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


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

ISBN13: 9780767929714
ISBN10: 0767929713
Condition: Standard
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KatherineA54, January 31, 2013 (view all comments by KatherineA54)
Though I already wrote a review here of this incredible book, I'd be remiss in not entering it for The Puddly Awards contest. After friends heard me rave about it, they bought it -- and to a person, said it was one of the finest historical reads they'd had in eons. It was so good I'd read it again -- high praise for a nonfiction work about a little-known President. You'll learn far more than Presidential politics in Destiny of The Republic, and you'll be thinking about history in a totally different way when you finish.
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Jerry D, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Jerry D)
What an amazing story. I had no idea James Garfield was such an interesting man. To bad we do not have more politicians
like him today.
Candice Millard is an excellent historian and a gifted writer.
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Pam N, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Pam N)
I knew essentially nothing about James Garfield before I read this book, except that he was assassinated. But what a wealth of biography and current events is provided in this relatively short book! Not only did I learn about Garfield, but also Charles Guiteau (the man who shot him), Alexander Graham Bell, Joseph Lister, Roscoe Conkling, James G. Blaine, Chester A. Arthur.... The writing is lively and there's never a lapse into pedantry. I love getting my history lessons this way!
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KatherineA54, November 19, 2012 (view all comments by KatherineA54)
My friends are growing weary of my raves about this book. But it's hard not to talk about a work so riveting and timely, and so full of twists that it rivals a great suspense novel. As a reader who rarely wanders out of the mystery/thriller genres, it was astonishing that I couldn't put this down until the end.

Like most people, I was aware that James Garfield was assassinated, and remembered the crazed shooter's name. But the attempted murder itself is just one piece of incredible events and people who surrounded this President in 1880. Well-known historical figures like Alexander Graham Bell played a role in Garfield's life and death struggle, as did unknown people like Sen. Roscoe Conkling, a fellow Republican bitter about Garfield's rise to power.

This well-researched work is compelling for providing a vivid snapshot of Garfield, who was a genius, a loving father, a man who advocated for total freedom for slaves and a gentleman farmer basically forced into the Presidency. Had he not succumbed to mistakes by arrogant doctors, Garfield might have been considered one of our greatest Presidents. Detailed scenes about Garfield's wife, his vice president Chester Arthur and his colleague Robert Todd Lincoln (son of another President) flesh out a story that must be read to be believed.

Kudos to author Candice Millard's skill in letting readers view one of the most interesting -- and largely unknown -- periods of history.
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(4 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
chadwick, August 31, 2012 (view all comments by chadwick)
I flew threw this book in a week. It is well-researched, well-written, and with a strange cast of bizarre BUT real characters, it reads more like fiction than a work of non-fiction. On the morning of July 2, 1881 President James Garfield was shot twice by demented office seeker, Charles Guiteau and died 80 days later from infection that developed in his wounds. Garfield is mostly known today as an assassinated president and perhaps because he shares his last name with a fat orange cat. However, Garfield was born into poverty and provide himself to be a polymath. He worked as a janitor, bell ringer, and carpenter to pay for his first year of college and proved himself to be so gifted at his studies that he was appointed a professor his second year. One campus legend has Garfield writing in Latin with his left hand, Greek with his right while lecturing in English. He was also a Civil War General to boot. To learn more about James Garfield read Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard. It is awesome.
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(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Millard, Candice
Anchor Books
Biography-Presidents and Heads of State
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
16 PP. BandW
8 x 5.17 x 0.93 in 0.875 lb

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Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President Used Trade Paper
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Product details 432 pages Anchor - English 9780767929714 Reviews:
"Review" by , "One of the many pleasures of Candice Millard's new book, Destiny of the Republic, [is] that she brings poor Garfield to life — and a remarkable life it was....Fascinating....Outstanding....Millard has written us a penetrating human tragedy."
"Review" by , "A spirited tale that intertwines murder, politics and medical mystery, Candice Millard leaves us feeling that Garfield's assassination deprived the nation not only of a remarkably humble and intellectually gifted man but one who perhaps bore the seeds of greatness...splendidly drawn portraits....Alexander Graham Bell makes a bravura appearance."
"Review" by , "Fascinating....Gripping....Stunning...has a much bigger scope than the events surrounding Garfield's slow, lingering death. It is the haunting tale of how a man who never meant to seek the presidency found himself swept into the White House....Ms. Millard shows the Garfield legacy to be much more important than most of her readers knew it to be."
"Review" by , "Crisp, concise and revealing history....Millard has crafted a fresh narrative that plumbs some of the most dramatic days in U.S. presidential history."
"Review" by , "[Millard demonstrates] the power of expert storytelling to wonderfully animate even the simplest facts...make[s] for compulsive reading. Superb American history."
"Review" by , "Splendidly insightful...stands securely at the crossroads of popular and professional history."
"Review" by , "In this brilliant and riveting work, Candice Millard demonstrates the power of narrative nonfiction. Through exhaustive research and flawless storytelling, she has brought to life one of the most harrowing and fascinating sagas in American history — a saga filled with political intrigue, a mad assassin, and a frantic scientific struggle to save the life of a noble president. This is a book that is impossible to put down."
"Synopsis" by , The extraordinary New York Times-bestselling account of James Garfield's rise from poverty to the American presidency, and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy, from bestselling author of The River of Doubt, Candice Millard.

For a man forced into the presidency, the legacy of James Garfield extended far beyond his lifetime, and Destiny of the Republic revisits his meteoric rise within the military and government with meticulous research and intimate focus. Garfield was a passionate advocate of freed slaves, a reformer at odds with Republican power brokers and machine politics, a devoted father, and a spellbinding speech-giver. Four months after taking office he was shot twice by an unhinged office-seeker, Charles Guiteau, and a nation already recently fractured by war shattered, leaving the wounded president at the center of a bitter, behind-the-scenes struggle for power. Examining the medical reform spurred by Garfield's unsanitary medical treatment, and reflecting on the surprising political reform brought on by his former political enemy Senator Roscoe Conkling, Destiny of the Republic passionately brings President Garfield's unknown-but-widely-felt legacy into focus.

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