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Publisher's Summary

James Garfield, a powerful figure in the Reconstruction-era Congress, took office in 1881 with a goal of uniting the Republican Party, which was split between the Stalwarts (who strongly favored political patronage) and the so-called Half-Breeds (who believed patronage bred corruption). Garfield sought to shake off Congress’s persistent challenges to the presi­dent’s constitutional power to appoint and simultaneously favored broad reforms to the system of federal appointments. Ironically, he was assas­sinated by a mentally disturbed, disgruntled office-seeker and died barely six months after he took the oath of office. In death, Garfield accomplished reforms that had eluded him during his brief presidency.

©2016 New York University (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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