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Gregg Jones, author of Honor in the Dust, discusses his book before guests at the Philippine Embassy.

25 May 2012, Washington DC. The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. in cooperation with the Philippine Arts, Letters & Media Council (PALM), headed by its President, Mitzi Pickard, hosted a reception last night to meet Gregg Jones, author of Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America’s Imperial Dream.

The Embassy’s charge d’affaires a.i., Minister Ariel Peñaranda, welcomed Mr. Jones on behalf of Ambassador Jose Cuisia, Jr.  “We welcome the publication of works like Honor in the Dust which brings to focus the little known fact of Filipino bravery in the face of a fierce occupation by another country and the shared history of the Philippines and the U.S.,” he said.  He added, “Many may not be familiar with how the Philippine-American War at the turn of the century was a critical juncture in the shaping of U.S. foreign policy towards the Asia Pacific. From the Battle of Manila Bay to the ensuing US occupation of the Philippines, the Philippines became an important platform for the rise of the United States as a world superpower.”

Mr. Jones spoke of his fascination about foreign lands and recalled his days as a young journalist in the Philippines.  He shared the story of America’s drive for an overseas empire on the eve of the 20th century, and the brutal realities for those living under foreign domination.

Honor in the Dust tells the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s first major crisis as a president - a torture scandal that took place during the U.S.’ conquest of the Philippines, examines the election of 1900, and recalls America’s rise as a world power.

In researching the book, Mr. Jones said he saw for himself horrific photos in the Philippines’ National Archives of Filipino casualties of the Philippine-American War, whose bodies were piled high in trenches.  “These events are not debatable and well-documented, as testified by Americans themselves,” he said. He remarked that issues raised in the book will be familiar to those who are following military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the debate over the U.S. government’s views on torture.

Mr. Jones covered the 1986 People Power as a Washington Post correspondent and stayed in the Philippines a few years after.  In 1989, his book, Red Revolution: Inside the Philippine Guerilla Movement, was published.  He is a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and Gerald Loeb Award.  His work appeared in the Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Guardian and Observer (London), as well as other papers throughout Australia and the United States.  (END)