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FDR's body politics

the rhetoric of disability


Franklin Roosevelt instinctively understood that a politician of his era who was unable to control his own body would be perceived as unable to control the body politic. He therefore took great care to hide his polioinduced lameness both visually and verbally. In "FDR's Body Politics, " Houck and Kiewe analyze the silences surrounding Roosevelt's disability, the words he chose to portray himself and his policies as powerful and healthgiving, and the methods he used to maximize the appearance of physical strength.