Tom Weber's book pick this week is Matthew Algeo's "The President is a Sick Man: Wherein the Supposedly Virtuous Grover Cleveland Survives a Secret Surgery at Sea and Vilifies the Courageous Newspaperman Who Dared Expose the Truth."
From the Seattle Times review:
On July 1, 1893, Cleveland went on what was described as a fishing trip. A team of doctors boarded the yacht and removed the cancerous tumor from his mouth — along with most of his upper jaw. They reconstructed his face as best they could. A few days later, Cleveland began making public appearances, but not speaking.
A reporter named E.J. Edwards discovered the truth and wrote a major story about what had happened. Cleveland denied it. Edwards found himself vilified and lost all of his credibility.
The truth didn't come out for 24 years.
Algeo has created a thrilling account of a president who prided himself on being truthful and the destruction of a reporter's reputation just to keep the operation hidden. He also explores medical science and life for the average person less than 20 years after the end of the Civil War.