From Publishers Weekly
Despite the lurid title, this is a superior addition to the diseases-of-famous-men genre. Journalist Fettmann and neurologist Lomazow assert that they've discovered the true cause of FDR's 1945 death, building on a 1979 medical paper by Dr. Harry Goldsmith and revelations in the 1995 publication of the diary of FDR's cousin Daisy Suckley. A lifetime smoker, Roosevelt suffered from extremely high blood pressure. In 1944, a cardiologist found him in severe heart failure. Although historians blame these for his fatal stroke at the age of 63, the authors point out that photographs show a dark spot over his left eyebrow that grew throughout the 1930s. Experts nowadays agree it resembles a melanoma, a highly malignant skin cancer that often spreads to the brain. Metastatic cancer, not heart disease, may have produced the increasing frailty, weight loss, and confusion that alarmed observers during his final year. We will never know the truth, but the authors make a reasonable case. As a bonus, they recount Roosevelt's numerous medical problems and questionable care at the hands of a personal physician who relentlessly assured the public of the president's excellent health and possibly destroyed FDR's medical records after his death. (Jan.)
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David Margolick, author ofBeyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink
“Anyone reading this fascinating and disturbing book will have to reassess Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose insistence on remaining president despite an arsenal of illnesses subjected his country to grave danger in the most perilous of times. FDR’s Deadly Secret makes us wonder how much different history would be had Roosevelt been healthy, and how catastrophic a turn it nearly took because he was not. Scientifically and politically savvy (and suspenseful!), it offers a highly original take on epochal events.”
“[An] astounding argument…If Lomazow and Fettman are right, Republican Thomas E. Dewey or a different Democrat should have been elected president in 1944. In that case, Harry S. Truman, FDR's vice president, would almost certainly not have been commander-in-chief from 1945 to 1952. The Cold War and subsequent American history might have taken a very different path.”
“Unlike most conspiracy buffs, the authors are objective enough to admit that their thesis is…Regardless, their book is readable and interesting and should appeal to both specialists and the general public.”
“a valuable contribution to presidential history”
The Boston Globe
“The authors present their material in an engaging, though not sensationalistic manner. As a result, “FDR’s Deadly Secret’’ will find a wide following among those interested in one of American history’s most compelling medical mysteries.””
“Neurologist Steven Lomazow and journalist Eric Fettmann… are the first to crack wide open the secrecy that has shrouded Roosevelt’s health until now”
Palm Beach Post
"Well-told ... The authors make a good case for their thesis ... Lomazow and Fettmann have gone as deeply into the medical evidence as is possible, and produced a convincing sidelight to history."
“FDR’s Deadly Secret is about one man and his myriad health problems. It is about the obsessive secrecy designed to keep the nature and extent of his illnesses away from public scrutiny… This is a fascinating medical detective story.”