The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War, by James Bradley

A provocative and in many ways a sobering book. Mr Bradley illuminates many key and sometimes forgotten foreign policy actions in the early part of the century under President Teddy Roosevelt. He makes a case for these actions being the prime movers in setting the conditions that will lead to World War II in the Pacific. The book also describes a United States more publicly tolerant of imperialistic and racist points of view then today. This was the public world view for many countries in the world at that time. I found the reading of these times both fascinating and disturbing. The analysis of events in the book shows that the results of initiatives cannot always be understood in such a complex realm as international relations. Faulty assumptions and unexpected events can lead to unsatisfactory states. While I don’t believe the United States was completely responsible for setting up the conditions for a war with Japan, I believe their early twentieth century actions may have contributed greatly. The “not always remembered” accounts of United States mistreatments of their colonials and other Asia peoples serves to remind us that we haven’t always acted with the high ideals we like to believe we always hold our county to. But a country can learn from their history and perhaps there are lessons from this work that can be applied to todays world. For anybody interested in world history from a different point of view I recommend this work. (four out of five stars)

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About Harry Hopkins III

I'm an explorer, dreamer and a teacher...my head and Heart are in the sky...my feet are on the ground...I'm an optimistic/open minded/forward looking/thinker...with a romantic old fashion style...
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