(This is the third allotment of a five-part series.)
Oct. 2, 1919, 8:50 a.m. A blast rang in the Ushers’ Allowance at the White House. There were two telephones perched on a roll-top board in a bend of the room. One went through the White House switchboard; the added was a clandestine band anon to the president. Ike Hoover, the Arch Usher, answered the alarm on the clandestine line. It was the Aboriginal Lady, who told Hoover, “Please get Dr. Grayson, the admiral is actual sick.”
Hoover’s annual is ablaze and shocking.
. . . I waited up there until Doctor Grayson came, which was but a few annual at most. A little afterwards nine, I should say, Doctor Grayson attempted to airing adapted in, but the aperture was locked. He agape agilely and, aloft the aperture actuality opened, he entered. I connected to delay in the alien hall. In about ten annual Doctor Grayson came out and with aloft accoutrements said, “My God, the Admiral is paralyzed!”
. . . The additional doctor and assistant accustomed and were apparent to the room. The admiral about the abode began to get astute to the actuality that the Admiral was actual ill, but they could acquisition out annihilation more. Added doctors were beatific for during the day, and the best that could be abstruse was that the Admiral was comatose quietly. Doctor Davis of Philadelphia and Doctor Ruffin, Mrs. Wilson’s claimed physician, were amid those summoned. There were doctors everywhere.
. . . The Admiral lay continued out on the ample Lincoln bed. He looked as if he were dead. There was not a assurance of life. His face had a continued cut about the temple from which the signs of claret were still evident. His adenoids additionally bore a continued cut lengthwise. This too looked red and raw. There was no bandage.
. . . Soon after, I fabricated arcane analysis as to how and back it all happened. I was told — and apperceive it to be adapted — that he had gone to the bath aloft arising in the morning and was sitting on the stool back the affliction overcame him; that he confused to the floor, arresting his arch on the aciculate accouterments of the bathtub in his fall; that Mrs. Wilson, audition groans from the bathroom, went in and begin him in an benumbed condition. She abject him to the bed in the allowance aing and came out into the anteroom to alarm over the blast for the doctor, as I acquire related.
. . . For the aing three or four canicule the White House was like a hospital. There were all kinds of medical accoutrement and added doctors and added nurses. Day and night this went on. All the while the alone acknowledgment one could get from an analysis as to his action was that it “showed signs of improvement.” No details, no explanations. This bearings seemed to go on indefinitely. It was conceivably three weeks or added afore any change came over things. I had been in and out of the allowance abounding times during this aeon and I saw actual little advance in the President’s condition. He aloof lay helpless. True, he had been demography nourishment, but the assignment the doctors had been accomplishing on him had aloof about sapped his actual vitality. All his accustomed functions had to be artificially assisted and he appeared aloof as abandoned as one could possibly be and live.
Wilson’s claimed physician, Admiral Cary T. Grayson, took busy addendum and kept a circadian log of the president’s condition. Grayson’s affidavit are now housed at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton, Va. 
Here are Grayson’s addendum from the anniversary afterward the president’s stroke:
On October 11th the Admiral was acutely ill and anemic and alike to allege was an exertion. He had affliction in swallowing. He was actuality accustomed aqueous aliment and it frequently took a abundant accordance of alignment to get him to booty alike this simple diet. On the day in catechism Mrs. Wilson and I were allurement him to booty this nourishment, and, afterwards demography a brace of mouthfuls accustomed to him by Mrs. Wilson with a spoon, he captivated up one feel and motioned me to arise nearer. He said to me in a whisper:
“A admirable bird is the pelican,His bill will authority added than his bellican,He can booty in his beak, abundant aliment for a week,I admiration how in the hell-he-can.”
The notes, accounting on chicken foolscap, accommodate an array of limericks and anecdotes, afloat into appearing nonsense.
On one break Secretary Tumulty came in to see the President, and as he was leaving, the Admiral said: “Why leave now?” Mr. Tumulty said: “I charge go to see the King of Belgium.” The Admiral said: “You are wrong; you should say “‘The King of the Belgians.’” Mr. Tumulty said: “I acquire the interpretation.” The Admiral said: “It is not an estimation but a reservation.”
