cover image Inside the Palace

Inside the Palace

Beth Day Romulo. Putnam Publishing Group, $18.95 (271pp) ISBN 978-0-399-13253-7

In a unique position to observe the Marcos regime and their private lives, Romulo (The Manila Hotel, etc.), wife of Philippine foreign minister Carlos P. Romulo, portrays the Marcoses as a powerful and greedy political team, surrounded by sycophants and jetset friends, who exploited a still feudal society with a corrupt patronage system. While Imelda was noted for her lavish and frivolous lifestyle, the author emphasizes that her husband relied on her as a de facto vice-president to whom, as his health failed, he accorded increasing authority, sending her on missions that she combined with mammoth shopping sprees. In this gossipy, meaty expose, studded with frank appraisals of public figures, the author contrasts the glamorous life of the privileged few, which she admittedly enjoyed, with the dire poverty of the Philippine people. Her eyewitness account of the disintegration and toppling of the regime after Benigno Aquino's murder confirms other such reports. Photos not seen by PW. Readers Digest Condensed Book. (September 2)