Customer Review

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Book From Matthew Algeo, June 29, 2011
This review is from: 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 (Hardcover)
I have been a (public school) history teacher for the past twenty-three years. I am not a writer and rarely take the time to sit down and compose a review. Having just finished reading "The President Is A Sick Man" I find myself motivated to do just that. The book is outstanding. I've taught The Gilded Age and Progressive Era periods for many years. President Cleveland's 1893 operation was not unknown to those interested in Presidential history. What Matthew Algeo has done (as he did in "Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure") is to conduct extensive research into the personalities involved, the connected issues of the day and the political and cultural context in which the event occurred....and to then write about it all in a way that enlightens and entertains. One does not have to be a history nerd to enjoy this book.

Steve Cleveland (yes, that's right, Grover's first name was Steve....unusual for that period) apparently possessed a dual personality that both served him well and got him in trouble....and made possible one of the great presidential deceptions. On the one hand Grover Cleveland was serious, disciplined and dedicated and on the other he was a gregarious "hail fellow well met" who enjoyed nothing more than sitting in a bar serving as raconteur whilst eating and drinking too much.

Algeo goes into some detail about the severe economic downturn (depression) that occurred in the early 1890's, it's causes and effects and especially the influence it had on Cleveland's insistence that his major health crisis be kept absolutely secret. Who knew that the impending vote to repeal the Silver Purchase Act could have motivated one of the greatest presidential conspiracies?

Anyone interested in presidential history, political conspiracies, medical history, or learning more about the culture of the Gilded Age/Progressive Era will enjoy this book. Matthew Algeo has taken the time and has devoted the effort to do the research and the writing that make for (another) wonderful book. I hope he continues to explore, and write about, these lesser known but important events from our history.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 30, 2011 9:20:20 AM PST
Mrs. Norton says:
Whoa, you are a teacher and you use it's as a possessive ("it's causes and effects.....")?? O how I wish teachers were actually educated in English...you make such fools of yourselves when you write supposedly informed opinions with basic errors in English! The possessive of it is the word its, with no apostrophe. It's means it is. It's a contraction, as are don't and can't and I'll, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2011 3:36:44 AM PST
Brevort says:
Of course, you're right. The apostrophe was misplaced. This was a careless error. However, I resent the tone of your post. As any good teacher knows, constructive correction rather than an arrogant attempt to embarrass is the essence of positive instruction.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 23, 2012 2:39:09 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 30, 2013 1:43:04 PM PDT]
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