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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (28 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Bradley Narrator: James Bradley, Richard Poe Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781600243967
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “Incendiary…The Imperial Cruise is startling enough to reshape conventional wisdom about Roosevelt’s presidency.”

    New York Times

  • AUDIE AWARD FINALIST:
  • FLYBOYS, the story of the U.S. air campaign against Japan during WWII, is told in exacting detail by James Bradley.... In this biography, Bradley describes the Japanese military mind and attitude toward foreigners and tells of their actions toward their own soldiers and the men they captured during the war. Bradley reads his work in a matter-of-fact tone, never emphasizing or downplaying the atrocities on either side of the war. The graphic, horrific details of Japanese torture, mutilation, murder, and cannibalism are recited calmly and succinctly by Bradley, as are the detailed results of America's bombing of Japan. AudioFile Magazine
  • “A provocative study…What is fascinating about Bradley’s reconstruction of a largely neglected aspect of Roosevelt’s legacy is the impact that his racial theories and his obsession with personal and national virility had on his diplomacy. Engrossing and revelatory, The Imperial Cruise is revisionist history at its best.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “For readers under the impression that history is the story of good guys and bad guys…this book could be useful medicine.”

    USA Today

  • “A page-turner.”

    Associated Press 

  • “Bradley’s critique of Rooseveltian imperialism is compelling.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Author James Bradley reads the first and last chapters and gives an introspective interview…Poe adds spice…with subtle changes in his voice for the hundreds of quotes, an attentive treatment of the poetry, and a palpable enthusiasm for his task.”

    AudioFile

  • “Bradley has written a compelling book on a forgotten diplomatic mission…Anyone interested in American history will want to read this book, especially those who want background on the foreign policy of this first sitting president to win the Nobel Peace Prize.”

    Library Journal

  • “Bradley’s ingenious narrative thread is to track an across-the-pacific 1905 goodwill voyage by Roosevelt’s emissaries…His indictment of Roosevelt raises tantalizing questions.”

    American History

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karl Reinhard | 2/11/2014

    " An excellent book that traces the philosophy of Aryanism an how it was established in the US push to the west coast and beyond. The book documents Teddy Roosevelt's fascination with Japan and the model for domination through torture and concentration camps that was established in the Philippines during the USA occupation. The US turned Korea over to Japan under Roosevelt's administration and set the stage for WWII. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaigham | 2/9/2014

    " An interesting book with a totally different perspective on US involvement in the Pacific and Asia. Beginning in the late 1890 with the Spanish American War, all the way to post WWII, the book argues that the US encouraged and motivated the Japanese to take on an imperialistic attitude towards the rest of Asia as part of a larger Manifest Destiny espoused & applied to the whole of Asia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kariss | 1/27/2014

    " How can we all know about this? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Merilee | 1/27/2014

    " 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... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cherisse | 1/26/2014

    " Nothing I didn't already know about American Imperialism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marcus Godfrey | 1/14/2014

    " WOW! Everthing I ever knew was a lie "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred Sampson | 1/12/2014

    " Thought-provoking, revealing, even troubling. Teddy Roosevelt made secret pacts with Japan that led to WW II. Makes TR look like a poor excuse for a president. And reminds me again that decisions made years ago affect life today, so decisions we make now will affect our grandchildren. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane Miller | 12/24/2013

    " 1905 american policy in asia -- the imperial take over and betrayal of the phillipines was painful to read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig Earnshaw | 12/17/2013

    " I felt the patriotism of the author in his other books (Flyboys and Flags of Our Fathers) so I was surprised at his vehement attacks on Teddy Roosevelt, one of my heros. But by the end, I lost some of my respect for T.R. and for the American Imperialism that has devastated some areas of the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Gottlieb | 12/11/2013

    " Really incredible story of US foreign policy in Asia that helps to explain the backdrop of WWII including the attack on Pearl Harbor. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kay | 8/30/2013

    " A very disturbing view of American politics and the "winning" of the west. Reveals the US occupation of Cuba and the Philippines during the late 1800s and the plans to overtake the entire Asia continent. I was unable to finish the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 UWCSEA Libraries | 5/25/2013

    " The year is 1905. President Teddy Roosevelt sends his daughter (the era's equivalent of Princess Di) on a cruise to Japan, China, and the Philippines, along with his Secretary of State. The roots of the Pacific war theatre of WWII and the torture of waterboarding were laid at that time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve Lane | 3/28/2013

    " Seems there were a few pages left out of my high school history books. If you're of Asian lineage you'll cringe reading this one - if you're Anglo you should. Basically an explanation of the Pacific Monroe Doctrine gone bad and coming back later to lead us into WWII. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 8/13/2012

    " This book helps put the last 100 years of American involvement in Asia in historical context. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marci | 8/12/2012

    " What Teddy Roosevelt and W. have in common. Good book, just wish it were fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob Costello | 7/3/2012

    " I listened to this book on CD on trip out west summer 2011. This guy dislikes TR more than I and I don't like him at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connor Luedtke | 6/24/2012

    " Very well written book by James Bradley, author of Flags of our Fathers and Flyboys. Didn't have a clue that America was at one time the "bad guys" that unconstitutionally started the Asian conflicts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gretchen | 4/2/2012

    " Interesting book- more about the idea of race and manifest destiny in the 1900s than about illegal treaties in Asia but interesting nonetheless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vince Carter | 10/22/2011

    " Amazingly revealing perspective on the racist motivations of Theodore Roosevelt and so many of those around him and how they led to disasters in foreign policy for decades. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Humkeb | 5/19/2011

    " A very great historical read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth | 5/10/2011

    " The book made me wonder how much of our known history is tied up in perceptions of either the author, the person being memorialized, or both. In this respect the book contained both a good bit of humor as well as the same ammount of horrific insight.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary | 3/26/2011

    " This is a revisionist examination of the character and legacy of Teddy Roosevelt. Bradley shows a side of American ethics and motivations which other authors have avoided. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 3/24/2011

    " Astounding book. I was horrified to discover these roots of the war in the Pacific during WW2. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 3/16/2011

    " History and fact finding come together about the turn of the century politics and the race to civilize asia by the US. Amazing information about some of our presidents....Roosevelt, Taft etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harry | 3/14/2011

    " It appears that Teddy Roosevelt wasn't the type of person American history has him cracked up to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 3/13/2011

    " revealing history. imperialism, teddy roosevelt, the pacific rim and wwII "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 3/10/2011

    " Informative and depressing at the same time. Unfortunately we taught the world some of the bad behavior we're currently seeing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 3/7/2011

    " Shocking in its scope of our today's foreign policy has been in the works for over a hundred years. "

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About the Author

James Bradley is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Flyboys and Flags of Our Fathers, among other books, and is the son of one of the men who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. He is also the founder of the James Bradley Peace Foundation.

About the Narrator

Richard Poe has worked extensively in movies, television, and on Broadway. He is best known for his portrayal of Gul Evek in three different Star Trek series: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. He has narrated dozens of audiobooks and earned eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards.