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The Dying President: Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1944-1945 Hardcover – April 3, 1998
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The purpose of this book is not simply to drive home the point that Roosevelt was a dying man when he ran for a fourth term. The point of this book is about collective denial. The fact that most of the country suffered from it, used it, and both benefitted from it in some ways, and paid for it in others. Collective denial isn't much different from individual denial. It is a powerful mechanism that existed not only in the relationship between FDR and the country, but between FDR and himself. It also is the mechanism that allowed the United States to fight WWII to "make the world safe for democracy," while at the same time the country was somehow unaware of its own racist, anti-democratic values. Ferrell's book should be read within the context of the times, so that it may shed light on ours.
Most FDR fans know the basic facts about his life and death. In 1944, his daughter, Anna Roosevelt Boettiger, insisted that her father have a complete physical because of what could be seen as a visible and marked physical decline. Prior to that, the president's standing physician, Dr. Ross McIntire, was a Navy doctor whose specialty was Ear, Nose and Throat. A battery of doctors from Bethesda Naval Hospital discovered that FDR suffered from severe hypertension and congestive heart failure. In 1944, there was little the medical profession could do for these two maladies. Unbelievably, the president was kept in the dark about his health, and he never asked questions about his health, constant medical testing, or his treatments. These medical experts (who took over his treatment) were also not consulted about FDR's decision to run for a fourth term.
There is not much new in The Dying President, except what comes from the diaries of FDR's distant cousin and confident, Margaret Daisy Suckley. But even these revelations don't add much to the story, other than the fact that FDR did know that Dr. Howard Bruenn was a cardiologist. Ferrell does offer the theories that FDR could have suffered from stomach cancer or melanoma. But he provides no additional research to prove or disprove these already published speculations.
When discussing a book written by Dr. Ross McIntire about FDR, Ferrell describes it as "absurdly thin." The same can be said about The Dying President. The body of this book is only 152 pages, and 36 of these pages are photographs.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a student of WWII history and the involvement of the United States in the war, I always wondered why Roosevelt declared that we would not get involved in a foreign or European... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Dennis Anderson
I couldn't help but contrast this book with the Bishop book, 'FDR's Last Year'. This writer paints FDR as someone and something far different than I've read in many, many other... Read morePublished on March 26, 2000 by JK
The thesis of this book is that FDR as a dying man virtually betrayed his country. The author blames Roosevelt for every ill that faced the post war world from Vietnam to the fall... Read morePublished on June 25, 1998 by Joseph L. Lipman