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Download The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War, by James Bradley Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,291 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:
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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

  • 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.”


  • “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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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... "

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