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tkozlo has commented on (2) products.

The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War by James Bradley
The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War

tkozlo, January 25, 2011

Mind-blowing --to borrow a 1960's term for a book about a titanic figure of c. 1900. This well-documented study may not sink Theodore Roosevelt, but it dunks and holds him under a long while. It turns out, Teddy was enthralled with Japanese militarization and industrialization, and conferred on them an "Honorary Aryan" award (for he did have a rating system for higher and lower races.)
On the imperial cruise, Roosevelt sent his massive protege and future President William Howard Taft across the Pacific, with Japan the most significant of several stopping points. Here, secret unconstitutional diplomacy was conducted, agreements reached, without bringing in the U.S. Senate. Teddy wanted the Japanese to know that they were the ones qualified to dominate the Pacific sphere (the Phillipines excluded, of course.) No quarrel with that ensued with the leaders of the Land of the Rising Sun, natch. 1941 would bring in another Roosevelt, Franklin, to deal with the catastrophe that had built up until its explosion that year at Pearl harbor.
Theodore's papers were published after his death, but this commitment of his was ignored. Author Bradley lists ample footnotes for additional research. The story of the cruise also has the lighter entertainment of a romance between Congressman Nicholas Longworth and the high-spirited presidential daughter, Alice Roosevelt.
I still choose to admire TR for his conservation legacy and his battles with corporate power, but oh my, could he ever go off on a diplomatic bender.

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World Made by Hand by James Howard Kunstler
World Made by Hand

tkozlo, April 22, 2008

The looming spectre of an economic/energy crash, with the removal of the machine world that now slaves for humanity, is turned into an engaging and edifying tale of a small community learning to do for themselves even as they do without the dimly recalled bulging shelves of extinct big-box stores. Kunstler depicts the slow quiet place of life without motor vehicles, the new prominence of nature's details in people's attention, the evolving relationships as people barter and come to each other's aid. The plot creates enough suspense and original characters to keep the reader turning pages steadily.
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