In Ill-Advised: Presidential Health and Public Trust, historian Robert H. Ferrell presents powerful evidence of frightening medical cover-ups in the White House, from Grover Cleveland's secret surgery for cancer to the questionable reporting of details on the health of both Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Malpractice, missing public records, and politically motivated cover-ups have hidden sometimes severe presidential illnesses from the American people for more than a century. A massive stroke in 1919 crippled Woodrow Wilson both mentally and physically. But it was the ensuing cover-up that paralyzed both foreign and domestic affairs, as the incompetent leader continued to serve. Certain that an ailing Franklin D. Roosevelt would never survive a fourth term, White House insiders worked frantically behind Roosevelt's back to orchestrate the nomination of their own choice for the vice-presidential candidate. Roosevelt's health never became a public issue, and Harry S. Truman became the thirty-third president of the United States just two months after the election, having been handpicked by a handful of politically motivated White House insiders. At the heart of Ill-Advised is important new documentation of the serious physical condition of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Using previously untapped evidence, Ferrell uncovers convincing evidence of Eisenhower's ill health, which perhaps should have kept him from ever running for the presidency, and certainly should have kept him from running for reelection. Ferrell discusses possible cover-ups in the presidencies of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, and leaves readers to draw their own conclusions about George Bush's arrhythmic heart and thepossibility of Dan Quayle as sudden, accidental president of the United States. As the 1992 election campaign heats up, some commentators are already watching for Bush's health to become a political issue. "In a time of great crisis, " writes Ferrell, "a president of the United S
Robert H. Ferrell is Professor Emeritus of History at Indiana University in Bloomington. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Collapse at Meuse-Argonne: The Failure of the Missouri-Kansas Division and Meuse-Argonne Diary: A Divison Commander in World War I, both available from the University of Missouri Press. Ferrell resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.