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The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and Warby James Bradley
Synopses & Reviews
On the success of his two bestselling books about World War II, James Bradley began to wonder what the real catalyst was for the Pacific War. What he discovered shocked him.
In 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt dispatched Secretary of War William Taft, his daughter Alice, and a gaggle of congressmen on a mission to Japan, the Philippines, China, and Korea with the intent of forging an agreement to divide up Asia. This clandestine pact lit the fuse that would-decades later-result in a number of devastating wars: WWII, the Korean War, and the communist revolution in China.
In 2005, James Bradley retraced that epic voyage and discovered the remarkable truth about America's vast imperial past. Full of fascinating characters brought brilliantly to life, The Imperial Cruise will powerfully revise the way we understand U.S. history.
"Theodore Roosevelt steers America onto the shoals of imperialism in this stridently disapproving study of early 20th-century U.S. policy in Asia. Bestselling author of Flags of Our Fathers, Bradley traces a 1905 voyage to Asia by Roosevelt's emissary William Howard Taft, who negotiated a secret agreement in which America and Japan recognized each other's conquests of the Philippines and Korea. (Roosevelt's flamboyant, pistol-packing daughter Alice went along to generate publicity, and Bradley highlights her antics.) Each port of call prompts a case study of American misdeeds: the brutal counterinsurgency in the Philippines; the takeover of Hawaii by American sugar barons; Roosevelt's betrayal of promises to protect Korea, which 'greenlighted' Japanese expansionism and thus makes him responsible for Pearl Harbor. Bradley explores the racist underpinnings of Roosevelt's policies and paradoxical embrace of the Japanese as 'Honorary Aryans.' Bradley's critique of Rooseveltian imperialism is compelling but unbalanced. He doesn't explain how Roosevelt could have evicted the Japanese from Korea, and insinuates that the Japanese imperial project was the brainstorm of American advisers. Ironically, his view of Asian history, like Roosevelt's, denies agency to the Asians themselves. Photos, maps. One-day laydown." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt dispatched a secret diplomatic mission led by Secretary of War William Howard Taft, who traveled across the Pacific to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, China, and Korea, and negotiated secret agreements that laid the foundation for America's Pacific engagement from World War II on. Bradley, the son of one of the flag raisers at Iwo Jima and the author of Flags of Our Fathers, tells the story of these events that affected World War II, communism in China, and the Korean War. He also describes what led up to the mission, including the previous US involvements in the Pacific. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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.
About the Author
James Bradley is the author of the New York Times bestsellers
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