Wilson was bedeviled with limericks above-mentioned to his stroke, but what about the post-stroke limericks? As Grayson leaned in to apprehend the soft, ambiguous articulation of the president, was the admiral aggravating to assure him? Were the limericks examples of animated amusement in the face of unblinking adversity? Or manifestations of bottomless dementia? 
In the 1970s, Edwin Weinstein, a neuropsychiatrist, was asked by Arthur Link, the editor of the Wilson papers, to analysis Wilson’s medical history.
The affection announce that Wilson suffered an occlusion of the adapted average bookish artery, which resulted in a complete aeroemism of the left-side of the body, and a larboard nymous hemianopia — a accident of eyes in the larboard bisected fields of both eyes. Because he had already absent eyes in his larboard eye from his achievement in 1906, he had ablaze eyes alone in the banausic (outer) bisected acreage of his adapted eye. The weakness of the anatomy of the larboard ancillary of his face, tongue, jaw and pharynx accounted for his affliction in burning and the crime of his speech. His articulation was anemic and dysarthric . . . 
Weinstein additionally wrote:
Following his stroke, the outstanding affection of the President’s behavior was his abnegation of his incapacity. Abnegation of illness, or anosognosia, actually abridgement of ability of disease, is a accepted aftereffect of the blazon of academician abrasion accustomed by Wilson. In this condition, the accommodating denies or appears blind of such deficits as aeroemism or amaurosis . . . To accidental observers, anosognosiac patients may arise actually accustomed and alike ablaze and witty. Back not on the accountable of their disability, they are actually rational; and tests of their intelligence may appearance no deficit. 
Wilson declared himself as “lame” and referred to his pikestaff as his “third leg,” but contrarily he advised himself altogether fit to be president. There was alike allocution of a third term. Yet his aing assembly noticed a change in his personality. He became added suspicious, alike paranoid, afterwards accepting the dimmest acquaintance of the actuality that he was conceivably acceptable a altered actuality from what he already was. Stockton Axson, his brother-in-law from his aboriginal marriage, wrote that “[Wilson] would be bedeviled with what, to a accustomed person, would assume to be baffling outbursts of emotion.” He was bent at anyone who adapted that he had concrete and brainy problems, and the aftermost months of his admiral became a graveyard of accursed associates. Edith Bolling Wilson, his additional wife, had already deposed abounding of the president’s aing and best able associates, including Colonel Edward M. House, who had played a above role at the Paris accordance talks. Wilson additionally affected the abandonment of Robert Lansing, his secretary of state, who had dared to alarm a chiffonier activity to altercate the president’s illness.
It was John Maynard Keynes who asked a axial question: “Was Hamlet mad or feigning; was the admiral ailing or cunning?” Babinski and consecutive writers had fatigued that anosognosia leaves best “intellectual and affective” commonsense intact. But was this true? Or were they focused on the aeroemism and the abnegation of paralysis, and paid bare absorption to annihilation else? Were they anodiaphoric with annual to the anosognosia?
It is absorbing to brainstorm about the absolute aftereffect that Wilson’s illnesses had on the president’s behavior. The Oct. 2 achievement was not Wilson’s aboriginal bookish episode. In his books and articles, Weinstein chronicles Wilson’s continued history of stroke, neuritis, numbness, beheld impairments and an array of vascular pathologies. The adverse Oct. 2 achievement was preceded by a achievement on Sept. 25 that larboard the admiral briefly bedridden on the larboard side, and by a astringent advance of affliction in April 1909 that “suggested that he may acquire had accession stroke.”
With such massive impairments, was Wilson still “there?” Grayson tells us that Wilson knew that King Albert was “King of the Belgians,” but how abating is that?
The consecutive role played by the president’s doctors, his ancestors and political accompany was complex. But it is ablaze that they were complex in a coverup. Back the admiral was actually broken — at atomic physically — what do you acquaint the Washington annual corps? Or do you abjure it to yourself and others? A bent accumulation of gatekeepers intervened: Ike Hoover, Dr. Grayson and Edith Bolling Wilson, Wilson’s additional wife, who became the de facto admiral of the United States.
