“Robert W. Smith’s powerful novel, Running with Cannibals, is the fictionalized account of the very real, very brutal Philippine-American War and one man’s ultimate transformation. Highly recommended.” — Chanticleer Reviews
“In this painstakingly researched novel, Robert Smith shines a bright light on a seldom discussed incident, the Balangiga Massacre, that resulted when the mouldering and violent racism and greed driven domestic issues of the Gilded Age were exported and allowed to grow in a microcosm. — Hanley E. Kanar, former President of the Love is Murder Writer’s Conference
“In this graphic, suspenseful, and unapologetically frank plot, former criminal defense lawyer Robert W. Smith tells a story that portrays the atrocities and manipulations of men driven by greed. Running with Cannibals keeps readers engaged with a historical narrative that combines deeply immersive storytelling involving action-packed battle scenes with serious development of the characters and their struggles with their conscience and demons. The romantic connections are excitingly electric, the racial elements and the brutal killings are deeply concerning, and the philosophical issues are simply profound and thought-provoking. What an experience!” — Foluso Falaye, Manhattan Book Review
“On the surface, this is a work of fiction, but underneath this account of a young man’s flight for freedom lies the truth behind the atrocities carried out in the name of American “protection”. Robert Smith’s keen voice paints an uncompromising picture of battle as his characters pull you into their world. And he does this all by doing his research and doing it well. Not only will you learn a piece of history you never knew existed, but he brings it to life from the point of view of an insider. ” – Teresa B., Publisher, New Leaf Books
What’s it like to reach out and touch history in the moment, to peel back the layers of hyperbole and political deception for yourself as a simple soldier? Try the Philippine-American War, sometimes referred to as “the first Vietnam” (1899-1902). You might find that “desertion” really means conversion to a noble cause and “enlisting” is just another form of surrender…
Three American infantrymen in the last months of major hostilities, the Filipinos all but beaten. Each man is quietly running from a prior life. One, a young corporal, naïve and inexperienced, is hiding from a gallows in Pennsylvania. Another is a disillusioned Catholic priest, running from God and himself. The third is a proud “Negro” soldier from the 24th U.S. Colored Infantry, a man who has deserted the army to actively join the Filipino forces. Their lives intersect with a beguiling and mysterious young Filipina, a respected figure of inexplicable influence among her people. All four join forces to hold back the tide of greed and racially motivated barbarity from a ravenous Eagle. One will die. One will find himself by learning that truth stands alone, wears no flag and employs no spokesman. The other two will live forever, legends in the minds and hearts of the Filipino people.