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

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  39,619 Ratings  ·  4,688 Reviews
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 deran ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2011)
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Virginia Hoyt A benefit of some kind? Perhaps the way all parts of the nation, especially North and South, were united in their grieving, their appreciation of…moreA benefit of some kind? Perhaps the way all parts of the nation, especially North and South, were united in their grieving, their appreciation of President Garfield.(less)
Virginia Hoyt Hi, I was interested in your question and did some poking around online - found two possibilities for you. First is a book that seems to be written…moreHi, I was interested in your question and did some poking around online - found two possibilities for you. First is a book that seems to be written for adults, but in comic book form, and it is only 80-some pages:
The Fatal Bullet: The Assassination of President James A. Garfield, by Rick Geary.

And then, there is a 15-minute edition especially for children, download onto Kindle for 99 cents.
Author Jeannie Meekins, the title is James Garfield: The Professor President: A 15-Minute Biography.

I have not read either of these so cannot vouch for them, but found them on Amazon. Good luck, this topic should be a good addition into a child's education.(less)

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Jeffrey Keeten
Oct 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: presidents-staff
In recent years I've been attracted to books about obscure presidents. When I read about the Candice Millard book on James Garfield I was instantly intrigued. I mean no one knows much of anything about Garfield including myself. He is easy to pass over because he barely survived 6 months into his term as president and a good portion of that time he was fighting for his life. The only time his name is brought up in conversation is when someone is struggling to remember the names of the four assas ...more
Elyse
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm excited that I'm excited!!!! Does this make sense?? Have you ever been excited that you are REALLY EXCITED???

In a VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME I've read books about 3 American Past Presidents....

I'm pleased to say.... just like the positive late bloomer reader experience WHEN A LIGHT SWITCH WENT OFF ....and I knew I'd be reading for the rest of my life.....
I TURNED A HUGE CORNER AGAIN JUST IN THIS WEEK. I'm now 'clear' -- I have nothing to fear - or reasons to resist reading about past Preside
...more
Miles
Dec 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
If you're like me, I'll bet you haven't given President James Garfield much thought either. Have you? Come on, admit it. He was elected in 1880, shot in 1881 and gone in months, and suddenly it was all Chester Arthur, all the time. But here's a book that manages to make mountains out of this molehill of a Presidency. First, the author persuades us that Garfield was a truly likable, magnetic, wonderful human being. Honest, thrifty, salt-of-the-earth, up from the farm, a true man of the people in ...more
Will Byrnes
If most people were to be asked today what they thought of Garfield, they would most likely offer an answer about a cartoon cat, and not the 20th president of the United States, the president who served only 200 days in office, the second president to be assassinated, and one of our great losses as a nation.

Candice Millard, the dishy author of The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, here follows the paths of two men, the ill-fated president, James A Garfield, and the man who
...more
Candi
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"There would come a time when the story of James Garfield's early life would be widely admired. Throughout the nation and around the world, his extraordinary rise from fatherlessness and abject poverty would make him the embodiment of the American dream."

This is an outstanding biography of the 20th President of the United States, one whom I admittedly knew very little about previously. James A. Garfield has left such an estimable impression on me after reading this comprehensively researched boo
...more
Matt
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
History has not done much to remember the 20th President of the United States. Perhaps it was because James A. Garfield was shot just four months into his term of office. Or maybe it’s because he has the misfortune to share a surname with an orange cartoon cat who loves lasagna and hates Mondays. Whatever the reason, Garfield has been unfairly removed from popular knowledge, and exists mainly as an answer your beer-fogged mind struggles to form during trivia night at the local bar.

Candice Milla
...more
Diane
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is another fascinating history book from Candice Millard. Destiny of the Republic is about the life of President James Garfield and Charles Guiteau, the deranged man who assassinated him in 1881. There's also great stuff on the history of medicine, including how long it took before American doctors believed in the importance of sterile instruments and in the dangers of infections in wounds.

One of the frustrating side effects of reading a lot of history is realizing how many times that thing
...more
Michael
I learned a lot of facts from this account of the 1881 Garfield assassination, and I was moved by the plight of good people handicapped by the lack modern advances in presidential security and medical care. But I wasn’t enthralled with how the pieces of the book came together or with the limited reflections on the big picture.

I liked the foreshadowing method Millard employed near the beginning with a visit to the 1876 science and technology exposition in Chicago. There we get Lister failing to
...more
Stephanie *Very Stable Genius*
If a mentally ill person had not been able to get his hands on a gun, the secret service was doing the job that it does today, if doctors didn’t consider the science of antisepsis the way the anti science crowd considers climate change today, Ohio would have had a significant president in James A. Garfield.

I had a long review written here that seemed to have grown out of control. I decided I would let you read the book instead, and you should. In short(er) Mr. Garfield grew up poorer than poor.
...more
Linda
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What drew me into Destiny of the Republic was a PBS Special that aired not too long ago. We all had a skeletal understanding of the assassination of James A. Garfield. Garfield, unfortunately, became an elusive name in the litany of former presidents. Ah, dear readers, this man was so much more.

In regard to the author, Candice Millard is an exceptional writer. I read her book, The River of Doubt, that depicts the treacherous journey of Teddy Roosevelt as he ventured down the Amazon River. This r
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century
  • The President Is a Sick Man: Wherein the Supposedly Virtuous Grover Cleveland Survives a Secret Surgery at Sea and Vilifies the Courageous Newspaperman Who Dared Expose the Truth
  • The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace
  • 1861: The Civil War Awakening
  • Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield
  • Franklin Pierce: New Hampshire's Favorite Son
  • John Quincy Adams
  • Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan
  • Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America
  • The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898
  • Coolidge
  • Colonel Roosevelt
  • 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents
  • A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent
  • Eisenhower: The White House Years
  • Citizens of London: The Americans who Stood with Britain in its Darkest, Finest Hour
  • President James Buchanan: A Biography
  • Millard Fillmore: Biography of a President
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Candice Millard is a former writer and editor for National Geographic magazine. Her first book, The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey, was a New York Times bestseller and was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, and Kansas City Star. The River of Doubt was a Barnes & Noble Discover ...more
More about Candice Millard...
“She (the First Lady, entering the room with her gravely wounded husband) would admit fear but not despair.” 5 likes
“Dr. Lister, who treated the wounded Pres. Garfield, had been so stung by the medical establishment's reaction to his embrace of African-American doctors that he, in response, refused to do part from the status quo enough to considering using antiseptic techniques.” 5 likes
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