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THE STRANGE DEATHS OF PRESIDENT HARDING, by Robert H. Ferrell (University of Missouri Press, 208 pages, $24.95).

The death of Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) during his tenure as twenty-ninth president of the United States was followed by numerous allegations about his White House dealings; doubts about his aptitude for the position; exposure of scandals that occurred during his administration; and rumors that he was poisoned, either by his own hand or that of his wife. The author of this study asks for “a reexamination of Harding’s place in American history,” as he reviews the facts surrounding the various allegations that resulted in Americans’ negative impression of President Harding. Ferrell makes use of the recently opened papers of assistant White House physician Dr. Joel T. Boone, which reveal that a heart attack, not poison, caused the president’s death.