Books: The President is a Sick Man
I really couldn’t have picked a worse book to keep me company as I stayed up late with the ouchy results of some long-dreaded dental work. It wasn’t that the book was bad, it’s that the subject matter was totally wrong for someone with an aching mouth!
Yet despite my unhappy mouth, I had a hard time putting down my copy of “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” by Matthew Algeo.
In 1893 President Grover Cleveland had a tumor removed from the top of his mouth. In secret. On a yacht. In 1.5 hours. BEFORE THE INVENTION OF ANTIBIOTICS. Or ex rays. Or, or, or….. I feel a bit faint just thinking about it.
I’m far, far too lazy to do a proper review of the book, but it’s a well paced tale of a little-known saga from American history.
It’s a story located at the nexus of American history, the history of medicine, and the history of journalism. Together it comes to a page-turning beach read for the serious-minded.
Maybe I should pass this book along to my dentist. The pictures of the casts made of the inside of Cleveland’s post-surgical mouth (p. 185) were enough to give me the willies.
“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.” Matthew Algeo, Chicago Review Press, 2011, 1st ed.