Not sure really where to start with this book. The premise Bradley starts out with is that this publicity cruise taken by Taft and Roosevelt’s daughter Alice was really a secret mission to solidify a secret, illegal treaty that Teddy had entered into with Japan. Furthermore, that this treaty led to Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor and the United States entering World War 2.
Bradley does an outstanding job in illustrating the racist agenda of turn of the century politics, Teddy Roosevelt in particular. Bradley adequately points out the United States failures in diplomatic relationships concerning the Philippines and Korea as well. As to the extent as to how these events directly led to Pearl Harbor and World War 2, he didn’t make as clear of an argument. Besides that, the cruise seems to be just a prop to the actual story going on between Teddy and the Japanese.
Not his usual outstanding writing but still good. It’s a harder read than his other two books.
Teddy Roosevelt was more concerned about his image than anything else. He played tennis but refused to have his picture taken while playing. Image will only take one so far and last so long.
He also surrounded himself with ‘yes-men.’ While that protected his image (somewhat), it was incredibly short-sighted and as a result, Teddy made some huge international diplomatic blunders. Did it lead the US into World War 2? I can see how it didn’t help, I can see how it destroyed the Philippines in the early 1900’s. I’m not convinced it completely is THE reason.
Teddy handcuffed his leaders. I use that term loosely. He withheld information from his key leaders. Many times he just used them as puppets for his hidden agenda. But full-disclosure and empowerment of leaders never happened with Teddy Roosevelt. It’s a pretty significant warning for us all.