The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - / Bruce Tins­ley

James Bradley wrote the 2000 best-seller “Flags of Our Fathers,” de­tail­ing the lives of five Marines and a Navy corps­man who raised the Amer­i­can flag dur­ing the Bat­tle of Iwo Jima. The au­thor’s fa­ther, John Bradley, was one of the six. Three years later, the au­thor pro­duced “Fly­boys,” an­other best-seller of­fer­ing in­sight into the pi­lots of the era, among them a young Ge­orge H.W. Bush.

Mr. Bradley’s re­cently pub­lished third book — “The Im­pe­rial Cruise: The Se­cret His­tory of Em­pire and War” — takes on the pres­i­dency of Theodore Roo­sevelt and the heady decades that fol­lowed. It is not a flat­ter­ing por­trayal of the prover­bial “T.R.,” cast­ing him as a reck­less, se­cre­tive poseur at times. But Mr. Bradley came to know the 26th pres­i­dent rather well.

“Roo­sevelt was far ahead of the me­dia in terms of his im­age man­age­ment,” Mr. Bradley tells In­side the Belt­way. “And he lived in a time when the me­dia was for­mally re­spect­ful of power and didn’t look be­hind the scenes. If he came into power to­day, with 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence pro­ject­ing im­age as an au­thor, he might be as ef­fec­tive.”

As he teased out myth from fact about Pres­i­dent Roo­sevelt, Mr. Bradley had a few rev­e­la­tions of his own.

“I of­ten was sur­prised that the in­for­ma­tion that I re­veal was there for me to re­veal it. Why didn’t we know th­ese facts be­fore?

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