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Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
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April 2019: History > Destiny of A Republic 5 stars

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message 1: by Joanne (last edited Apr 02, 2019 09:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7131 comments Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President-5 stars

This is a excellent biography of our 20th President, a man I knew nothing about. After reading this, I am struck by the question " How different would things be if he had been able to serve more than 200 days?"

James Garfield rose up from poverty on his own dedication and the help of people who saw the pure genius in him. He began his service to country as an Ohio State Legislature, then he was elected to the US Congress. He had no ambitions to be President. The fact is, he attended the 1880 Republican convention to give the nominating speech for someone else. When the delegates could not agree on anyone(among them U.S. Grant) that was nominated, Garfield's name was put up, and he walked out of the convention as the choice to run.

Shortly after being elected Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau, while waiting to board a train. The bullet wound was not fatal-what was fatal was the doctor(Dr. Doctor Willard Bliss-that is not a typo, his first name was Doctor!) who took control of his care. Unfortunately, Bliss was one with the other American doctors who did not think that Joseph Lister's work with antiseptic surgery was worthy of their time. Immediately after being shot, Bliss was on the scene probing the open wound with dirty hands. Things went down hill from there.

When Candice Millard introduced Alexander Graham Bell into the story, I was stymied-what the heck has he do with this? So fascinating to learn about the work he put in trying to save Garfield. If you are like me and don't know what Bell invented, you will have to read the book to find out-I will say that this area of the book was interesting and educational for me, I had no idea!

This read more like a novel than a biography, and I highly recommend it to all


message 2: by Olivermagnus (new)

 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1913 comments You make a biography of James Garfield sound very interesting (words I never thought I would write in a million years).


Joanne (joabroda1) | 7131 comments LOL-it was very, very good! When I finish a book in 2 days, it deserves the 5 star rating. It captivated me.


message 4: by Nikki (new) - added it

Nikki | 661 comments Thanks for the great review, this looks like a fascinating and well-told story.


Joanne (joabroda1) | 7131 comments Nikki wrote: "Thanks for the great review, this looks like a fascinating and well-told story."

Nikki, I think you would enjoy reading this!


message 6: by Joy D (new)

Joy D | 3093 comments My husband read this last year and thought it was excellent, too. Glad you enjoyed it, Joanne!


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5549 comments I loved this book!


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