Destiny of the Republic

Destiny of the Republic

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

Large Print - 2012
Average Rating:
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A narrative account of the twentieth president's political career offers insight into his background as a scholar and Civil War hero, his battles against the corrupt establishment, and Alexander Graham Bell's failed attempt to save him from an assassin's bullet.
Publisher: Thorndike, Me. : Thorndike Press, 2012
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 9781410446251
1410446255
Branch Call Number: LGE-TYPE 973.84092 G2312m 2012
Characteristics: 625 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 23 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

What really killed President Garfield- an assassin's bullet or an inept doctor?

A narrative account of the twentieth president's political career offers insight into his background as a scholar and Civil War hero, his battles against the corrupt establishment, and Alexander Graham Bell's failed attempt to save him from an assassin's bullet.

Who knows anything about James Garfield, our 20th President? Other than he was assassinated, I mean. The psychotic office-seeker who shot him may have actually fired the gun, but at a time when doctors in America doubted the existence of bacteria, who was it that actually killed Garfield? Narrati... Read More »

This book's cover will give the impression that it's deadly dull. Nothing could be further from the truth. Who knows anything about James Garfield, our 20th President? Other than he was assassinated, I mean. The psychotic office-seeker who shot him may have actually fired the gun, but at a time w... Read More »

A narrative account of the twentieth president's political career offers insight into his background as a scholar and Civil War hero, his battles against the corrupt establishment, and Alexander Graham Bell's failed attempt to save him from an assassin's bullet.


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c
coalbanks
Dec 04, 2017

very readable examination of a little known (to me) US president, the political theatre of the day, the state of medical practice especially surgery at the time, a brief overview of legal system especially the use of the " insanity defense", the work of Alexander Graham Bell in electronics. good bibliography.

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!

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