The introduction acquaints the reader with the U.S. colonial hill station in Baguio and the reasons why Americans pursued its construction. It asserts the significance of Baguio, a place seemingly removed from traditional sites and institutions of power, to U.S. rule in the Philippines. The introduction also discusses the concept of the pastoral, an idealization of the country and the simple life that informed the design and use of the imperial retreat. The introduction situates the book in the historiography of U.S. imperialism, explaining how this study of the built environment challenges the invisibility of U.S. imperial power and calls for attention to both the cultural and material dimensions of colonial rule. In this way, this study brings together the concerns and methods of both contemporary cultural studies and the work of revisionist scholars who stressed the economic interests shaping U.S. interventions in the world.
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