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Destiny of the Republic Audiobook

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 Candice Millard (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"[Millard demonstrates] the power of expert storytelling to wonderfully animate even the simplest facts....make[s] for compulsive reading. Superb American history." (Kirkus)

"Splendidly insightful....stands securely at the crossroads of popular and professional history" (Booklist)

“Sparklingly alive…[Millard] brings to life a moment in the nation’s history when access to the president was easy, politics bitter, and medical knowledge slight. Under Millard’s pen, it’s hard to imagine its being better told.” (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Alice 09-10-15
    Alice 09-10-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Riveting"

    This was a part of history I knew absolutely nothing about. The story is riveting, and the different parts are woven together so well--information about Garfield, his assassin, Alexander Graham Bell, and the medical profession. I loved the narrator. If you are even slightly interested in history, listen to this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jase D Cavanaugh 08-07-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Wonderfully amazing!!!"

    This book was referred to me by a friend. I'm normally not into biography type books but listening to it on Audiable was the perfect option for me. I was hooked from line one! This book was beautifully written and eye opening. I loved how it intertwined three people's stories into one. After reading this made me truly thankful to all the advances we've had in modern medicine. I would recommend this book to everyone and wish this was the kind of book they made you read in school!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Letitia 08-06-15
    Letitia 08-06-15
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    "TERRIFIC READ and TERRIFIC NARRATOR"
    Would you listen to Destiny of the Republic again? Why?

    Absolutely! And would recommend this book and tape to anyone who loves history.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Beautiful writing and a compelling narrative. Science, madness and a Presidency collide. Kudos to Candice Millard. I am going to read her first book as well - as this one, her second, was absolutely riveting. Also, the narrator, Paul Michael is TERRIFIC.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Larson SARATOGA, CA, US 07-22-15
    Leslie Larson SARATOGA, CA, US 07-22-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Outstanding!"

    How did I not know this history? Intriguing convergence of lives to tell of the life and character of one of the nation's most remarkable presidents. Right up there with Lincoln. Who knew? I do now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy in CT 07-15-15
    Kathy in CT 07-15-15

    book addict

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    "Incredible history"

    This was both a riveting read and audible. I did not know anything about James Garfield and appreciate the author's presentation of him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crt San Diego CA USA 07-12-15
    crt San Diego CA USA 07-12-15 Member Since 2016

    old fashioned jeans please

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    "A good book for history & science lovers."

    The book was filled with interesting history and integrated the peripheral stories very well. The reading was clear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Wellsboro, PA, United States 06-05-15
    Thomas Wellsboro, PA, United States 06-05-15 Member Since 2013
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    "one of the best"

    So interesting! Garfield, Bell, and Lister! Dedication to purpose rarely seen today. I look forward to more books by the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Ventura, CA, United States 05-17-15
    Steve Ventura, CA, United States 05-17-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Worth reading"
    Any additional comments?

    Interesting and well-told story about an obsure topic (Garfield's presidency and assassinnation). Did a very good job of blending in ancilliary story of assassin and Alexander Graham Bell. Recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 04-07-15
    Elizabeth 04-07-15

    I am a Christian wife and mother. I write two blogs. My somewhat theological blog is called "Just Another Clay Pot," and my Fiction/Poetry blog is called "Weightiness and Whimsy."

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    "If you're not sure you could enjoy a biography..."

    ... start with this one! An incredible story of heroism, madness, egotism, humility, valour, ingenuity, and love. I would have loved to have known Garfield. We will never know how much the country would have benefited from his presidency if he had lived longer. But what he accomplished in his short presidency and, amazingly, what benefits came from the struggle to save his life, are a story every American should know.
    The narrator was simply superb.
    I cannot recommend this highly enough!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MamaJuJu 03-28-15
    MamaJuJu 03-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Every American needs to read this!!!"

    Not sure why history teachers don't tell us more about this incredible man. Wish we had political leaders like him now!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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