Prologue: the Rizalian approach to political action
Rizal, the Philosophy of nation-building; Mabini’s call for restoring freedom under the Americans; the assumptions of RSM’s formative years
Chapter I Blue Eagle, The King 1917-1939
RSM in the context of his times, his family, his schooling, the conscious nation-building of his generation and the emergence of political and social consciousness.
Chapter II Land of bondage, land of the Free 1939-1945
The role in the public arena RSM’s generation was expected to assume; how they assumed it, in terms of Catholic-centered social involvement; debates on reform; the call to arms in December, 1941; how his generation answered that call; the divisions of society on the basis of collaboration; the debate on what kind of independence to expect.
Chapter III Mentored 1946-1957
From veteran, to journalist, teacher then political activist: the transition from commentator to mover, recipient of presidential favor then political orphan with the death of Magsaysay.
Chapter IV Quixotic quest 1957-1967
Keeping the reformist flame alive; the lessons of the third-party efforts; the enduring ability of the Old Order to maintain its grip on power; lessons learned, efforts attempted, culminating in the third-party bid for the presidency.
Chapter V Socialist, but Christian 1967-1972
The quest for a new, centrist ideology; the rise of radicalism; RSM and the new clash of generations; the effort to craft a new Charter; the inevitable collision of Left vs. Right and the squeezed-out Middle.
Chapter VI Latter-day Ibarra, 1972-1986
RSM as Propagandist; divisions in the Opposition, the long process of awakening for the public vis a vis Martial Law; debates in the American press, debates among exiles and those at home; the collapse of the Left and Right visions of power, reemergence of the Middle.
Chapter VII Once more, unto the breach 1986-1992
Return home; painful lessons of how little things have changed; the call to gallantly serve; the question of what kind of democracy to establish, and the kind of sovereignty to assert.
Chapter VIII Senior statesman, 1992-1998
The culmination of the lessons learned, politically, in the successful Ramos campaign. The vindication of party-building, economic reform, the jealous protection of a carefully-nurtured reputation.
Epilogue: An estimation: the idealist as politician
A question as old as Rizal: RSM as the exponent of reform, of the Middle as authentic means and constituency for political action.