The Dying President Dying President Dying President

The Dying President Dying President Dying President

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1944-1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1944-1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1944-194

By Robert H. Ferrell; William Ed. Ferrell

University of Missouri, Hardcover, 9780826211712, 200pp.

Publication Date: April 1998


In this authoritative account, Robert H. Ferrell shows how the treatment of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's illness in 1944- 1945 was managed by none other than the president himself. Although this powerful American president knew that he suffered from cardiovascular disease, he went to great lengths to hide that fact both from his physician and from the public. Why Roosevelt disguised the nature of his illness may be impossible to discern fully. He was a secretive man who liked to assign only parts of tasks to his assistants so that he, the president, would be the only one who knew the whole story. The presidency was his life, and he did not wish to give it up.

The president's duplicity, though not easily measurable, had a critical effect on his performance. Placed on a four-hour-a-day schedule by his physicians, Roosevelt could apply very little time to his presidential duties. He took long vacations in South Carolina, Warm Springs, the Catoctin Mountains, and Hyde Park, as well as lengthy journeys to Hawaii, Canada, and Yalta. Important decisions were delayed or poorly made. America's policy toward Germany was temporarily abandoned in favor of the so-called Morgenthau Plan, which proposed the "pastoralization" of Germany, turning the industrial heart of Europe into farmland. Roosevelt nearly ruined the choice of Senator Harry S. Truman as his running mate in 1944 by wavering in the days prior to the party's national convention. He negotiated an agreement with Winston Churchill on sharing postwar development of nuclear weapons but failed to let the State Department know. And, in perhaps the most profoundly unwise decision, Roosevelt accepted a fourth term when he could not possibly survive it.

In his final year, a year in which he faced crucial responsibility regarding World War II and American foreign policy, Franklin D. Roosevelt failed to serve the nation as a healthy president would have. Reading like a mystery story, "The Dying President" clears up many of the myths and misunderstandings that have surrounded Roosevelt's last year, finally revealing the truth about this missing chapter in FDR's life.

About the Author
Professor Emeritus of History at Indiana University, Robert H. Ferrell is the author or editor of many books in American foreign relations, presidential history, and military history, including Five Days in October: The Lost Battalion of World War I; Collapse at Meuse-Argonne: The Failure of the Missouri-Kansas Division; and most recently Argonne Days in World War I (all available from the University of Missouri Press). He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dr. Linda Ferrell (Ph.D. University of Memphis) is professor of marketing at Belmont University. Dr. Ferrell coauthored Business and Society with O. C. Ferrell and Debbie M. Thorne and is co-author of Business in a Changing World with O.C. Ferrell and Geoff Hirt. She won the Best Paper award twice at the American Marketing Association's National Summer Educators Meeting and has published over 30 articles in JOURNAL OF THE ACADEMY OF MARKETING SCIENCE, JOURNAL OF PUBLIC POLICY & MARKETING, JOURNAL OF PERSONAL SELLING & SALES MANAGEMENT, AMS REVIEW, JOURNAL OF STRATEGIC MARKETING, JOURNAL OF BUSINESS ETHICS, and CASE RESEARCH JOURNAL, as well as others.

Praise For The Dying President Dying President Dying President

"The Dying President is the most significant study of Roosevelt's last year. No future biography of FDR or any work that deals with his wartime actions and policies could now be written without reference to this comprehensive study."—Amos Perlmutter