Book Trailer For Madam President

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What Woodrow Wilson's Stroke Can Tell Us About the Twenty Fifth Amendment

The New York Times has a piece on the 25th amendment and the possibility of removing
Donald Trump. The twenty fifth amendment was designed to stop what happened with Woodrow Wilson. He had a stroke and his wife, doctor, and Chief of Staff hid it from the world for two years. The twenty fifth amendment basically says that if the cabinet decides the president cannot do his job then they can vote to remove the President. This would have to be approved by the Senate but the process would start with the Presidents own cabinet. Here is where it gets interesting and might give us insight on Donald Trumps situation.

Secretary of State Lansing knew what was going on and demanded that President Wilson step down and asked Dr. Grayson and Secretary Tumulty to address the cabinet on his condition. Lansing produced the constitution and read aloud the amendment on constitutional succession. Tumulty snapped and said he didn't need the constitution read to him and that he was fully aware of the right of the Vice President to assume power. "But I will not be part of an effort to remove the President when he is flat on his back." Lansing then turned to Grayson and asked to know the Presidents condition. Dr. Grayson said the President was recovering but could fulfill his duties and then issued a warning. He said the President would be very interested to know who is plotting his removal. The cabinet members then sent on their good wishes and Lansing was left high and dry. 

Vice President Marshall never took over for Wilson because he didn't want to be President. He too said that in effect he didn't want to be accused of stealing the Presidency from Wilson. Edith Wilson ruled until Wilson's term ended. There is a lot of talk of the twenty fifth amendment now but removing a President can be tricky especially if the Vice President does not want the job and the cabinet is not unanimous. Brutus does not want to be caught in the open and so it is really who is willing to stick their neck out first. 

History does repeat itself. President Wilson fired Lansing within a year of  the meeting.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Monday, May 15, 2017

How Teddy Roosevelt Cheated Death in the Badlands

I believe in destiny. I didn't before I wrote Forging A President. The fact is Teddy Roosevelt should have been killed many times over in his time out West. Anybody else would have not cheated death in the many ways the dude from the East escaped harm. Take the time the Indians rode up on him when he was alone. There had been atrocities and Geronimo was still loose . Roosevelt gets down off his horse and holds off the Indians until he is able to escape. Why the Indians didn't overwhelm the small man in the buckskin coat with glasses is amazing.

Or when he was confronted by an armed man in a saloon who demanded he buy drinks for the house. Roosevelt is sitting behind a stove and ignores the man but he persists with his six shooters drawn. Roosevelt stands up and knock his out with a right and a left. Again this is unbelievable for a man  who came from a patrician family in the East. The man easily could have shot him and we would not be discussing Teddy Roosevelt. Or the time he was a on roundup and went over a cliff with his horse and fell into the Missouri river. The horse flipped over and missed him by a foot. Roosevelt just got back on and continued riding.

Or when he chased armed men down a frozen river who stole his boat. Anyone else would have let the boat go but Roosevelt chases the men three days, captures them, then takes them on a journey of seven days to reach the nearest sheriff.  Or when a Grizzly confronted him and Roosevelt squeezes off a perfect shot between the eyes. Or the time he falls off the edge of a mountain and crashes through a pine tree then gets up without a scratch.

One time around a campfire a cowboy told him one day he would not be running cattle and he would become President. Roosevelt just laughed, but that cowboy saw something even Teddy didn't understand....destiny.

Forging A President

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Teddy Roosevelt's Neurasthenia

A man named Charles Beard came up with a theory in the late nineteenth century to account for the sudden increase in people becoming depressed. To Beard this coincided with the closing of the American West. In 1890 the frontier was declared closed but this had not stopped men like Teddy Roosevelt from going West. Teddy went West to get away from the depression  and heartache of losing his wife and mother on the same day. Charles Beard saw what Roosevelt did in a bigger context.

Beard believe people were getting sick because they were using the mind over the body. He attributed nervousness, impotence, cancer, heart attacks, depression to the fact people were now working in offices in the East. Beard believed we had fundamentally changed from a people who were out working under Gods light in the fresh air to a people huddled away in offices who ran from work to home only to return the next day. We had become a people who rarely exercised and were bound up in knots The real life Beard said was out West. He called this disorder... neurasthenia.

Buffalo Bills Wild West show was built around people who pined for the frontier. William Cody's show basically said the real men were out there on horses saving people from the Indians not working in cramped offices. Teddy Roosevelt and others took this to heart and found themselves in the wide open plains of the West. Today we know Beards neurasthenia is real. And we know that  being outside in  nature is good and sitting in offices is not a a great thing.

