“History re-writer Peter Bowen tells of Luther "Imperial" Kelly in this story.
The USS Maine has been blown up and Teddy Roosevelt, secretary of the Navy orders Kelly to lead a recruitment program in order to get men to follow Roosevelt as his "rough riders."
Kelly travels to the west and the recruitment was hugely successful. However, most of the men were gunslingers or men a step ahead of the law. Among the recruits are Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Kelly's adventures follow, fast and furiously. He's ordered to gather info on the Spanish troop strengths and later helps Teddy in the Battle of San Juan Hill where most of Roosevelts gang refuse his orders and Kelly comes to the rescue.
Thereafter Kelly is ordered to Cape Town to observe the Boer War. He meets young Winston Churchill there. Churchill is acting as a correspondent. Later, Kelly stops at China and the Philippines.
The reading is fast paced and more like an action comic book than a novel. Kelly is also a paper thin character with little to like.
I wasn't drawn to the story and other than seeing it as a new look at history, I found it hard to finish.”