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Paperback The Imperial Cruise : A Secret History of Empire and War Book

ISBN: 0316014001

ISBN13: 9780316014007

The Imperial Cruise : A Secret History of Empire and War

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

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...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The Truth Hurts

There are a lot of people in denial out there who have attacked this book . Our country ' s history is very well documented . Mr Bradley recounts a number of events that lay a foundation for the Japanese government / military ultimate behavior . Racism exists and will as long there are different peoples , and or , human nature .


Great book! I did not think I would like it as I find history books boring often times. I brought it home from the libray for my husband, and then in a sleepless night started to read and could not put it down. Maybe America is coming of age and can look at the truth and think; and the truth certainly hurts, especially when our illusions get shattered...

What a Wonderful Legacy

At the very end of the book is information about the James Bradley Peace Foundation and Youth for Understanding. The author is actually doing something constructive to promote global cultural understanding. Again, what a wonderful legacy to his father's memory. "You can't blame the children for their parent's mistakes", that's what my father told my then grade school daughter about his World War II experiences for a class project. Like James Bradley's father, he was a Navy corpsman assigned to the Marines and went from Iwo Jima to a devastated Japan. Although he didn't want to talk about his combat experiences with his young granddaughter, his face lit up when he talked about the impoverished children he encountered in Japan. American and Japanese parents and grandparents certainly made many mistakes to plunge so many into suffering and death. Apart from enjoying John Ford movies, I've always been a little leery of the mythological approach to history, which this book most certainly is not. The thousands of little people that perish are usually forgotten in the broad, historic panorama. Bradley accords them some dignity and a voice.

Imperial Cruise is Good Read

Sometimes a writer discovers materials that have not been studied well before, or at all. For example, Alan Armstrong found papers in Pensacola several years ago that led to his book Preemptive Strike. It opened up a new world of historical knowledge for many readers of pre-World War II events. Few knew we had planned to strike Japan from China. I tried to do this with the story of Admiral James O. Richardson and the orders to place the U.S. Fleet at Hawaii in April 1940. Using his notes and 1971 book, I found new materials to insert into the argument of using Pearl Harbor. This resulted in the book, Pearl Harbor Countdown, and a subsequent manuscript called "Why At Pearl Harbor?" James Bradley did the same with The Imperial Cruise. It is actually a study of how the United States meshed itself into Japanese affairs in the first place. Though I would have personally enjoyed more about the 1905 cruise of the American "diplomats," Bradley wove the reader through the attitudes of the times. He was perhaps too heavy on the White Christian "plan" for the world, but he got the point over that Roosevelt and his Harvard friends were sold on the inability of anyone but the Anglo-Saxons to lead a democratic, organized and sensible government effort. As a sideline, someone should write eventually on the powerful affect Harvard [Ivy League] had and has on daily life of all those in the United States. Books written in the first decade of the 21st century seem to have an obligation to bring out tendencies today that started decades and centuries before. For example, Bradley points out the common use of water boarding or "water cure" by the U.S. Army in 1904 in The Philippines. In my "Why Pearl," I point out that water boarding some 35 years later was considered very crude and cruel when used on diplomats at the American Embassy in Japan in 1941. Ten years ago that method of torture was forgotten. Bradley does make the reader run to books about Alice Roosevelt Longworth, and also read more on the problems Korea faced in the early part of the 20th Century. He briefly explains how Japan was secretly "given" permission by Roosevelt to take over that country, and how the Japan-Russian relationship evolved as per Manchuria. The book has a bit more leading space between lines, so is not as long a read as it looks. Bradley's writing flows well. He jumps from the cruise to history of pertinent points of interest fairly well. In total, it is a good read and provides to me at least new background to understand the relationship of Japan and the United States by 1940. Skipper Steely Author: Six Months From Tennessee 47 Years The Raymond M. Berry Years The Journey Across America Pearl Harbor Countdown

Unintended consequences of a young nation excercising power

My first James Bradley book. Very engaging writer. The topic was completely unknown to me and I will need to read more about this period in US and world history. My take on this situation centers around two of my favorite topic; unintended consequences and race. Race has been discussed more openly in the past and I do not think it should be as swept under the rug as it is in today's politically correct atmosphere. Clearly an assessment of humanity needs to focus more on the individual then the race of the individual. This was clearly not the case in the period discussed in this book. Luckily we are all more 'advanced' now. The unintended consequences of the actions of T Roosevelt and H Taft may very well have lead directly to WWII, the Chinese Revolution and Vietnam as the author seems to imply. However the progress made through interaction of peoples such as the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis and other events described in the book, are positive no matter the negative way that people are initially portrayed. The shame the US now (should) feel for the treatment of the Chinese immigrants has also resulted in a desire to not make those mistakes again. In other words we learn more by interaction then by inaction and sometimes only in hindsight can our action be judged. I believe that the mistakes made (as described in this book) in trying to be an American Empire have lead the US to be a nation builder rather then an empire following WWII. Obviously we as a nation still struggle with our role in the world and like all individuals and nations mistakes are still made. This book gives a great view into the mistakes made about a century ago; a very small time period for most of the world's nations. The author's extrapolation of events is very interesting. There were more then a couple of places where the author seemed to go unnecessarily out of his way to show "Teddy" as inept or obsessed with race. I will read James Bradley's other books.
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