"In this haunting work of memoir and reportage, Patricia Evangelista both describes the origins of autocratic rule in the Philippines and explains its universal significance. The cynicism of voters, the opportunism of Filipino politicians, the appeal of brutality and violence to both groups–all of this will be familiar to readers, wherever they are from."
– Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer prize–winning autor of Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive lure of Authoritarianism
"In this blindingly ambitious, unfathomably brave, fiercely reported book, Patricia Evangelista exposes the evil in her country with perfect clarity fueled by profound rage, her narrative voice at once utterly brutal and terrifyingly vulnerable. In short, clear sentences packed with faithfully recorded details, she reveals the nature of unbridled cruelty with an insightfulness that I have not encountered since the work of Hannah Arendt. This is an account of a dark chapter in the Philippines, an examination of how murder was conflated with salvation in a violent society. Ultimately, however, it transcends its ostensible subject and becomes a meditation on the disabling pathos of self-delusion, a study of manipulation and corruption as they recur in conflict after conflict across the world. Few of history's grimmest chapters have had the fortune to be narrated by such a witty, devastatingly brilliant observer. You may think you are inured to shock, but this book is an exploding bomb that will damage you anew, making you wiser as it does so."
– Andrew Solomon, National Book Award–winning author of Far and Away: How Travel Can Change the World.
"Tragic, elegant, vital... Evangelista risked her life to tell this story."
– Tara Westover, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Educated