Western influence, such as educational reforms and improvements in infrastructure, he does not shy away from exposing the dark side of colonialism. The author delves into sensitive topics like cultural appropriation, racism, and coerced labor, shedding light on the damaging effects of Western predation on Filipino society. This balanced approach ensures that readers gain a nuanced understanding of the full impact of colonialism.

However, one aspect of the book that may be perceived as a weakness is the heavy reliance on historical events and figures. While this is expected in a scholarly work, some readers seeking a more narrative-driven or personal account may find it challenging to connect with the material. Additionally, the extensive use of academic jargon throughout the book may pose a barrier for readers unfamiliar with historical discourse.

Overall, The Great White Tribe in Filipinia is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in understanding the complex dynamics of colonialism in the Philippines. Paul T. Gilbert's meticulous research, balanced viewpoint, and engaging writing style make it a worthy addition to the field of colonial studies. This book serves as a timely reminder of the enduring impacts of colonial legacies on present-day societies and invites readers to critically reflect on the ethics and consequences of imperialism.

First Page:

The Great White Tribe in Filipinia


Paul T. Gilbert

Cincinnati: Jennings and Pye New York: Eaton and Mains

Copyright, 1903, by Jennings and Pye


The legendary white tribe that is said to wander in the mountains of Mindoro is but distantly related to the Great White Tribe now scattered through the greater part of Filipinia. Extending from the Babuyanes off Luzon, to Tawi Tawi and Sibutu off the coast of Borneo, the Great White Tribe has made its presence felt throughout the archipelago.

The following pages are the record of my own impressions and experiences in the Philippines. The few historical and geographical allusions made have been selected only as they were significant, explanatory, picturesque. A logical arrangement of the chapters will enable the reader to survey the islands as a great bird hovering above might do will make the map of Filipinia "look like a postage stamp."

I promise that the reader shall be introduced to all the most important members of the Great White Tribe, as well as to the representatives of races brown and black. We will peep through the hedge together as the savages and pagans execute their grotesque dances or perform their sacrifices to the god of the volcano... Continue reading book >>

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