Books: Mercenary Monsters From Manila THE MARCOS DYNASTY

by Sterling Seagrave Harper & Row; 485 pages; $22.50

Start with the veracity of Joe Isuzu. Add the civic virtue of Al Capone, the greed of Ivan Boesky, the gentility of a China Seas pirate. Wed this paragon to a bimbo on the make with the vanity of a Marie Antoinette and a shopping lust that would turn a Beverly Hills divorcee envy-green. Multiply by ten and you have, approximately, the portraits of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos that Sterling Seagrave paints in this merciless account of the Filipino dictator's rise and fall.

In a now famous apercu, author Mary McCarthy charged that everything written by playwright-memoirist Lillian Hellman was a...

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