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Title: Reflections on Agoncillo's The Revolt of the Masses and the politics of history
Authors: Ileto, R.C. 
Keywords: Andres bonifacio
Cold war
Huk rebellion
Japanese occupation
Katipunan society
Oliver wolters
Philippine revolution
Teodoro agoncillo
Issue Date: 2011
Citation: Ileto, R.C. (2011). Reflections on Agoncillo's The Revolt of the Masses and the politics of history. Southeast Asian Studies 49 (3) : 496-520. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Teodoro Agoncillo's classic work on Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan revolt of 1896 is framed by the tumultuous events of the 1940s such as the Japanese occupation, nominal independence in 1943, Liberation, independence from the United States, and the onset of the Cold War. Was independence in 1946 really a culmination of the revolution of 1896? Was the revolution spearheaded by the Communist-led Huk movement legitimate? Agoncillo's book was written in 1947 in order to hook the present onto the past. The 1890s themes of exploitation and betrayal by the propertied class, the rise of a plebeian leader, and the revolt of the masses against Spain, are implicitly being played out in the late 1940s. The politics of hooking the present onto past events and heroic figures led to the prize-winning manuscript's suppression from 1948 to 1955. Finally seeing print in 1956, it provided a novel and timely reading of Bonifacio at a time when Rizal's legacy was being debated in the Senate and as the Church hierarchy, priests, intellectuals, students, and even general public were getting caught up in heated controversies over national heroes. The circumstances of how Agoncillo's work came to the attention of the author in the 1960s are also discussed.
Source Title: Southeast Asian Studies
ISSN: 05638682
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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