Synopses & Reviews
Famed as a pugnaciously honest leader, Grover Cleveland set the tone for what a politician should do when caught in scandal: “Whatever you say, tell the truth.” But to save himself from career-ending allegations involving a rape and violence, he lied — and won election to two terms as president of the United States. Now, in this gripping work of nonfiction acclaimed author Charles Lachman reveals that Cleveland led a secret life that previous histories and biographies have overlooked.
Lachman’s heavily researched, engrossing work of investigative history will rewrite the way history looks at one of our most esteemed presidents. When he ran for the presidency in 1884 – an election considered by many to be the dirtiest national campaign in U.S. history – Grover Cleveland faced down accusations that as a young lawyer in Buffalo, New York, he fathered an illegitimate son. But the candidate and his allies successfully deflected the scandal by claiming that the woman in question, Maria Halpin, was a harlot. The Cleveland campaign argued that Grover Cleveland — as the only bachelor among Halpin’s many paramours — had valiantly assumed responsibility for the child, trying to protect his married friends. This version of the Cleveland-Halpin story has come to be accepted as historical fact. But as A Secret Life shows, almost none of it is true.
A Secret Life is the story of a president haunted by his past. Lachman builds a page-turning narrative that finally sets the record straight on an American president, his illegitimate son and the woman who has been so wrongly vilified in history, Maria Halpin.
"Forget Arnold Schwarzenegger or John Edwards. One of the greatest political sex scandals happened to Grover Cleveland." Daily Beast
"Grover Cleveland is hot! Former Post reporter Charles Lachman rips the lid off the sex scandals--and coverups--of the man who became the only president to serve two nonconsecutive terms." New York Post
"Splendid . . . amusingly sordid." John Presta
"Lachman's research and crisp, clear writing keep the reader eager to learn more about the Buffalo native who twice was elected to the nation's highest office." Men's Health
"Delves deeply into the affair . . . in florid cinematic detail." The New York Times
"A Secret Life is another success, a blend of sharp detective work - he even finds out what happened to Cleveland's supposed son - and history that reads like a gripping novel." The New York Times
"A Secret Life is a masterfully researched biography." Randy Dotinga Christian Science Monitor
A Secret Life sets the record straight on the sex scandal that nearly took down a president.
The child was born on September 14, 1874, at the only hospital in Buffalo, New York, that offered maternity services for unwed mothers. It was a boy, and though he entered the world in a state of illegitimacy, a distinguished name was given to this newborn: Oscar Folsom Cleveland. The son of the future president of the United States--Grover Cleveland. The story of how the man who held the nation's highest office eventually came to take responsibility for his son is a thrilling one that reads like a sordid romance novel--including allegations of rape, physical violence, and prostitution. The stunning lengths that Cleveland undertook to conceal what really happened the evening of his son's conception are truly astonishing--including forcing the unwed mother, Maria Halpin, into an insane asylum.
A Secret Life also finally reveals what happened to Grover Cleveland's son. Some historians have suggested that he became an alcoholic and died a young man--but Lachman definitively establishes his fate here for the first time. In this gripping historical narrative, Charles Lachman sets the scandal-plagued record straight with a tightly-coiled plot that provides for narrative history at its best.
Famed as a pugnaciously honest leader, Grover Cleveland set the tone for what a politician should do when caught in scandal: “Whatever you say, tell the truth.” But to save himself from career-ending allegations involving a rape and vio
About the Author
Charles Lachman is the executive producer of Inside Edition--the longest-running series of its kind. Previously he served as a producer for A Current Affair and was a reporter for the New York Post and The Fort Lauderdale News. Lachman is the author of In the Name of the Law, The Last Lincolns: The Rise and Fall of a Great American Family, and A Secret Life: The Lies, and Scandal of Grover Cleveland's Presidency.