Brad Wheeler's Reviews > Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
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's review
Nov 04, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: audiobooks, history
Read in October, 2011

I love reading history that constantly exposes me to new ideas and changes the context for what I've already learned. This book is like that. Like most people, I knew nothing about President Garfield except that he died in office. I knew almost nothing about late-19th-century American politics. I knew nothing about Alexander Graham Bell.

That's all changed. Destiny of the Republic is a book about James Garfield, but it's not merely a biography. It uses his life--formative years for our country--to illustrate the world as he would've lived in it. The bizarre intersection of Bell's telephone, hardline party politics, and a presidential assassination makes for fascinating reading.

If you like history, I'd recommend checking this book out. The story flows smoothly, but it's decently rigorous as history. The narrator brings the different characters to life, especially the insane Charles Guiteau.

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