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The Tormented President: Calvin Coolidge, Death, and Clinical Depression (Contributions in American History) Hardcover – April 30, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0275979317 ISBN-10: 0275979318

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Product Details

  • Series: Contributions in American History (Book 197)
  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (April 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275979318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275979317
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,200,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A tour de force, it will surely transform historical understanding of our 30th president. A one man interdisciplinary team, Gilbert has creatively integrated sophisticated political analysis with astute clinical psychological perceptiveness to demonstrate persuasively that the detached, lackluster, failed leadership of Coolidge's presidency was a consequence of a major depression precipitated by the tragic death of his beloved younger son. This is a remarkable book."-Jerrold M. Post, M.D. Director, Political Psychology Program, George Washington University

Book Description

Demonstrates that Calvin Coolidge suffered from clinical depression after the death of his teenaged son and served out the remainder of his presidency a sick and incapacitated man.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Watson on February 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Professor Gilbert has written an excellent book detailing the depression that Coolidge encountered while in the White House and beyond, after the death of his younger son, Calvin, Jr. The research presented here is ground-breaking, and provides a new and important picture of a president normally thought to be silent, reticent, and unproductive while in public office.

An excellent case is made for Coolidge as an energetic and diligent public servant prior to the death of his youngest son, due to blood poisoning from a blister received, while playing tennis on the White House lawn, wearing shoes without socks.

Coolidge's' abrupt change in demeanor, attitude toward his work, and outlook on life was apparent after the death of his favorite youngest son. This is an important book not to be missed for anyone wanting to know the "real" Coolidge, behind the often mentioned silent mask.

I consider Professor Gilbert to be the first to thoroughly research this aspect of Calvin Coolidge, and have noticed that other historians and doctors are now paying attention to this well-written volume. I found it engaging, factual, and one I could not put down. Highly Recommended.
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