Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Imperial Cruise Review and Giveaway

Category:  HISTORY
Publish Date:  11/8/2010
Price:  $16.99/$18.99
ISBN:  9780316014007
Pages:  400
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 would-decades later-result in a number of devastating wars: WWII, the Korean War, and the communist revolution in China.

In 2005, James Bradley retraced that epic voyage and discovered the remarkable truth about America's vast imperial past. Full of fascinating characters brought brilliantly to life, The Imperial Cruise will powerfully revise the way we understand U.S. history.

My Take: I'm already a James Bradley fan since reading Flags of Our Fathers. Bradley provides copious citation and references that give a prequel to WWII.  That said, I will admit I couldn't finish the book.  It was a painful experience.

Preface:  Shocking as it is, I have a day job.  Glamorous as I am it is, book blogging does not pay.  At all.  Except in books.  Glamor being my middle name, I am a school counselor.  Please.  No autographs.  Anyhoo, a couple of weeks ago I met with a student and her mother to discuss her educational goals.  I discovered that this mother is German.  In case I haven't been obvious, I have a morbid attraction to Germany and WWII.  She was from Munich.  I visited a former concentration camp near Munich.  She told me she never saw it because of shame.  Her father fought in the war.  They never mentioned it.  It was a shameful time.  Then she said quietly, "Our country's pasts are not so different.  The United States is a big country."  So I'm thinking slavery and civil rights and Iraq.  Tonight Karma came and bit me on the butt.

I don't question the truth of the book, necessarily, but I am stunned and ashamed.  During McKinley's presidency, and at the great urging of Teddy Roosevelt (not FDR, but his uncle), the military attacked the Philippines.  It was brutal.  Remember those concentration camps we condemn the Germans for having?  Never mind Manzanar which was, at least, not a death camp.  Our military was worse than the Nazis.  Concentration camps and executions are only the partial story.

Then there was Cuba and Hawaii.  The politics are embarrassing and the American people at the time both pious and stupid.  If Bradley's sources are correct, all the bloodshed was done in the name of spreading Christianity and furthering the Aryan dominance.

If you are Teddy Roosevelt fan, don't read this book.  If you are a history buff, read this book.  If you are pious and a proud Aryan, it will hurt.  If you are a brave and curious soul, read it.  If you reside in the U.S. or Canada, don't have a P.O. box and you still want to read it, fill out the form below.

I suggest you read it.
3 winners
Ends November 28th
(Read it)


Amy said...

I have a friend that I'd love to send this to to read. My son should also read this.

CountessLaurie said...

I am also singing "la la la" while I cover my ears in big, fat denial...

Jaci said...


You have intrigued me, my friend. Now I'm all interested in this topic, even though Asia topics usually bore me. I just can't get into them--and for a history major, that's pretty sad.

Tribute Books Mama said...

Thanks! for sharing.