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FDL Book Salon Welcomes James Bradley, The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War

[Welcome James Bradley and Host Burt Cohen] [As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread.  – bev]

The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War

Ever wonder about why Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor?  Or why they became imperial in the first place? It’s all here in The Imperial Cruise, and it all points to America’s own “Rough Rider,” Teddy Roosevelt.

Perhaps you thought “waterboarding” started in Iraq. It was really the Spanish-American War in 1898.  Massacres in Vietnam? There was precedent here too. Photos in the book.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book as quickly as I read The Imperial Cruise. On The Burt Cohen Show, I regularly interview current authors of history books. I’ve never had a more fascinating, really breathtaking  and revelatory interview than with author James Bradley, well known for his Flags of Our Fathers, and Flyboys. Bradley’s father was one of those pictured raising the American flag at Iwo Jima, and he spent six years researching this new book, seeking answers as to why the Japanese fought as they did at Iwo Jima and committed such widespread atrocities such as the infamous rape of Nanking. The answers are shocking and deeply disturbing: Teddy Roosevelt encouraged them to become the dominant race of Asia, to implement their own Monroe Doctrine for the Pacific. Of course, millions died in the second world war.

Bradley reveals what we today would consider incredibly racist illustrations and then-mainstream editorial cartoons about the “Pacific Negroes,” such as Filipinos and Hawaiians who dared to defy American hegemony.

And like Barack Obama, Teddy Roosevelt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Host of The Burt Cohen Show, heard on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 4 PM ET, and podcast at, Burt Cohen served in the New Hampshire state senate for seven terms, from 1990-2004, He also hosts Fine Aged Rock, featuring artists who are 50 or older or who would have been had they lived.

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Burt Cohen

Burt Cohen

With 40 years of experience as a political activist, writer, radio host, State Senator, and academic – Cohen understands that as the world gets smaller, the challenges we face grow larger. He adeptly uncovers the real story behind the headline and gives voice to those previously unheard.