Anne Gustke's Reviews > The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War

The Imperial Cruise by James D. Bradley
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Jan 15, 11

Read in November, 2010

In this book, Bradley, the bestselling author of Flags of Our Fathers, tells the story of a 1905 voyage to Asia by William Taft, who was sent on the voyage by then U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. During the voyage Taft negotiated a secret agreement with Japan, which Bradley blames for allowing Japanese expansionism and eventually leading to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The book has in interesting premise and presents the facts of a little known part of U.S. history. However the book also spends quite a lot of time talking about Roosevelt’s daughter Alice, who went along on the voyage. Her story is quite interesting, but since she didn’t have anything to do with negotiating with the Japanese it makes the book kind of disjointed. Also Bradley is very opinionated, and he makes sure you know what his opinion is. So this book reads more as investigative journalism rather than as a historical account. This is a book that had potential, but never quite delivered.
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