In 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt dispatched Secretary of War William Taft, his gun-toting daughter Alice and a gaggle of congressmen on a mission to Japan, the Philippines, China, and Korea. There, they would quietly forge a series of agreements that divided up Asia. At the time, Roosevelt was bully-confident about America's future on the continent. But these secret pacts lit the fuse that would-decades later-result in a number of devastating wars: WWII, the Korean War, the communist revolution in China.
One hundred years later, James Bradley retraces that epic voyage and discovers the remarkable truth about America's vast imperial past-and its world-shaking consequences. Full of fascinating characters and brilliantly told, THE IMPERIAL CRUISE will forever reshape the way we understand U.S. history
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James Bradley is the author of the NYT 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.From Publishers Weekly:
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.(Nov. 24)
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