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Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President (Unabridged)

by Candice Millard

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James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country so recently fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle for power—over his administration, over the nation’s future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. A team of physicians administered shockingly archaic treatments, to disastrous effect. As his con­dition worsened, Garfield received help: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, worked around the clock to invent a new device capable of finding the bullet. Meticulously researched, epic in scope, and pulsating with an intimate human focus and high-velocity narrative drive, The Destiny of the Republic will stand alongside The Devil in the White City and The Professor and the Madman as a classic of narrative history. From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

Who cares about a dead President named Garfeild?

YOU will if you listen to this book.
This book is the best kind of history - it's alive, it pulls together the threads of many events of its time into a fantastic narrative. It's a window into our real past and many listeners will be surprised to find how recognizable our ancestors were. We tend to get caught up with the here and now to the point where we're the only ones who ever really lived. This book will get you out of your own head and give you a great new historical perspective on our present and how we got here.
The audiobook production is superb. Kudoes to the author for an awesomely well-researched and written account of tragic and fascinating events.
Great book.


First, the recording quality was excellent, and the narrator's voice was well matched to the subject.

Second, the book itself is well researched, well crafted, and unfailingly interesting. Millard has great talent in crafting a wonderful story from history.

I hated for the book to come to its end. I might listen again from the beginning.

Spell binding story

Very riveting story. Could not put it down

Candice Millard, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President (Unabridged)
View in iTunes $23.95
  • Narrator: Paul Michael
  • Published: 2011
  • Category: History
  • Provider: Random House Audio
  • Presented by

Customer Ratings