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 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.
Well written, a suspense novel based on fact. I have read her books on Churchill and Roosevelt, which were both outstanding.55
Wow! I love books like this that weave direct source historical accounts into a story that reads like a page-turning novel. It provided a fascinating window both into President Garfield, who is not nearly familiar enough given his significance, as well as the U.S. at a time of great growth and growing pains.55
This book enlightened me about a president of whom I knew very little. The author brought him to life as well as the times. The information about Dr. Lister and Alexander graham bell was also interesting as their lives all entertwined. We often forget the connections that occur in life as well as the personal nature of all of us famous or otherwise. She has brought an insight into the human frailties and strengths of us all.55
An informative, enlightening accounting of the life and death of James Garfield, an American president who I knew very little about. What a heroic and tragic figure he was and Millard tells the tale in a easy to understand and enjoyable way. A good book for history buffs...EAF45
Not knowing anything about the Garfield presidency other than his assassination attempt, I was astounded by the dramatic and historic detail that went into this book. Excellent...two thumbs up!!55
A slow miserable death for a man who deserved much better, but like so many of his generation, Garfield was sacrificed for the status quo. Well written similar to the O'Reilly "killing" series. It's a page turner.55
I usually read fiction but if all non-fiction were as enjoyable as this book, I would consider reading more of them. Very informative and well-written, it pulls you right in at the beginning and doesn't let go until the final page. I even went through all the notes near the end. I may have to make a pilgrimage to Mentor, OH and Washington, DC to visit the sites that Ms. Millard visited for her research.55
An amazing book that put life into man history had forgotten. Garfield was extraordinary. I think America would be a better place had he been left to serve. So sad.55
The best book I have ever read . Couldn't put it down for a minute . The story was one i didn't know about an one I won't forget about .55
Very easy to read and an amazing story of one of our lesser known Presidents.15