Their accomplishments leave accessible the added question: back does complete bamboozlement adumbration off into apparition and denial? Did the president’s actual admiral argue themselves that Wilson was in ascendancy of all his commonsense admitting affirmation to the contrary? Did Edith Wilson cynically adjudge to grab power; was she in denial; or did she become anosognosic, as well, actually assertive that there was annihilation amiss with her husband?
I had apprehend a cardinal of books about the aftermost years of the Wilson admiral — both contiguous accounts (Hoover, Edith Wilson and Grayson) and accessory sources — but there was a brace of books which stood out from the others: Edith Bolling Wilson’s autobiographical annual of her alliance to Woodrow Wilson, “My Memoir,” and Phyllis Lee Levin’s “Edith and Woodrow” — two books that acrylic adverse pictures of what was accident in the White House.
In Edith Wilson’s annual of Oct. 2, she takes abundant pains to discredit Ike Hoover’s account.
Then came a beating at the door. It was locked; the Admiral and I consistently bound our doors arch into the anteroom . . . The beating was Grayson’s. We aerial the Admiral into his bed. He had suffered a achievement paralyzing the larboard ancillary of his body. An arm and one leg were useless, but, acknowledge God, the academician was ablaze and bright . . .
So far as was accessible I arrested my recollections with the abstracts of Dr. Grayson, afore his lamented afterlife in 1938. I did this because of a rather arresting annual of the contest which appears in the posthumously appear “diary” of Mr. I.H. Hoover, the White House arch usher. For example, the backward Mr. Hoover is represented as seeing a continued cut on the President’s temple, which backward that afternoon, still showed signs of blood; additionally a cut lengthwise on the nose. Dr. Grayson and I did not see such things. 
Mr. Hoover is “represented as seeing . . .” But who is accomplishing the representing? It’s Hoover’s aboriginal actuality annual that includes the observation, “The accomplished truth, of course, can be told by alone one actuality in all the world, Mrs. Woodrow Wilson . . . [And] I agnosticism that she will anytime acquaint the apple aloof what happened.”
Edith Bolling Wilson has been asleep for about 50 years, but Phyllis Lee Levin, aforetime a columnist and anchorman for The New York Times and a affection biographer and editor at Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle and Vogue, is actual abundant animate and active in Manhattan. In accession to her book on Wilson’s additional marriage, she has additionally accounting an outstanding adventures of Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, and now, at about 90, she is alive on a adventures of John Quincy Adams.
It is now about a decade back the advertisement of “Edith and Woodrow.” I was afraid by her anger, and her confidence that the coverup of Wilson’s brainy crime that started in the White House continues to the present day.
PHYLLIS LEE LEVIN: I had no abstraction what I was accepting into. My babe gave me a copy. She was at camp, and there was a archetype of Mrs. Wilson’s memoir. And so, I apprehend it. I aloof begin it so astonishing that they would acquire toyed with the fate of this country, the abundance of this country, these two capricious people, actually this adult was. Perhaps, we could alibi Mr. Wilson a little bit, that he actually had no abstraction of how ailing he was. The doctor came out and said that he was irreversibly damaged. And again that was dismissed. There’s such denial. I’m aloof actuality very, actual honest with you. And there’s such abnegation at Princeton. They’re actually asinine on this subject. The editor of the Wilson Affidavit [Arthur Link], back I aboriginal alleged to see him said, “There is annihilation in Dr. Grayson’s letters. Nothing.” I assuredly got up abundant adventuresomeness to say, “Well, that should be for me to decide.” It took me a lot of adventuresomeness to say that to this nice man. The affidavit were hidden. I went to see Dr. Grayson’s son, who lived in Virginia. And he is the one who gave the affidavit over. I cartel say there were added there. I was actually abashed by the accomplished affair. Back they said Woodrow Wilson wrote article to Tumulty [Wilson’s secretary, about his arch of staff], there’d be a little tiny asterisk. And then, at the bottom, you would find, in the atomic accessible print, “in the duke of Edith Wilson.”
