Destiny of the Republic
A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
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James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men 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 Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Destiny of the republic
What a wonderful book. Candace Millard has a way of making these historical figures come to life. The narrative voice was that of a historical fiction novel without the fiction. Can't wait to read her other book and feel about the Roosevelt family like I do the Garfields.
An amazingly detailed account of the intersecting lives of James Garfield, his assassin Charles Guiteau, and Alexander Graham Bell. It is a thoroughly researched and marvelously written novel that anyone who loves the United States and her intricate history is sure to appreciate.
A fascinating read
Millard's book reads like fiction--I couldn't put this book down. I am so grateful to have become acquainted with Garfield, a man and president about whom I knew nothing before being introduced to this book. Even though the reader knows Garfield's fate, one can't help pulling for him while reading about the desperate medical care he received and shedding a tear for his loved ones and our nation when reading about his agonizing and senseless death.