Teddy Roosevelt returned after three years in the West a different man. The magic elixir of the West had cured his neurasthenia. Then he set aside millions of acres for future generations who would deal with the same malady under a much shorter name....stress.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Monday, May 8, 2017

Teddy Roosevelt Faces Down a Gun Slinger in the Wild West

He was out looking for horses and it was getting dark. Teddy Roosevelt saw a town in the distance, small yellow lights peeking out in the Badlands. He went into town and looked for a room to bed down for the night. When he walked into a saloon he heard shots and saw a man with two pistols shooting up the bar. Teddy went and sat behind a wood stove to warm himself when the gunman saw him. What did he see? A man in a sombrero in a buckskin coat with thick glasses. A dude from the East. A target

Four eyes is going to buy the man bellowed. Teddy rubbed his hands and kept his head down. The man staggered over looking down at the skinny man behind the stove. I said four eyes is going to buy he shouted waving his guns. Teddy breathed deeply. Well if I have to I have to he said, standing up. Teddy cold cocked the man with a right hook and then a left. The gunman fell to the ground and Roosevelt sprung on him but he was out.

The people from the saloon hustled the man out and put him on a night train out of town. Teddy got his room and enjoyed the thanks of the town people. The dude from the East had just knocked out a badman and his reputation went a little higher that night. The Wild West had begun forging the man who would be President one day.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Comparsion of Donald Trump and Teddy Roosevelt

I have been doing a lot of radio interviews lately on my new book Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt and the question I get about every other interview is how would you compare Donald Trump and Teddy Roosevelt. I usually don't have a good answer because it is not a comparison I have thought about although many have; The Chicago Tribune, John Boehner, Teddy Roosevelt's relatives, Politico to name a few. So I will take a stab at this.

They both came from wealthy New York families. Ok. They both had strong fathers who made a hell of a lot of money. Teddy was very sickly as a child with severe asthma. Donald seemed to be in fine health as a child. Teddy went to Harvard. Donald to Wharton Business School. Then Teddy had unspeakable tragedy befall him when his wife and mother died on the same day in 1883. Donald probably about this time was beginning to live the high life in Manhattan as he started to buy buildings.

Teddy went West to the Badlands for three years and became a cowboy. Donald became a playboy and bought more buildings. Teddy came back and ran for governor, charged up San Juan Hill  and eventually became President after McKinley was assassinated. Donald Trump branded himself and remained in business then ran for President in a come from behind insurgency campaign. Teddy busted trusts, built the Panama Canal, sent the White Fleet around the world and set aside millions of acres for future generations. Donald Trump after three months is a work in progress.

So what can we say. Both men are fierce individuals and go their own way. This is true. Both men were met with intrepedation when elected. Teddy was known as that "damn cowboy" and many Senators groaned when he became President. Donald's wall and Teddy's canal both had a built in nobody can do that. Does Donald carry a big stick and speak softly? He carries a big stick that much we know. Both men are fierce natavists. Teddy sent around the White Fleet while  Donald sent the carriers.

I think then the best we can do is say both men are  individuals. Like them or hate them, the likes of neither man will  ever be seen again.  In that way, they are absolutely alike.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Doing Radio Interviews for a Book

You have only fifteen minutes maybe less except for the shows that let you roll thirty minutes. Those are the ones where you can stretch your legs and get into the meat of the book but for  many drive time shows you have less than ten minutes to get your point across and if you blow it there is no do  over because it is live. And so you wait for the phone to ring and set yourself up in a quiet room and tell everyone you are on the radio and please don't open that door or call out my name while I'm on the phone.

So you have your coffee and your notes and you have to be careful not to ramble and not speak too fast but you don't want to squander your time either. Getting a book down to sound bytes that will come across while someone is driving down the expressway is tricky. You have to hit the high points and your book may be three hundred pages but you can only get across a few moments that will stay with the listener  and hopefully get him to buy your book.

So it is one minute now. You have two phones ready in case one fails. The producers usually call right on the minute. And there it is. Hi, Is this William? Yes. Ok. Sixty seconds and you are on. So now you can hear the show. It is buzzing in your ear. A commercial. And then you are on. You will either do this or not. The show sounds distant and then it gets loud, there is a long hiss and now you are live. And we have author William Hazelgrove and his new book Forging A President to tell us about Teddy Roosevelt, William, welcome to the show!

You're on.

The Marc Bernier Show interview on Forging

Order Forging A President

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Day Your Book Comes Out: Forging A President

My book is out today. Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt is finally for sale. A release day is a funny thing. There has been a lot of anticipation, suspense, heartache, highs and lows, and then, then, the book comes out. And it does have a bit of anticlimax. There should be bells and shouting from the rooftops and of course that is why you do media. But in reality your book coming out is the end of a very long journey that began years before when you had the idea to put pen to paper or fingers to screen.

In the case of Forging A President I was intrigued by a biography of Teddy Roosevelt when I learned his mother and wife died on the same day and he went West for three years to the Dakota Territory or the Badlands. It is an amazing thing to think that this vigorous President had such tragedy at such a young age (26) and then went to the West to essentially become someone else. Add to this that he was a sickly asthmatic who literally had to fight for every breath prompting his father to once observe, "you have the mind but not the body Teddy, and without the body the mind cannot go far."

And from that moment I wanted to find out what happened to Teddy Roosevelt out West and how did it create this barrel chested persona who comes down to us through history. I do believe in destiny, anyone else would have been killed by the falling horses, the arrows from Indians, the six shooters pointed his way by bad men. And so you write the book, push the book, and then finally it comes out.  And like a child that grows up, the best you can do is give your book a good push... and let it go.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Books by William Hazelgrove