In the summer of 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt dispatched the largest diplomatic mission in American history. Led by Secretary of War William Howard Taft, the group traveled thousands of miles across the Pacific, docking in Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, China, and Korea. Along for the ride was Teddy's daughter Alice, a media darling known for her wild behaviour and an effective distraction for the reporters covering the journey.
During the trip, Taft, on Roosevelt's behalf, negotiated a series of secret — and wholly unconstitutional — agreements that would lay the groundword for America's Pacific engagement. These invisible treaties would lead to Word War II in the Pacific, the triumph of communism in China, the Korean War, and, within decades, tens of millions dead. The full details and implications of Roosevelt's pacts remained largely unknown until his death, and then were effectively erased from the textbooks.
A century later, James Bradley traveled in the wake of Roosevelt's imperial cruise, finally rediscovering the remarkable truth about America's vast imperial past — and its world-shaking consequences.