Essayist and fiction writer Maximo Maguiat Kalaw was born on May 6, 1891 in Lipa, Batangas. Educated in the Philippine Normal School and the University of the Philippines, Kalaw also obtained a Bachelor of Laws from Georgetown University in 1915 and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, honoris causa, from the University of Michigan in 1924. He served as associate editor of the Manila Times, and as professor of political science at the University of the Philippines, where he was Chief of the Department of Political Science and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He was exchange professor at the University of Michigan, becoming the first Filipino to teach in an American university.
Formerly a private secretary in the office of Manuel L. Quezon, Kalaw later became a representative of the 3rd district of Batangas in the first legislature of the Commonwealth. He passed away on March 23, 1955.
His published works include Usapin ng mga Pilipino (1915), The Development of Philippine Politics (1926), The Filipino Rebel: A Romance of the American Occupation of the Philippines (1930), The Philippine Question: An Analysis(1931), An Introduction to Philippine Social Science (1933), and Materials for the Constitution (1934).