The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War

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The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War

Author: James Bradley
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 387
Cover Price: $ 29.99

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In 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt dispatched Secretary of War William Howard Taft on the largest U.S. 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 bully-confident and made secret agreements that he though 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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Background Information

William Howard Taft became president after Theodore Roosevelt but later became what he had really wanted to be, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Hawaiian Islands were an independent monarchy but fell under the influence of American sugar growers and was eventually brought into the United States as first a territory and then a state in 1959. American trade with China has grown from clipper ships bringing high-value cargo during the 19th century to cargo ships loaded with manufactured items in the 21st.