FDR's Splendid DeceptionBook
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a paraplegic polio yet he was elected President of the United States four times. The public knew that FDR was lame from polio, but they were never told the true extent of his disability. Extreme measures were used by his staff and the Secret Service to hide his handicap, and Roosevelt refused to admit even to himself the extent of his disability. This was FDR's 'splendid deception'. This biography is an intensely personal view of Roosevelt and how his contracting polio affected critically both his character and political career. The author is a polio who uses his personal knowledge and experience of the disease to ferret out the influence of polio on FDR and American history. The book offers 20 b&w photographs, endnotes, a lengthy bibliography, and an index.
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"Roosevelt entered my life ... when I contracted a severe case of paralytic polio in 1952. After a year in hospital, I went to the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation for my rehabilitation. Roosevelt had created the Foundation ... and his ebullient spirit still pervaded ... when I was there seven years after his death. FDR became my role model. He denied his disability and led a famously successful life. Twenty years [later] I found myself in deep depression. Clearly FDR's way was not working for me. ... I wondered about my hero, FDR. Had there been anything behind his facade? I began the research that resulted in [this] book ." (From Gallagher's memoir "Black Bird Fly Away", Arlington, VA: Vandamere Press, 1998,p. 207)
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