MADAM PRESIDENT by William Hazelgrove
I was disappointed. I was looking forward to this book having recently read another book that referred to Mrs. Wilson’s acting in the President’s stead.
The facts are all here but the writing is very pedestrian. It reads like a college student’s research paper. There is no attempt to construct a cohesive storyline. The chapters jump from Ellen (first wife) to Edith (second wife), from before World War I to during the war and other chronological leaps with no linkage or connection to the preceding chapter. There are notations of the year under the chapter headings, but nonetheless, the jumps are disconcerting and unnecessary.
The book does describe the machinations of Doctor Grayson to keep Edith as the President’s voice; the disconnect of Vice President Marshall who made it very clear he didn’t want the job of presiding over the country; and the frustration of the politicians who were quite deliberately keep from any contact with the ailing and incapacitated President. As a result Wilson’s dream of a functioning League of Nations was lost.
Such a shame. This could have been a riveting and frighteningly true tale of politics, illness, laws, privacy, the League of Nations, ambition, wifely concern, the public’s right to know, medical practice and chicanery. It wasn’t.
2 of 5 stars