Los Angeles: Liberty Publishing. Near Fine in Very Good dj. 1984. First Edition. Hardcover. (price-clipped) [minor wear to base of spine, otherwise a clean solid book; jacket shows some intermittent wear at edges]. (B&W photographs, facsimiles) I sincerely doubt if I could write anything that would be more enticing (or lurid) than the cover of this book, but to recap briefly: the subject of this book, "Hollywood Actress" Dovie Beams, had a two-year fling with then-Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, during which she tape-recorded some of their intimate encounters. (Transcripts of two of these tapes are presented in Chapter 16 of this book.) Let's just say this affair didn't end well, and when they broke up in 1970, she held a press conference before leaving the country at which she played some of the recordings for the assembled journalists (for her own self-protection, she claimed, in response to threats on her life); a huge scandal ensued, and Marcos retaliated by releasing nude photos of her to the press. (Many of these are reproduced, very badly, in this book.) Among the side effects of the whole mess, it's been said, were Marcos's martial law crackdown in 1972 (at which time bootleg copies of the sex tapes were still being used against him by his opposition), his wife Imelda's decision to begin seriously building up her own power base, and even that Beams's acknowledged use of birth control pills had the effect of empowering women in Filipino society. For her part, Ms. Beams seems to have escaped unscathed; she was briefly in the headlines again in the mid-1980s, when she sued Mr. Rotea, a Filipino journalist, over this book, and again when she was reported as living in a Pasadena mansion and having amassed a real-estate fortune worth over $7 million. (She stated at the time that she would "always love Marcos, although I don't agree with his politics. He was an extraordinarily intelligent man, very witty and very charming.") I don't know the outcome of the reported lawsuit, but can at least report that while cataloguing this book I was unable to find any copies currently for sale, and OCLC shows just a dozen holdings in American libraries. And I'll bet if anybody in the Philippines had a copy, they kept it very well hidden, at least until Marcos finally took a powder in 1986. . (Inventory #: 23447)
Unusual, Uncommon and Obscure Books in many (but not all) fields, with particular interest in American Culture (Popular and Unpopular), Art, Literature, Life and People from the 1920s through the 1960s.
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