Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
by Candice Millard
Hardcover- $16.56

James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind ...

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  "Destiny of the Republic" by murppa (see profile) 11/03/11

While saying that this book is interesting may translate as boring, it was not boring at all! This book almost reads like a novel, and it was an "easy" history lesson on the life and times of James Garfield. He was a remarkable man! The times; politics; and the practice of medicine were really something back then!

  "Wonderful history lesson" by jmhidding (see profile) 04/15/12

I found this book extremely interesting and informative. I did not know anything about President James Garfield and found his life facinating. Learning about America and the general thought at that time period was eye openning. This was not a boring history lesson!

  "Destiny of the republic" by ham67na (see profile) 07/27/12

This was a great book. The author has a narrative style that makes the book move along at a good pace, even with lots of information included. I didn't know much about Garfield or the era, and felt like I learned so much. You come away feeling like you knew and admired James Garfield. I also now want to know more about Alexander Graham Bell, and other events of that era. A terrific read.

  "Garfield - who knew?" by mel29 (see profile) 10/08/12

Excellent book and even with the extensive research the author did, it still read like a novel, and not a history book. Interesting to read it in an Election year and to see how far we've come, or not come as the case may be.
Garfield was a fascinating character and would have had an interesting Presidency had he been able to serve his entire term. Yet, maybe his legacy was to turn the world's attention to the field of medicine.
Looking forward to hearing Candice Millard speak and will certainly read other books by her.

  "Destiny of the Republic" by marcid (see profile) 12/05/12

This is history at its best. Millard makes this an interesting, educational read.
This makes me realize my lack of historical education. I learned a lot and enjoyed
doing so.

  "Fantastic Book! A Perfect Book Club Selection!" by Librarian50 (see profile) 12/06/12

Destiny of the Republic is an incredibly quick read for a 339-page book! Even though most readers know that Garfield dies in the end, the narrative is gripping and reads as fluidly as a well-written novel. Millard begins with a look at Garfield before he is selected for the nomination of his party and reveals Garfield to be a man of integrity and humility. I found myself mourning the death of a man who died 131 years ago. The latter part of the book details Garfield's slow painful death and the machinations -- and grievous mistakes -- made by the doctor who took charge of the case. Millard presents a winning argument that it was the care provided by Garfield's doctors, especially Dr. Bliss -- and not Guiteau's bullet -- that killed the president. All of the club members rated this book either 4 or 5, with an average rating of 4.4.

  "Destiny of the Republic" by GreenArr0w (see profile) 04/16/13

None of us knew much about James Garfield, only that he was assassinated very early in his Presidency. We now realize he was a brilliant man and we wonder what he would ave accomplished had a madman not shot him & had the Dr. in charge of his recovery not opposed sterility!

  "Destiny of the Republic" by ferncloward (see profile) 08/18/13

Very insightful reading that Pres. Garfield could have lived had the medical care been better. I felt the Doctor (s) involved were more interested in their own opinions and unwilling to listen to other alternatives.l

  "Destiny of the Republic" by Andicushman (see profile) 03/05/14

This is not the type of book i would have picked up on my own, but liked it very much. We read Millard's previous book, River of Doubt, also. Both are great reads. I didn't enjoy history as a child, but this type of book makes it very interesting.

  "" by Wiser (see profile) 05/07/14

  "" by ginger1 (see profile) 05/07/14

  "Destiny of the Republic" by Kathyreads (see profile) 05/07/14

And excellent informative read about the 20th President of the United States, James Garfield. Candice Millard drew a detailed picture of politics and medicine in the 1800's, setting an extremely clear picture of the times and the mindset. Many intriguing characters including Chester Arthur, Alexander Graham Bell, and Lister played significant roles in Garfield's biography, making this non fiction very informative. I would highly recommend this book, with hopes that it would influence current politicians to step up to modeling Garfield's strong leadership and ideals.

  "" by Baysidegirl (see profile) 05/20/14

  "Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President" by ADMINOFFICER (see profile) 05/29/14

I loved this book. It was recommended to me by my nephew who was assigned the book at college. It will break your heart.

  "" by Wendy56 (see profile) 04/17/15

  "Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President" by markokopp1 (see profile) 11/12/15

On my list of best books I have ever read, tied at the top with a couple of others. I knew nothing about Garfield (except that my elementary school was named after him and that he had been shot), and had no idea of the impact he made on America. Important for everyone to read this book.

