The President Is a Sick Man: Wherein the Supposedly Virtuous Grover Cleveland Survives a Secret Surgery at Sea and Vilifies the Courageous Newspaperman Who Dared Expose the Truth [NOOK Book]

Overview

An extraordinary yet almost unknown chapter in American history is revealed in this extensively researched exposé. On July 1, 1893, President Grover Cleveland boarded a friend’s yacht and was not heard from for five days. During that time, a team of doctors removed a cancerous tumor from the president’s palate along with much of his upper jaw. When an enterprising reporter named E. J. Edwards exposed the secret operation, Cleveland denied it and Edwards was consequently dismissed as a disgrace to journalism. ...

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The President Is a Sick Man: Wherein the Supposedly Virtuous Grover Cleveland Survives a Secret Surgery at Sea and Vilifies the Courageous Newspaperman Who Dared Expose the Truth

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Overview

An extraordinary yet almost unknown chapter in American history is revealed in this extensively researched exposé. On July 1, 1893, President Grover Cleveland boarded a friend’s yacht and was not heard from for five days. During that time, a team of doctors removed a cancerous tumor from the president’s palate along with much of his upper jaw. When an enterprising reporter named E. J. Edwards exposed the secret operation, Cleveland denied it and Edwards was consequently dismissed as a disgrace to journalism. Twenty-four years later, one of the president’s doctors finally revealed the incredible truth, but many Americans simply would not believe it. After all, Grover Cleveland’s political career was built upon honesty—his most memorable quote was “Tell the truth”—so it was nearly impossible to believe he was involved in such a brazen cover-up. This is the first full account of the disappearance of Grover Cleveland during that summer more than a century ago.

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Editorial Reviews

Mark Berman
Matthew Algeo's breezy, enjoyable book takes us back to 1893…[and] paints a startling portrait of an era when a politician could simply deny accurate reporting and be given the benefit of the doubt.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Despite a reputation for honesty, says Algeo (Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure), "President Grover Cleveland, like FDR and JFK, went to great lengths to hide an illness from the public. In June 1893, having told the New York Times he was going away for a rest, Cleveland secretly boarded a friend's yacht and disappeared for five days as surgeons onboard removed a cancerous tumor from his mouth and much of his upper jaw. Reporters at the Cleveland's Cape Cod summer home became curious when the Oneida failed to arrive. Within weeks, Philadelphia Press reporter E.J. Edwards revealed the truth in "one of the greatest scoops in... American journalism," but the public accepted the official denials. Maligned by rival newspapers, Edwards was branded as "a disgrace to journalism," his career "seemingly tainted forever by allegations that he had faked the story." But he was vindicated in 1917 when the facts were finally revealed in a Saturday Evening Post article. Along with a solid reconstruction of these events, Algeo paints a colorful portrait of political intrigue and journalism during the Gilded Age. B&w photos. (May)
From the Publisher

"[A] breezy, enjoyable book."  —Washington Post

"One of the best non-fiction books of 2011."  —PopMatters.com

"Algeo writes entertainingly, but the themes he develops are serious ones, well worth the attention of serious readers."  —History Book Club

"A lively, cautionary tale—and one with a lesson for leaders that recalls Cleveland's own words of wisdom: Tell the truth."  —Wall Street Journal

"Author Matthew Algeo takes a little known part of presidential history and creates a page-turning ride."  —Associated Press

"Algeo paints a colorful portrait of political intrigue and journalism during the Gilded Age."  —Publishers Weekly

Library Journal
In 1893, during his second term, President Cleveland went on a yacht trip from New York City without providing details to his cabinet, his vice president, the press, or the public. Cleveland, known for honesty, secretly had a cancerous tumor removed from his jaw. Algeo (Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip) makes good use of primary and secondary sources to give general readers a full history of these circumstances, known to presidential and medical historians but to few others. An investigative journalist who sought to reveal the truth was vilified by the skeptical public; one of the participating physicians published the story in 1917, almost ten years after Cleveland's death. Algeo explains the reasons for Cleveland's discretion: the country was in a financial panic, vice president Adlai Stevenson opposed the President on the matter of hard money policies, and Cleveland did not want to lose the upper hand. VERDICT Algeo's colloquial, even punchy account fills out our understanding of a press-shy President, the day's newspaper rivalries, and the role of First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland. Recommended for those who enjoy popular presidential histories and biographies, the history of U.S. newspaper reporting, and popular medical nonfiction.—Frederick J. Augustyn Jr., Library of Congress
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569768761
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 128,046
  • File size: 6 MB

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Part I The Operation

1 A Rough Spot 5

2 Big Steve 19

3 The Dread Disease 39

4 DR. Keen 63

5 The Oneida 81

Part II The Scoop

6 The Cover-Up 101

7 The Newspaperman 127

8 Exposed 141

9 Liar 155

Part III Vindication

10 Aftermath 177

11 The Truth (At Last) 207

12 Postmortem 217

Acknowledgments 229

Cast of Characters 231

Sources 235

Bibliography 237

Index 243

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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(10)

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 13, 2012

    History that most of us never knew about - fun read!

    A very interesting and enjoyable read about President Grover Cleveland and his secret surgery to remove cancer in his mouth in 1893. It's not only a story about that, but also about the cover up to keep the surgery secret , the reporter who found out and tried to let the public know, and finally about the life and times of late 19th century America. It's a quick read and definitely worth the time. I especially enjoyed reading about how casual life in the White House was 100 years ago. People could just walk in and walk upstairs to see the president!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 9, 2012

    Recommended - very interesting

    The President is a Sick Man offers insight into presidential history that I have never read or heard of before. The presentation was very interesting and kept my attention. The last 25% of the book started to lose me because I feel the author was just trying to fill pages. However, overall I feel the book was well written and worth my time. Any person who enjoys reading about American history should enjoy this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    President Undergoes Secret Cancer Operat

    The book addresses a little-known event in American history which may have changed the way the economic crisis of that time was handled. It is still truly amazing that in these days of immediate and 24-hours news something like this could have been kept a secret. It is not that amazing that, even in those days, there was a snitch.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2011

    Excellent

    Highly recommended

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    Just ok

    this book is really interesting, but the writing is not all that great. the book does not capture me as the reader as some other books have. There is also some parts of the book that drag on and on and have nothing to do with the story at hand. I'm just not impressed.

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  • Posted January 15, 2012

    Highly recommended-A MUST read

    This book is a riveting read from first sentence to last. Whether you are a history buff or you enjoy a good mystery, this is the book for you. Picked it up to read for just a bit and could not put it down. This book does not disappoint. It delivers from beginning to end. Be amazed. Be amused. But most of all be entertained. This book has it all. If you are especially interested in forgotten chapters of our nation's history, you will be glad you purchased this little gem.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Very Interesting cover-up

    Anyone interested in American history would like this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 13, 2011

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