TEDDY’S ROUGH RIDE
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?