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Informative,
Interesting,
Dramatic

21 reviews

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

Published: 2011-09-20
Hardcover : 368 pages
33 members reading this now
69 clubs reading this now
18 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 21 of 21 members
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 ...
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Introduction

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.

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

How did early years of Garfield's life shape him as a man?
Discuss the madness at the convention that brought him to be president.
Compare the patronage in Garfield's day with politics today.
by questforanswers (see profile) 04/15/16

none at this time
by ferncloward (see profile) 08/18/13

I used the reading guide provided by Book Movement.com.
by Librarian50 (see profile) 12/06/12

Compare the politics of Garfield's era with our current political climate/process.
by marcid (see profile) 12/05/12

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by jillkuykendall (see profile) 07/23/19

 
  "A book that needed to be written about a little known President"by thewanderingjew (see profile) 03/29/18

Destiny of the Republic-Candice Millard, author; Paul Michael, narrator
Millard has written a book that desperately needed to be written about a President whose brief time in office is not
... (read more)

 
by Adelaide (see profile) 07/29/17

 
  "Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President"by SJenaiAppleBook (see profile) 11/22/16

I really didn't know much about Pres. Garfield. This book was astonishing to read about this great person who was just at the beginning of his presidency when he was shot. After he was shot I was continually... (read more)

 
by Sz52848 (see profile) 11/19/16

 
  "Destiny of The Republic"by ginilow (see profile) 08/17/16

I learned so much about the presidency of Garfield, but also about medicine, advances there were at the time, and a manipulative physician.

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