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A Conspiracy of Silence: The Health and Death of Franklin D. Roosevelt Paperback – April 8, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (April 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595399428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595399420
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,928,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Goldsmith has been a professor of surgery for 35 years and a student of medical history throughout his life. He has invented several surgical procedures including an operation to treat Alzheimer?s disease and a procedure to treat acute spinal cord injuries. He is an author of 227 papers or book chapters, has edited three surgical texts, and has received honorary degrees from two Chinese universities. He is a surgeon, worldwide lecturer, and advisor on the application of his surgical procedures.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Either way, the book is a fascinating read.
Betty Weiss
Although we have had discussions concerning Franklin Roosevelt's presidency and health, I did not realize how much he knew about this subject until I read his book.
Laurance Johnston
It is obvious that an amazing amount of research went into it.
F. Lusk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
I am always fascinated by, and perhaps a little envious of, individuals who have achieved great success in one career and branch out to further accomplishment in another. Dr. Harry Goldsmith is a world-renowned surgeon and the author of many medical textbooks and articles on surgery. He is also a medical historian who for decades has studied the health of Presdient Franklin Roosevelt, particularly during the final year of his life. Goldsmith's book, "Conspiracy of Silence" (2007)explains the results of Goldsmith's long study. But the book is almost as valuable for documenting Goldsmith's search for information about Roosevelt's final year and the difficulties he encountered, as it is for his conclusions.

Before he announced his decision to seek a fourth term in 1944, rumors were rampant about Roosevelt's failing health. His personal physician, Admiral Ross McIntyre, assured the nation that Roosevelt was healthy. Dr. McIntyre and others greatly understated the extent of Roosevelt's health problems. Goldsmith's book confirms what other historians have suggested: Roosevelt was dying, and knew he was dying, when he decided to seek a fourth presidential term. He died within 90 days of beginning his fourth term, making the relatively untried Harry Truman the new president.

As a young surgeon, Goldsmith became interested in Roosevelt's health in 1963, upon hearing a lecture by his mentor, Dr George Pack. In his book, Goldsmith describes the many individuals he interviewed over the course of the years to try to find documentary evidence about Roosevelt's health. Goldsmith's efforts led to many blind alleys and to people reluctant to help him, but he persevered.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Betty Weiss on June 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
Harry S. Goldsmith, M.D., is a renowned practicing surgeon who has invented many innovative surgical procedures, including those that help victims of spinal cord injuries and Alzheimer's. He is also a devoted medical history buff and in "A Conspiracy of Silence" takes the reader inside that critical moment in time when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was running for an unprecedented fourth term during World War II. Although there were rumors about his declining health and telling photos of him at Yalta, his true medical condition was kept secret. His Vice-president, Henry Wallace, was popular with the people and a longtime personal friend, but behind the scenes, Democratic insiders, largely unknown to the general public were conspiring to drop him from the ticket. Their heavy-handed manipulation of the 1944 convention ultimately led to the nomination of Harry Truman in his stead. One wonders if they ever realized how their own actions forever changed the face of America.

Goldsmith's interest in FDR's medical records began in 1963. Years later, he started looking for them and found at every twist and turn they had been destroyed or lost. By 1984 he himself was embroiled in a drawn out court battle for a medical document denied to its legal owner. Even with the backing of FDR's son, James, the original document was never released. What was the motivation of all these people, by what right did they take it upon themselves to keep or destroy historical papers even decades after FDR's death?

"A Conspiracy of Silence" moves along easily and holds your attention like a mystery you can't put down. Goldsmith relates his search as a personal diary and presents it meticulously documented with letters, memos, personal memoirs and newspaper articles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven Lomazow, M.D. on January 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Harry Goldsmith's self-published book,released nearly thirty years after his monumental 1979 paper that first widely raised the question of FDR's cancer, is an invaluable source for anyone seriously interested in Franklin D. Roosevelt's health. It is jam packed with stories of Harry's exploits as he doggedly sought the truth about true nature of the health of our thirty-second president.

The book contains a wealth of material about FDR that can simply not be found elsewhere, including his correspondence with Roosevelt's son, James, and FDR's physician, Howard Bruenn. It also exquisitely documents his quest to find and release one of he most important documents for Roosevelt scholars, The Lahey Memorandum.

If there is a serious fault, it is that Dr. Goldsmith deviates at times from the medically related material into less than conventional historical speculation (for instance the events surrounding the attack on Pearl Harbor) that would raise doubts of the credibility of the entire work in the minds of the historical community. This does not,though, diminish the importance of the book as a unique source of otherwise unobtainable information and a saga of a determined crusader's quest for the truth.

Steven Lomazow, M.D.
co-author "FDR's Deadly Secret"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best book published on the death of FDR in the last 10 years! The research is outstanding and Dr. Goldsmith leaves no stone unturned in reviewing all of FDR's health problems. Some of his findings are most interesting and suggest future lines of inquiry. His inclusion of the Joe Leib incident (his knowledge of Pearl Harbor revealed in advance by Secretary of State Cordell Hull) and the material on how and why Truman was picked as Vice-President makes this truly a real page-turner. Couldn't put this down. My highest recommendation.

Picking up where Dr. Goldsmith leaves off, there is a new book that builds on this one by Dr. Goldsmith, just published, by Steven Lomazow and Eric Fettmann, FDR's Deadly Secret uncovers yet more information on FDR's health issues. Seizures, cancer of the stomach, cancer in the brain, high blood pressure, cardiac cachexia, hemianopia, excessive weight loss, et.al.

The Lomazow book now gives proof that the previously-thought report of Dr. Howard Bruenn (Navy cardiologist assigned to FDR), was written under the guiding hand of Roosevelt's daughter and husband in order to put FDR in the best light. Proof is also given concerning the magnitude of cover-up and outright lies of FDR's personal physician, Admiral Ross McIntire, who told the public that nothing was seriously wrong with FDR. Even in his own book written after FDR's death, in an obvious effort to cover his tracks, White house physician, McIntire continued to lie and cover-up the truth, of what was wrong with FDR.

These two books taken together, ("A Conspiracy of Silence" and "FDR's Deadly Secret"), set the record straight on many issues and myths surrounding FDR's health.
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