In 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt dispatched Secretary of War William Howard Taft on the largest US 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 confident and made secret agreements that he 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.
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"I learned a lot (I think) from this rather sensationalist book by the son of one of the 6 men who hoisted the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima (and who also wrote Flags of our Fathers). Teddy Roosevelt was apparently an incorrigible racist who, after choreographing the Spanish-American war and taking over Cuba and the Phillipines (he was tired of being thought of as a wimpy, asthmatic, and thus needed to kick some ass to burnish his reputation as a macho man), talked the Japanese (as honorary Aryans) into having a Monroe Doctrine of their own in Asia (TR virtually handed Korea over to the Japanese). The rest, as they say, is history..."
Merilee (4 out of 5 stars)