A Brief History of The New People's Army: Background information when reading America Is Not the Heart

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

America Is Not the Heart

by Elaine Castillo

America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo X
America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2018, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2019, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Dean Muscat
Buy This Book

About this Book

A Brief History of The New People's Army

This article relates to America Is Not the Heart

Print Review

A large part of protagonist Geronima de Vera's backstory in Elaine Castillo's novel, America is Not the Heart, is entwined with the communist rebellion group, The New People's Army, a real-life collective that continues to forcefully oppose elected Philippine governments. The New People's Army (NPA) is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), which was founded in 1968 by student activist Jose Maria Sison. The two entities are often referred to under the collective acronym CPP-NPA since from the very start they worked closely together. The group's primary objectives are to establish a new political state led by the working class as well as to expel U.S. influence from the Philippines.

The current flag of the NPA As a rebellious force, the NPA began with sixty fighters and thirty-five rifles and while its purpose was to fight government oppression, it initially focused its efforts on recruitment and growth. Activists would organize demonstrations, rallies and marches to help spread the CPP's political message among students and the rural poor.

In early 1970, the CPP-NPA held several protests against President Ferdinand Marcos, who served as head of state from 1966 to 1986, and who established an authoritarian regime that heavily suppressed democratic processes. He ordered forceful military action against the protests, which only served to boost the CPP-NPA's popularity among the working class. Fearing the sudden growth of the communist movement, Marcos imposed martial law on the Philippines on September 21, 1972. He had thousands of opposition politicians and outspoken protesters jailed and the nation's armed forces became part of his regime.

The NPA soon began guerrilla warfare against Marcos' regime and assassinated several government officials and army troops in the process. While Marcos did announce the end of martial law in January 1981, he continued to rule in an authoritarian manner under various constitutional formats. By 1985, the ongoing violence between the NPA and Marcos' army had resulted in more than a thousand deaths on each of the three sides: military and police; civilians and CPP-NPA.

By the late '80s, the CPP-NPA had amassed more than 20,000 members, thereby becoming the chief threat to the elected government of President Corazon Aquino, with whom they refused to find a peaceful settlement. To this day, the CPP-NPA has continued to conduct attacks and clash with Philippine governments, and the parties have been unable to agree on conditions for the resumption of negotiations.

Article by Dean Muscat

This "beyond the book article" relates to America Is Not the Heart. It originally ran in May 2018 and has been updated for the April 2019 paperback edition.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hungry
    Hungry
    by Jeff Gordinier
    Noma, René Redzepi's restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, has widely been considered among the ...
  • Book Jacket: With the Fire on High
    With the Fire on High
    by Elizabeth Acevedo
    From Like Water for Chocolate to Ratatouille, writers have recognized the power ...
  • Book Jacket: Lanny
    Lanny
    by Max Porter
    At once beautifully poignant and hauntingly grotesque, Max Porter's Lanny is like an unexpected ...
  • Book Jacket
    Call Me American
    by Abdi Nor Iftin
    As a boy growing up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved watching action ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Beirut Hellfire Society
    by Rawi Hage

    A searing and visionary novel set in 1970s Beirut that asks what it means to live through war.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Guest Book
by Sarah Blake

"An American epic in the truest sense…"
Entertainment Weekly

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win In the Full Light of the Sun

New from Clare Clark!

"Evocative prose and excellent pacing make this fine historical a must-read for art history buffs."
- Publishers Weekly

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A A A Day K T D A

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.