James Kelly MorningstarDec 16, 2021
War and Resistance in the Philippines 1942-1944
US Naval Institute Press 2021
December 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the American entry into the Second World War. In fact, this interview was recorded on December 12th: the 80th anniversary of Japanese troops landing on the Philippine island of Luzon.
That invasion marked the four-year war over the Philippines: the surrender of American forces on May 8th, 1942; the invasion of Leyte by MacArthur on October 20th, 1944; and the surrender of Japan on August 15th, 1945.
But what happens in between these major dates? How did Filipinos live their lives under the occupation—and how did some choose to fight back? What did resistance, whether carried out by Americans who stayed behind, or Filipinos seizing their country’s future for themselves, look like?
War and Resistance in the Philippines, 1942–1944 (Naval Institute Press: 2021) by James Kelly Morningstar is one of the first attempts to repair our understanding of the war in the Philippines, showing how American, Filipino and Japanese actions influenced each other.
James Kelly Morningstar is a retired U.S. Army armor officer and decorated combat veteran with degrees from West Point and Kansas State University, a master's degree from Georgetown University, and a PhD from the University of Maryland. He currently teaches military history at Georgetown. He is also the author of Patton’s Way: A Radical Theory of War (Naval Institute Press: 2017).
Today, we talk about the Philippines: the Japanese invasion and occupation, the nature of resistance, and American grand strategy. We’ll also discuss what makes the resistance movement important to our understanding of today’s geopolitics.
You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of War and Resistance in the Philippines: 1942-1944. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.