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Presidential Leadership, Illness, and Decision Making 1st Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0521709248
ISBN-10: 0521709245
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Editorial Reviews


"McDermott has written a significant, innovative study that adds greatly to the literature on political psychology and presidential leadership....The chapter on how JF's use of steroids for treatment of Addison's disease, and of narcotics and amphetamines, influenced his behavior with Khrushchev during the 1961 Vienna Conference is especially riveting. Finally, the implications of McDermott's analysis are brought to bear on the Twenty-Fifth Amendment, with some final thoughts on presidential care....Essential."
E. C. Dreyer, University of TulsaChoice

Book Description

This book examines the impact of medical and psychological illness on foreign policy decision making. It discusses four cases in American history in which presidential decision making was affected by illness. Health problems have a bigger impact on important political decisions than people may have realized.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (December 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521709245
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521709248
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,806,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Professor McDermott did a good job with the chapter on the JFK presidency; with an excellent attention-getting sidebar about Eisenhower's heart attack in the introduction. But the Woodrow Wilson and FDR chapters were a re-hash of old "news." Recent clinical data was ignored; several recent professional books and clinical studies were omitted from the bibliography; even one of the Dr's names who appeared at the FDR deathbed was misspelled. I also found the index lacking a thoroughness that is seen in academic treatments of this subject area. The author does get applause for rightly holding Wilson's and FDR's doctors accountable for their malpractice and disinformation campaigns. Too bad new information that has been available since 2003, which gives a different diagnosis other than polio for FDR, was omitted. I direct readers to Dr. Goldsmith's "A Conspiracy of Silence," (about FDR); and Dr. Weinstein's "Woodrow Wilson: A Medical and Psychological Biography" for a complete picture. As a historian with extensive research background in presidential illness, it was a good read...but don't look for any new surprises, except in the JFK chapter.
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