Ill-Advised: Presidential Health and Public Trust

Overview

In Ill-Advised: Presidential Health and Public Trust, now available in paperback, noted historian Robert H. Ferrell presents powerful evidence of frightening medical scandals in the White House. Malpractice, missing public records, and politically motivated cover-ups have hidden sometimes severe presidential illnesses from the American people. Ferrell traces these often shocking incidents--from Grover Cleveland's secret surgery for cancer to the questionable reporting on the health of both Ronald Reagan and ...

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Overview

In Ill-Advised: Presidential Health and Public Trust, now available in paperback, noted historian Robert H. Ferrell presents powerful evidence of frightening medical scandals in the White House. Malpractice, missing public records, and politically motivated cover-ups have hidden sometimes severe presidential illnesses from the American people. Ferrell traces these often shocking incidents--from Grover Cleveland's secret surgery for cancer to the questionable reporting on the health of both Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Documents the many concealments, half-truths and outright lies perpetrated by presidents and their doctors."--U.S. News and World Report

"Well organized and solidly documented, the book is written in more or less journalistic fashion; the narrative is absorbing, while the recounting of the episodes of illness is generally accurate and authoritative."--Journal of American History

"In this fascinating account of the mismanagement of presidents' health problems since the days of Grover Cleveland, Robert Ferrell reminds us that being important carries no guarantee about receiving good health care. He details medical treatment of presidents that has ranged from the marginally adequate to the scandalously incompetent. Compounding the problem Ferrell describes is the deliberate concealment of presidential illness by presidents and their handlers over the years."--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society

Library Journal
Since 1893, most presidents have received substandard, if not incompetent, medical care, and/or have engaged in cover-ups that denied the public full disclosure about the seriousness of their conditions. Cleveland and Harding were victims of primitive healthcare; Wilson's strokes, disguised by his physician and personal secretary as a nervous breakdown, incapacitated him while he needed all his vigor and skills to promote the League of Nations; and Democratic party leaders chose Truman to run with Roosevelt because they rightly believed that FDR was too sick to complete a fourth term. Making use of new documentation, Ferrell devotes more than half the book to Eisenhower's bouts with heart attacks, strokes, and Crohn's disease, which were exacerbated by inferior military medical assistance. Kennedy's Addison's disease, Reagan's near-fatal bullet wound and his cancer, and Bush's erratic heart are briefly discussed. Ferrell, a highly regarded historian who is less optimistic about the proper use of the 25th amendment than Herbert Abrams in The President Has Been Shot ( LJ 12/91), advocates Senate confirmations for presidential physicians as a means of providing quality control. Recommended for public, academic, and medical libraries.-- Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp . Lib., King of Prussia, Pa.
Booknews
Historian Ferrell (emeritus, Indiana U.) presents powerful evidence of medical cover-ups in the White House, from Grover Cleveland's secret surgery for cancer to the questionable reporting of details on the health of both Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826210654
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1996
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert H. Ferrell is Professor Emeritus of History at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Collapse at Meuse-Argonne: The Failure of the Missouri-Kansas Division and Meuse-Argonne Diary: A Divison Commander in World War I, both available from the University of Missouri Press. Ferrell resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Cleveland, Wilson, and Harding 1
2 Roosevelt 28
3 Eisenhower 53
4 Crisis 73
5 Second Term 94
6 Two More Crises 118
7 Aftermath 138
8 Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush 151
Notes 165
Bibliography 191
Index 199
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