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

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Biographies and Autobiographies. Candice Millard. A Booklist Notable Book of 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. 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. Bradley M. Brian R M. Dan N.

ISBN 13: 9780385526265

Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President Chloe. Participants Voir tout. Garfield's path to the White House took him through the Civil War where he achieved the rank of general. He became a congressman whose own integrity led him to fight what was then, as it is now, a corrupt political atmosphere. Sadly, before he had a chance to make his mark in history, or change the course of this country, an attack on his life would soon leave both his family and country without this great man.

One can only wonder how history might have been changed had he lived. I have to believe that he would have had a profound impact on his country. To his countrymen Garfield was at the same time familiar and extraordinary, a man who represented both what the were and what they hoped to be. Although he had been elevated to the highest seat of power, he was still, and would always be, one of their own. Destiny of the Republic, p. Garfield was well-qualified to serve as the 20th President of the United States. He was an intellectual and devoted family man as well as a firm abolitionist who supported the integration of freed slaves into American society.

Unfortunately, four months into his term, he was shot by Charles Julius Guiteau, a frustrated federal office-seeker who believed that God had chosen him to eliminate the president. Destiny of the Republic tells the stories of Garfield's life and assassination, with special attention given to the roles his doctor's arrogance and the unsanitary medical practices of the time played in the hastening of his death. Alexander Graham Bell, who feverishly tried to invent a device for locating the bullet that lodged in the president, plays an important part in the narrative as well.

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

Destiny of the Republic is a compelling read, especially in its second half, after the assassination attempt. Even though it is not a spoiler to reveal that Garfield did not survive, I still found myself wishing that the outcome could have been different for him. Highly recommended. Garfield: 1. He'd been president once, a long time ago; 2.

He shared his name with a cartoon cat; 3. Wasn't he one of the ones who was shot? I didn't have any particular interest in learning any more about him, but a friend recommended this book when I said that I enjoyed Devil in the White City.


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Since I started reading this, I've found ways to work interesting facts about Garfield-as well as Alexander Graham Bell, metal detectors, the New York Customs House, Abraham Lincoln, mental health and medical history, and so much other stuff-into many other conversations. My friends know more about Garfield now than before I started reading this! If my American History classes in high school had been this engaging, I would have remembered a lot more of the details.

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I got this from the library as an audio book that I listened to in the car. The writing is so personal and close that I found myself crying some mornings on the way to work. Sometimes just in utter frustration at how many tiny things could have gone differently, which would have allowed Garfield to live.

Candice Millard - Destiny of the Republic: President Garfield's Assassination - 01/19/12

Candice Millard does such an amazing job of convincing you that Garfield would have been a fantastic president, and he was certainly well loved at the time he died. I used to live in DC, and I always wondered why there was a big monument of him right in front of the Capitol. Now I know why he was so incredibly popular, but he died before he was able to affect much direct and lasting change.

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I could go on and on about how much I learned from this engaging book and, if you know me personally, you've heard me do so , but it would be better if you just read it yourself. Seriously, just give it a shot. You'll be amazed at how much you find yourself caring about this almost-forgotten president and his life before you finish the first chapter.

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 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.


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My Review: I knew next to nothing about this president. I'd sort-of known he was assassinated, but not much about why. Didn't some nut kill him? What a gargantuan loss to the USA his non-Presidency was. What an interesting, interesting man! We hear reams about people significantly less interesting than Garfield was. It's not right. But it makes sense Garfield was a self-made man, from a poor family, with a troubled marriage.

Ring any more recent bells? His wife was a chilly intellectual on whom he cheated once. And even more like Clinton, Garfield entered the race for the White House with powerful people strongly opposed to his winning. He was thwarted and stymied and made to do battle over things that were deeply entrenched and very wrong with the political culture of the day, and he only sort of won. I trust my parallel is made. So I was surprised to learn that Garfield was a Republican, and a populist progressive reforming one. That sentence gave me vertigo to type.

I'm not used to saying nice things about Republicans.