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
"[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)
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!
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!
Absolutely! And would recommend this book and tape to anyone who loves history.
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.
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.
old fashioned jeans please
The book was filled with interesting history and integrated the peripheral stories very well. The reading was clear.
So interesting! Garfield, Bell, and Lister! Dedication to purpose rarely seen today. I look forward to more books by the author.
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.
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."
... 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!
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