In early 1944, with the outcome of World War II by no means certain, many in the United States felt that FDR, as wartime Commander-in-Chief, was an indispensable part of prosecuting the war to a victorious conclusion. Yet although only 62, Roosevelt was mortally ill with congestive heart disease - a fact that was carefully shielded from the American public prior to the election of 1944. In a media environment where we get more details about politicians' health than we sometimes prefer, it is hard to imagine how a paper as authoriative as The New York Times could describe FDR's death as "sudden and unexpected" on its front page. Dr. Hugh Evans looks at the issue of Roosevelt's health not only from a medical ethics perspective, but also with a keen eye for the political and media considerations that led to the decision to run and not disclose the extent of Roosevelt's illness.
Acknowledgments Preface Introduction 1. The Twentieth-Century Presidency: A High-Risk Occupation 2. The Pre-Presidential Years: "Defining Experiences" 3. The Presidential Years 1933-1943: "The Picture of Health" 4. The Presidential Years 1943-1944: "Decline and Deception" 5. The Presidential Years 1944-1945: "The Last Campaign" 6. "The Day of the Lord, April 12, 1945" 7. Lessons for the Twenty-First Century