The Imperial Cruise
A Secret History of Empire and War
By James Bradley
(Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316008952, 400pp.)
Publication Date: November 24, 2009
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In 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt dispatched Secretary of War William Howard Taft on the largest U.S. diplomatic mission in history to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, China, and Korea. Roosevelt's glamorous twenty-one year old daughter Alice served as mistress of the cruise, which included senators and congressmen. On this trip, Taft concluded secret agreements in Roosevelt's name.
In 2005, a century later, James Bradley traveled in the wake of Roosevelt's mission and discovered what had transpired in Honolulu, Tokyo, Manila, Beijing and Seoul.
In 1905, Roosevelt was bully-confident and made secret agreements that he though would secure America's westward push into the Pacific. Instead, he lit the long fuse on the Asian firecrackers that would singe America's hands for a century.
James Bradley is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Flyboys and Flags of Our Fathers and the son of one of the men who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. He lives in New York.
TERRIFIC PRAISE FOR THE IMPERIAL CRUISE:
"James Bradley's incendiary new book...is startling enough to reshape conventional wisdom about Roosevelt's presidency...In Flags of Our Fathers he wrote about how his father helped plant the American flag on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II. In The Imperial Cruise he asks why American servicemen like his father had to be fighting in the Pacific at all."
-New York Times
"A provocative study...What is fascinating about Bradley's reconstruction of a largely neglected aspect of Roosevelt's legacy is the impact that his racial theories and his obsession with personal and national virility had on his diplomacy. Engrossing and revelatory, The Imperial Cruise is revisionist history at its best."
-New York Times Book Review
"[Bradley's] ingenious narrative thread is to track an across-the-pacific 1905 goodwill voyage by Roosevelt's emissaries....[his indictment of Roosevelt] raises tantalizing questions."
"For readers under the impression that history is the story of good guys and bad guys, and that Americans are always the former, this book could be useful medicine."
"A page-turner with solidly attributed eye-opening passages."
"Engaging...this is a book to admire and, it must be said, to enjoy."
-The Boston Globe