Thursday, July 14, 2011

The President is a Sick Man-Matthew Algeo

This is the story of Grover Cleveland and the hard working reporter who told the story of a secret health matter, only to be branded a liar.

Cleveland had a cancerous tumor in his mouth. Ulysses S. Grant had just died a public and painful death from the dread disease, cancer. Cleveland feared the country, in the midst of a depression, could bot handle another medical disaster in their leader, so he wanted to keep it a secret.

A group of doctors and a dentist were sworn to secrecy, and put aboard a yacht for the Presidents operation.
While the President was recovering, his people were assuring reporters that he was resting from the strain of office, and a slight dental issue.

The press has a choice, report the rumor of cancer, or report the offered story. After much debate, they agreed to report the vacation, dental story. This is one example of the difference between the press of 1893 vs. the press of 2011, who would have never covered up anything. They would have exploited it beyond all recognition.

One intrepid reporter, EJ. Edwards, discovered the truth and reported it. He was branded a liar, a label which followed him throughout his career, and life. The truth did not come out for 24 years.

The way the President is protected, was amazing to read, living in today's climate, and this was a fascinating story. When the truth was finally told, and medical forensics finally caught up, it was discovered that the tumor was an stunningly slow growing cancer, and that the operation that was so successful, given that it was done on a moving ship, was way ahead of its time.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in reading about previously unknown pieces of history. The storytelling is excellent and the characters are real.

I received this book from Net Galley for review. Thank you!


  1. That sounds really interesting. And, yes, of course you're right that nobody would shut up about it, today. It would not only be exploited, the story would be exaggerated and used as a political knife against somebody, wouldn't it?

  2. I love presidential history so I think this book will be going on my wishlist. Thanks for the review.