Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Imperial Cruise: a secret history of empire and war

by James Bradley

Great for history buffs, and I was really into it when I read it (about five years ago), but looking back the subject seems dry and unappealing: the United States government's shady dealings in the Pacific that helped set the stage for WWII — sigh. Have we ever not been a dick to the rest of the world? Teddy Roosevelt and his "big stick"; future president Taft, who was Secretary of War at the time, floating around the Pacific in a vessel that must have been much larger than the one in which he legendarily got stuck.

So, yeah, if you love history, this well-researched book gathers a lot of details that you'd miss in a basic history textbook or in an interwar or WWII history of broader scope. Must be decently engaging writing, because I don't remember it as a slog.

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