cover of book

Hidden Illness in the White House
by Kenneth R. Crispell and Carlos Gomez
contributions by Birch Bayh
Duke University Press, 1988
eISBN: 978-0-8223-8232-4 | Cloth: 978-0-8223-0839-3
Library of Congress Classification E176.1.C915 1988
Dewey Decimal Classification 973.0992

The serious illness of three presidents—Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy—as well as the injury Ronald Reagan received in the assassination attempt upon him have revealed our woefully inadequate system for handling presidential incapacity. The authors believe that this flawed system poses a major threat to the nation, and they provide sobering reports on how the government functioned (or failed to function) during times of presidential impairment. The public was kept in the dark regarding the gravity of the presidential condition, often unaware that critical decisions were being made while the president was suffering from a severe illness.

Hidden Illness in the White House contains startling new information on the severity of Roosevelt’s illness during the crucial Yalta negotiations and the fact that Kennedy suffered from Addison’s disease, a life-threatening illness, long before he was elected to the presidency. In each case the authors demonstrate that a largely successful effort was made to conceal the president’s true medical condition from the public.

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