ERROL MORRIS: Did you feel, from the actual outset, that there was article inherently base about what they did? That they should acquire been actually cellophane or accessible about the admeasurement of his illness? The abstraction that conceivably they were attention his policies, a adventitious for apple peace, that it was analytical to —
PHYLLIS LEE LEVIN: But, they weren’t accomplishing anything. They weren’t active annihilation at all.
ERROL MORRIS: So it was aloof a grab for power, ability for its own sake, by Mrs. Wilson?
PHYLLIS LEE LEVIN: She was apparently a actual bound woman, intellectually. I’m actuality actual kind. She wasn’t a actual accomplished woman. And she was a actual arrogant woman. She candidly acquainted that her bedmate was the alone one in the apple advantaged to be president, alike in the appearance he was in.
ERROL MORRIS: But who was in control? Was it Wilson? Was it Edith?
PHYLLIS LEE LEVIN: It was a amassed of people. Republicans are consistently abhorrent for the abortion of the accordance pact. When the vote came there had to be compromises. But Wilson’s apperception was so damaged by his affliction that he had to acquire accordance on his agreement or not at all. So we didn’t acquire the accordance alliance because of him. Henry Cabot Lodge [the baton of Wilson’s Republican opposition] has been fabricated the villain of all time for this. Whereas, he had offered a compromise. What the Wilsons did was aloof badly terrible. It was actually the grandest bamboozlement in the world. It’s actually a actual abominable story.
And again Phyllis Lee Levin asked me if I had apparent the movie.
ERROL MORRIS: I didn’t apperceive there was a movie.
PHYLLIS LEE LEVIN: “Wilson.” You care to acquisition it. It appears every now and again on television. Oh, you’d be so absorbed because it’s actually out of accomplished cloth.
“Wilson” is a analytical document. Clearly a assignment of hagiography, it was appear in 1944, was a Times Critic’s Pick, was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, and won 5 Oscars, including an Oscar for best aboriginal screenplay.  (In the bosom of Apple War II, why not acquire a cine that celebrates a man, who through his intransigence, may acquire helped accompany it about?) It contains yet one added sanitized adaptation of Wilson’s achievement and anosognosia.
Dr. Grayson: His accomplished larboard ancillary is paralyzed, but his apperception is altogether ablaze and untouched.
Edith: Will he recover?
Dr. Grayson: He’ll advance with time. For the present, he needs blow and quiet. Release from every advancing problem.
Joseph Tumulty: But how’s that possible? Aggregate that comes to the admiral is a problem.
Edith: Would it be bigger if he accommodated and let Mr. Marshall accomplish him?
Dr. Grayson: No, no, no, Edith! He staked his activity on accepting the alliance ratified. If he resigns now this abundant allurement to accretion will be gone.
George Felton: Besides his abandonment would acquire a actual bad aftereffect on the country . . . for that amount the accomplished world.
Dr. Grayson: Our anticipation is to acquire aggregate of an official attributes arise to you. You can counterbalance the accent of anniversary amount and in appointment with the active of the assorted departments adjudge what he charge see and what can be larboard to others. In this way, Edith, you can be of abundant annual to him.
Edith: No, I can’t do it. It’s too abundant a responsibility.
George Felton: Alike admitting his activity may depend aloft it?
Edith: In that case, there’s alone one answer, I’ll try.
A convalescent Woodrow Wilson in a wheelchair on the balustrade of the White House.
Wilson (to Edith): Well, Mrs. President…
Wilson: What’s on tap for today?
Edith: Don’t you cartel to alarm me that! You apperceive actual able-bodied I never alike fabricated one accommodation afterwards your ability and consent!
Wilson: You apperceive it, I apperceive it, but do our enemies apperceive it?
Edith: I’m not anxious with what our enemies know.
Directed by Henry King
In the beginning to her book, Levin suggests a apocryphal history, a history with a Alliance of Nations that included the United States. It is one of history’s abundant what-ifs. What if Edith Wilson had accustomed her bedmate to duke the reins of government to his carnality president, Thomas R. Marshall, in 1919? Would there acquire been no additional apple war?
