Destiny of the Republic

Destiny of the Republic

A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of A President

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
17
Rate this:
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 hap#65533;pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur#65533;moil. 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 con#65533;dition 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.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385526265
Branch Call Number: 973.84092 GAR NVD
Characteristics: x, 339 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

j
jquick99
Sep 20, 2017

I highly recommend the audiobook (see my review there).

h
HollyDavis022
Jun 28, 2017

A fascinating story about a time of invention and ignorance (much like our own). I got the sense that Garfield was his generations' Kennedy both in life and in death. Great read.

LPL_KateG Dec 02, 2016

I went into this book (chosen for a book club) less than enthusiastically. A biography about a guy who was president for only a short time - and never even wanted to be in the first place? Not my typical choice. BUT! I ended up loving this book and Candice Millard's portrayal of this surprisingly important figure. Garfield was an inspiring man, a politician filled with grace, humility, and wisdom. Millard did a wonderful job with this biography - I especially enjoyed the audiobook!

MariePat Oct 19, 2016

About the life of US President James A. Garfield.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

James A. Garfield: the man who had no aspiration for becoming President, was nominated against his will, fought his party's nomination, and did no campaigning whatsoever. James A. Garfield: 20th President of the United States.
The Destiny of the Republic is a well researched and exceptionally told story.

Vincent T Lombardo Apr 17, 2016

Millard is a terrific writer. This is history as it should be written: vivid, riveting, informative, and entertaining. It reads more like a thriller than a work of history, hence the reason it won an Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. Simply excellent!

j
jtbmsp
Feb 22, 2016

Very well written book on an often overlooked President. Garfield was a good and honorable man who really never intended to be President. His term was cut short unfortunately. The shocking medical practices of the time are brought to light as well as a connection to Alexander Graham Bell. I learned much from this book about an important time in our history.

r
ryner
Aug 24, 2015

In 1880 James Garfield, an unassuming congressman of humble origins, found himself the Republican presidential nominee and subsequently elected President, a scenario he neither anticipated nor, in fact, desired. Nevertheless, he was the apple of the public's eye for several months before being gunned down by madman Charles Guiteau. Even greater a tragedy than that act of violence was that of the misguided medical treatment Garfield received from his attending physicians for a wound that was unlikely fatal to begin with. Having just come off of Nothing to Envy, I probably should have read something more uplifting before cracking open this book; I had no sense of just how heart-wrenching it would be. A circumstance which would have been prevented with the application of modern medicine but which wasn't due to willful ignorance or mistakes, feels much more visceral a tragedy than the thousands of years of human deaths prior to scientific knowledge. There are moments of sadness -- I choked up while reading the passage about the men pushing the President's train up the hill -- and a great many "wow, cool!" beats involving Alexander Graham Bell, Garfield's daughter Mollie, and the new-and-improved Chester Arthur, to name just a few. A worthy book about an adored, inspirational and largely forgotten man.

m
MVK912
Jun 27, 2014

Well written biography incorporating historical events and people of the time. If you like history, or are researching the late 1870's - early 1880's, this is the book for you. President Garfield was a very interesting man. What else would he have accomplished if he had lived!

CJA1910 Aug 03, 2013

This is a wonderfully well-written account of the presidency of James A Garfield, a look into the fine character of the man, and his tragic death at the hands of a lunatic. There is also an frightening look into the medical practices of the time. A great read.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at NVDPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top