Hidden Illness in the White House

Hidden Illness in the White House

Book Pages: 248 Illustrations: Published: September 1988

Author(s): Kenneth R. Crispell, Carlos Gomez

Contributor: Birch Bayh

History > U.S. History, Medicine and Health, Politics > Political Science

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.


“As a former White House physician, I believe this probing investigation of presidential health (and the possibility for White House cover-ups of illness and incapacity), as well as the blatant disregard from the 25th Amendment’s provisions for orderly transfer of power, will furnish Washington with powerful medical dramas.
Hidden Illness in the White House clearly sets forth the danger of an incapacitated president, with the resulting chances for nuclear disaster, and will help make the health of the president as much a public issues as competence and performance in office.” — Rear Admiral William M. Lukash, M.D., former White House physician, Medical Corps, USN (Ret.)

“The next President of the United States and the President’s physician should be the first ones to read Hidden Illness in the White House. The authors tell a fascinating story, alerting us to the danger to our country if we do not hereafter insist on obtaining accurate information about the health of candidates for the presidency before we vote.” — Herbert Brownell, former Attorney General of the United States


Availability: In stock
Price: $79.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Table of Contents Back to Top
Foreword / Birch Bayh vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

1. Illness and History: An Overview 1

2. Woodrow Wilson: Strokes, Versailles, and the Pathology of Politics 13

3. Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Diagnosis of an "Unexpected" Death 75

4. Diplomacy and Failing Health: Roosevelt and the Final Decline 121

5. John F. Kennedy: "I'm the Healthiest Candidate" 160

6. The Twenty-fifth Amendment and the Decisions of History 203

Notes 243

Index 263
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-0839-3
Publicity material