Given Marshall’s reasonable temperament, is it not accessible that he ability acquire accomplished a accommodation with Henry Cabot Lodge over the amount to which Americans care to absorb themselves in adopted wars, and acquire appropriately led the United States to assembly in the Alliance of Nations? Such abundant questions are axial to my reconsideration, in the present book, of the role and access of Wilson’s wife during “one of the best amazing periods in the accomplished history of the Presidency.” Edith Wilson was by no agency the amiable amount of her pretensions; the admiral far beneath than the hero of his aspirations. On afterpiece examination, their lives are a adverse apotheosis of Mark Twain’s tongue-in-cheek ascertainment that he “never could acquaint a lie that anyone would doubt, nor a accuracy that anybody would believe.”
What if the accuracy of Wilson’s condition, his anosognosia, had been added broadly known? Was it aloof that the facts of the affliction was suppressed? Or did the accessible appetite to accept that the admiral was healthy, that annihilation was wrong. That alike if the admiral was paralyzed, “. . . his apperception was ablaze and untouched.” Edward Weinstein additionally advised in on these questions. His appearance was unequivocal. The admiral had become intransigent, inflexible. There was no alertness to accommodation and appropriately the Treaty [ratifying the U.S. accordance in the Alliance of Nations] was doomed.
It is the author’s assessment that the bookish dysfunction that resulted from Wilson’s adverse acclamation prevented the acceptance of the Treaty.
For Levin, Wilson’s disability to apperceive his own affliction had actually adverse after-effects for the nation and apple he helped to lead. Conceivably alike added troublingly, the acknowledgment to Wilson’s anosognosia on the allotment of his aing assembly raises the achievability of an alike added ambiguous crime — a amusing anosognosia. Can a accumulation of people, conceivably alike association at large, devolve into a accompaniment of annihilative cluelessness?
Wilson bidding it best of all. On audition the annual of the Senate vote — essentially, the end of the Alliance action — Wilson asked Grayson to apprehend a ballad from the Bible, 2 Corinthians 4:8:
We are afflicted on every side, yet not distressed; we are abashed but not in despair.
Wilson again said, “If I were not a Christian, I anticipate I should go mad, but my acceptance in God holds me to the acceptance that He is in some way alive out his plan through animal perversity and mistakes.”
Still analytical about the attributes of self-deception, abnegation and neglect, I alleged V.S. Ramachandran, a allegorical neuroscientist at the University of California – San Diego and an able on anosognosia. Our altercation of his adventures in alleviative patients with anosognosia is the accountable of the aing installment.
 A little added than bristles years afterwards Babinski appear his aboriginal address on anosognosia.
 Irwin H. Hoover, “Forty-Two Years in the White House,” Boston, 1934. Hoover was beatific to the White House on Oct. 24, 1891, to install the aboriginal electric lights and doorbells. He was an agent of the Edison Company. He backward on as an electrician. During the Taft administering (which anon preceded the Wilson administration) he was answer to Arch Usher, the controlling arch of the domiciliary amenable for all amusing diplomacy and visitors. Hoover’s book, according to the Publisher’s Agenda that serves as a preface, was appear posthumously. As the agenda explains, “Mr. Hoover planned to retire in 1935 and broadcast his reminiscences. At the time of his afterlife he had agitated his adventure through the Taft administration; the blow of the material, far added copious and detailed, remained in the anatomy of abandoned capacity and asperous notes. In presenting this material, the publishers acquire artlessly abiding it in acceptable form, supplied adapted headings — taken back accessible from the argument itself — deleted repetitions and extraneous matter, and afflicted the aboriginal diction alone back all-important for the annual of clarity.”
 Dr. F.X. Dercum, a neurologist from Philadelphia, who additionally abounding the president, ordered his addendum destroyed. But a “memorandum” was begin amid Grayson’s affidavit in which Dr. Dercum provides a analysis of “severe amoebic hemiplegia, apparently due to a occlusion of the average bookish artery.” He additionally addendum that back the Admiral was visited ten canicule afterwards his stroke, “. . . a Babinski assurance was present as before.” (Here, we acquire the Babinski assurance as a augury of things to come.)
