THE HEALTH OF THE PRESIDENTS by

THE HEALTH OF THE PRESIDENTS

By
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dr. Noah Fabricant's 13 Famous Patients (Chilton) which has just appeared, reviewed the lives of a select number of presidents as patients. Dr. Marx has done a more extensive and more exhaustive job and given brief accounts of the lives of all the presidents from Washington through F.D.R.- in an attempt to determine the role sickness and health played ""in molding their character and in influencing their actions and decisions"". If this is not always achieved, still it serves to strengthen the interest in many cases--i.e. George Washington, who developed patience and fortitude on the sickbed (smallpox and tuberculosis among ten serious illnesses); Jackson, whose will to live and lead was quickened after the famous duel; etc., etc. Along with the known medical facts, there is a good deal of later diagnostic deduction now made possible-- Lincoln's life could not have been saved by modern surgery- but Garfield and McKinley could today have survived. A concern with psychosomatic factors broadens the portraiture: John Adams' cyclic depressions; Lincoln's premonitory dreams- under stress; Grant's alcoholism (whereas Andrew Johnson was not a drinker). All in all it's a more interesting book than the Fabricant if a choice is to be made-which seems likely in view of this special approach to famous figures.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1960
Publisher: Putnam