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FDR UNMASKED

73 YEARS OF MEDICAL COVER-UPS THAT CHANGED HISTORY

An extensively researched and persuasive medical biography.

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A New Jersey–based neurologist questions the official record of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s health in this nonfiction work.

“Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first health crisis occurred on the day he was born,” Lomazow writes, when the doctor had to blow air into the infant’s lungs to start him breathing. Perhaps more than any other president, Roosevelt’s medical history is an essential element of his biography—from the paralytic consequences of his battle with polio and frequent rehabilitation trips to Warm Springs, Georgia, to the revelations of post-mortem coverups and anomalies in medical reports. Lomazow approaches Roosevelt’s life from a physician’s perspective, documenting the history of an American icon who led the nation through the Great Depression and World War II. Central to the author’s purpose is to discredit what he calls “well-entrenched, utterly false narratives” that have dominated discussions surrounding Roosevelt’s medical history; some have been disseminated by respectable historians who relied on the questionable reports of Roosevelt’s doctors. The book convincingly lays out its case that the president was far more ill than his carefully crafted public image revealed and that he suffered myriad ailments, including gastrointestinal bleeding, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and epilepsy. For political reasons, particularly during wartime, Roosevelt’s physicians “assiduously disguised the state of his health,” Lomazow asserts, in order to promote a “fantasy of a robust leader.” This medical “hoax” continued after his death, according to the author, in falsified autopsy reports and a publicity campaign led by Roosevelt’s daughter, Anna Roosevelt Halsted, and her physician husband, James A. Halsted.

Rather than denigrating Roosevelt’s presidency, the author concludes that his revelations of the president’s serious physical challenges only solidify FDR’s standing as “the greatest American president of the twentieth century.” Still, at the same time, the author emphasizes that Roosevelt possessed an “ever-deceptive personality” and was complicit in the medical coverup. Much of this book’s evidence comes from new archival material uncovered over the last three decades, including diary accounts of Roosevelt’s health from his close friend Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, and a treasure trove of documents found in 2016 in Roosevelt’s presidential library. As a board-certified neurologist and former president of the Neurological Association of New Jersey, Lomazow backs up many of his assertions with expert medical analysis, including credible links between melanoma and prostate cancer (two illnesses that afflicted Roosevelt, he argues). This book is a follow-up volume to FDR’s Deadly Secret(2010), the author’s previous work that he wrote with Eric Fettmann; this volume contains some new archival and medical analysis, but readers of the previous volume will find a great deal of repetition here. That said, this book is backed up by more than 1,000 endnotes, displaying the author’s firm grasp over relevant historical literature, primary source material, and medical research. Its accessible writing style is likely to appeal to a broad readership even in its nuanced analysis of complex medical issues. There are also ample visual elements, including photographs, magazine covers, and reproductions of archival documents.

An extensively researched and persuasive medical biography.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 403

Publisher: Manuscript

Review Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2023

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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HIP-HOP IS HISTORY

Questlove’s instincts as a superfan and artist take this history beyond the hype to something very special.

A memorable, masterful history of the first 50 years of an indelible American art form.

While historians often cast themselves as omniscient in their works, delivering facts and stories as important without acknowledging the impact of their own experiences on the narrative process, Questlove—drummer, DJ, music historian, and author of Mo’ Meta Blues, Creative Quest, and Music Is History—is forthcoming about the fact that he experienced music differently as he grew older. “I wasn’t sitting down for five hours listening to them over and over and over again, trying to unpack every nuance from every corner,” he writes, recalling his feelings decades into his relationship with the genre. “But I was—I am—a DJ, which meant that I had a professional interest in excavating the songs that worked.” The author’s observations spanning the entirety of hip-hop’s history are consistently illuminating—e.g., connecting its shift in five-year increments to the dominant drug of the period, from crack to sizzurp to opioids. However, it’s his personal connection to certain eras that make his latest book stand out. Questlove considers the late 1980s and early ’90s as the “golden age of hip-hop, when innovative MCs and innovative DJs seemed to spring up every few months, and classic albums regularly sprouted on the vine.” That era—filled with masterpieces from Public Enemy, De La Soul, and N.W.A.—is universally revered, but Questlove also recognizes that it coincides with the years between high school and when he officially became an artist—a time when he was immersed in finding inspiration and understanding the construction of hip-hop. While the author’s knowledge of hip-hop is as deep as any musicologist, it’s his passion for certain artists and songs that sets him apart.

Questlove’s instincts as a superfan and artist take this history beyond the hype to something very special.

Pub Date: June 11, 2024

ISBN: 9780374614072

Page Count: 352

Publisher: AUWA/MCD

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2024

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