 Wilson was right. The name of the King of Belgium is “the King of the Belgians.” Tumulty was not presenting an estimation but rather cogent an inaccuracy; and Wilson actually analytic bidding his anxiety about it.
 I am reminded of the barter in “Dr. Strangelove,” area General “Buck” Turgidson/George C. Scott briefs Admiral Merkin Muffley/Peter Sellers. Muffley demands to see the letter that Turgidson is reading.
General “Buck” Turgidson: We’re still aggravating to amount out the acceptation of that aftermost phrase, sir.
President Merkin Muffley: There’s annihilation to amount out, General Turgidson. This man is acutely a psychotic.
General “Buck” Turgidson: Well, I’d like to authority off acumen on a affair like that, sir, until all the facts are in.
 Edwin Weinstein, “Woodrow Wilson: A Medical and Psychological Biography,” Princeton University Press, 1981.
 Edwin Weinstein, “Woodrow Wilson’s Neurological Illness,” The Journal of American History, vol. 57, no. 2, September, 1970, pp. 324-351.
 This abnormality is discussed in added detail in Oliver Sacks, “A Leg to Stand On.” “Babinski had accustomed memorable descriptions of the bizarre, about comic, presentation in some cases: patients in whom the aboriginal assurance of a achievement was an disability to admit one ancillary of their anatomy — and the activity that it was addition else’s, or a ‘model,’ or a joke, so that they ability about-face to addition sitting aing to them on a train, adage of their own hand, ‘Pardon me, Monsieur, you acquire your duke on my knee!’ or, to a assistant allowance abroad the breakfast, ‘Oh, and that arm there — booty it abroad with the tray!’ . . . Babinski acicular out added that abounding such patients had been admired as mad.”
 Weinstein, p. 356, 359.
 Weinstein, p. 369.
 But abaft that catechism lurks accession question: could it be both?
 Edith Bolling Wilson, “My Memoir,” p. 288.
 I tend to accept Ike Hoover’s account. He has no acumen to lie. On the added hand, Edith Wilson has every acumen to lie or to deceive herself. Back she remembers attractive at her bedmate on Oct. 2, 1919, does she see “the continued cut on the President’s temple?” Or a swath of unbroken, chaste skin?
 Bosley Crowther, the advance cine analyst for The Times, produced one antagonistic agenda in an contrarily acclamatory review: “There are accessible omissions in the story, some forgivable and some beneath so. A little beneath time spent on comedy in this two-hour-and-thirty-four-minute blur ability acquire accustomed for a clearer analogue of Wilson’s celebrated action for the League. As it now stands, the Alliance is but a attribute of all-embracing accord, and the action to it — with Senator Lodge as the villain — is aloof an amorphous adverse force. Wilson’s abnegation to ask abetment from his Senatorial enemies in framing the accordance is covered in his angelic advertisement that ‘too abounding treaties acquire been accounting by applied men.’”
 George Felton is listed in the Wilson blur addendum as a “composite fabulous character,” although the addendum do not specify whether he was a blended of two fabulous characters or of two absolute characters.
 Phyllis Lee Levin, “Edith and Woodrow.”
 This is a appearance accurate by the administrator of Woodrow Wilson historians, John Milton Cooper, Jr. In “Woodrow Wilson: A Biography,” Knopf, 2009, he writes, “This bad, alike tragic, aftereffect of the Alliance action angry on Wilson’s achievement . . . At times in the aboriginal three months of 1920, he did assume to border on brainy instability, if not insanity. Edith Wilson, Dr. Grayson, and Tumulty did the best they could by their lights, but they were abashed bound bodies who should acquire not been aggravating to accumulate the Wilson admiral afloat. He should acquire not remained in office. If he had not, the Alliance action would acquire angry out differently, and the nation and the apple would acquire been bigger off.”
 Quoted in Cooper, “Woodrow Wilson: A Biography,” p. 560.
Continue to Allotment 4.
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