  "" by Filis (see profile) 11/13/15

  "A Little Known President" by questforanswers (see profile) 04/15/16

Learning about Garfield as a man and how he became president was fascinating. Book is an easy read and brings reader to see how medicine, politics, and government policy, were changed and influenced because of the events of his short presidency.

  "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.

  "" by Sz52848 (see profile) 11/19/16

  "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 shocked to read about how incompetent the Dr. was that took over Garfield's care. It is sad that Garfield died as we will never know what kind of impact it could have had on this country!

  "" by Adelaide (see profile) 07/29/17

  "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 well known, a President who only served the United States in that capacity for less than a year, but whose impact was greater than I had realized.
As the author told his story, she included so many interesting and pertinent facts about the time in which he lived, that it made the book that much more enlightening. She made Garfield come to life by humanizing him. She painted him as a wonderful family man who was devoted to his children and to his wife, above all. She portrayed him as a brave fighter who stoically suffered with his mortal injury, rarely complaining and always remaining optimistic in the face of his pain. He was soft spoken and well educated. He was a gentleman who might have accomplished much more with his life had he had the opportunity.
James Garfield never campaigned to be President, but was truly chosen spontaneously by the deadlocked convention, quite unexpectedly, as he himself waited to nominate General John Sherman for the position.. He faced many of the same political obstacles that our current President Trump faces with opposition forces in his own party thwarting many of his efforts. At the time of his Presidency, there was little thought given to his personal security, although it was only a dozen years since President Lincoln had been assassinated. No one believed there would be any reason for his life to be endangered.
Garfield lived during a time of great and new inventions. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone and telegraph and was working on an induction balance machine that could locate a bullet that was lodged in a shooting victim’s body. He wanted, desperately to locate the one that was somewhere within President Garfield’s own body. Joseph Lister made inroads into wound treatment by introducing the concept of antisepsis, although he faced tremendous opposition, as well, with many doctors disregarding his discovery. This same time period also spawned a maniac named Charles J. Guiteau. Guiteau was unsuccessful in all of his attempts at legitimate work. He was more of a con man than an honest man and cheated many people out of their money, borrowing and not repaying his debts, leaving restaurant and hotel bills unpaid, believing he deserved what he took from them as a man of G-d. He believed in himself, unlike so many others who recognized his behavior as seeming insane.
Guiteau had delusions of grandeur and truly believed that one day he would make his mark on the world. He often went to the White House and petitioned Garfield’s administration for a position, but he was never granted one, having been recognized as a bit peculiar. He became more unhinged, and he conceived of the idea that G-d wanted him to murder the President in order to pave the way for the opposition to take power. He was sure the world would recognize this act as heroic and would reward him with a government position for performing such a service. He set about making plans to murder the President. His plan was simple and cold-blooded, but when he finally committed the act of shooting Garfield, he was not as calm and collected about it as he had been leading up to the event. He ran, but was caught. He loved his notoriety, though, and thought surely he would be pardoned when Vice President Chester Arthur took over. He really believed that he would be beloved by all.
As it turned out, the wounds to Garfield were not in and of themselves life-threatening, but instead it was the infection that did him in, and that infection was caused by doctors who disregarded the need for a germ free environment for the wound. So, although there were methods of treatment that might have saved his life, few doctors, foremost among them was Dr. Bliss, believed in unseen germs. They did not recognize that germs were the reason for the injury’s grave infections and the inability to heal. My favorite quote in the book is “ignorance is Bliss”, for indeed, ignorance coupled with arrogance were perfect descriptions of the man who was probably most responsible for the brief time of Garfield’s life!

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The extraordinary account of James Garfield's rise from poverty to the American presidency, and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy, from the bestselling author of The River of Doubt.

James Abram 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, a renowned congressman, and a reluctant presidential candidate who took on the nation's corrupt political establishment. But four months after Garfield's inauguration in 1881, he was shot in the back by a deranged office-seeker named Charles Guiteau. Garfield survived the attack, but become the object of bitter, behind-the-scenes struggles for power—over his administration, over the nation's future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. Meticulously researched, epic in scope, and pulsating with an intimate human focus and high-velocity narrative drive, The Destiny of the Republic brings alive a forgotten chapter of U.S. history.

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 09/23/23

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