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 is Books In recent years I ve been attracted to books about obscure presidents When I read about the Candice Millard

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President is Books In recent years I've been attracted to books about obscure presidents. When I read about the Candice Millard book on James Garfield I was instantly intrigued. I mean no one knows much of anything about Garfield including myself. He is easy to pass over because he barely survived 6 months into his term as president and a good portion of that time he was fighting for his life. The only time his name is brought up in conversation is when someone is struggling to remember the names of the four assassinated presidents. James A. GarfieldGarfield is a self made man, a true American success story. He grew up on a modest farm in Ohio with his brothers and his mother. He loved books and was a life time reader of literature scoring big points with me and certainly moving up in my esteem. He worked as a carpenter at college to pay for his tuition. Everything he seemed to turn his hand to he showed above average aptitude including strategy in war time during the nations civil struggle, and in peace time as a president trying to heal the divides in his own party. Garfield's rise to the nomination in the 1880 Republican convention was not only improbable, but would have been a ludicrous thought for Garfield as well. He had no intention of seeking the nomination; in fact, he went to the convention to give the nomination speech for John Sherman, brother to General William Tecumseh Sherman. At the end of the speech instead of hearing chants for Sherman he heard chants for Garfield. In the first balloting Grant is leading by a healthy margin with Garfield only receiving a single vote. As the voting continues Garfield steadily gains a handful of votes on each round until it becomes obvious to everyone that he is the bipartisan candidate and a flood of votes go to him. Guiteau thought he deserved an office for his fervent (demented) support of the election of President Garfield. Charles J. Guiteau, to put it mildly was deranged, and history should have passed without anyone knowing his name, but for the singular moment when he was able to borrow the money from an acquaintance, go down to the local shop, and purchase a handgun for the purpose of shooting the president of the United States. The Secret Service, at this time in history, was used primarily to investigate counterfeit money. The American public felt it was too much like royalty for a President to be guarded. They felt he should be accessible to the public. Guiteau shot Garfield twice once in the arm and once in the back in the middle of a train station. After 80 days of battling for his life Garfield died not from the assassin's bullets, but from the abysmal care of his doctors. He died from an infection he acquired from his doctors poking their unsterilized fingers and equipment into his wounds. Alexander Graham BellWhen Alexander Graham Bell discovered that doctors were searching for the bullet that entered Garfield's back he thought there should be a way to find the bullet without probing for it. He invented what he called an induction machine which is basically a precursor to the Geiger counter. Doctor Bliss, the self-appointed lead doctor on the Garfield case, insisted the bullet was on the right side and would only allow Bell to scan the body on that side. If Bell had been allowed to do a full scan they would have found that the bullet was on the left side and possibly would have given Garfield a chance at life. Bell regretted for the rest of his life that he didn't insist that the machine be passed over the left side as well. Candice Millard This is such a well researched book, copiously notated and indexed. The writing style is free and easy and the chapters laid out in such a compelling fashion that I actually found myself rooting for Garfield to live even though I knew the outcome. I was also cheering for Bell, who was frantically trying to do his part to save the president. I certainly came away with a heightened respect for several people including Bell who was not only a great inventor, but a wonderful humanitarian; Garfield who was a man of vision and integrity; and Candice Millard who is a writer with passion and wonderful insight. I certainly look forward to reading her next foray into history. Will Byrnes wrote an excellent review of this book as well. It is not to be missed. Here is the link to his review: Byrnes Garfield reviewScott Miller wrote a book about the McKinley assassination that works great as a companion read to the Candice Millard book. My review is here: My McKinley ReviewIf you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at: 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 deranJames 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 hap pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur moil 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 con dition 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.. Popular Book Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President I'm excited that I'm excited!!!! Does this make sense?? Have you ever been excited that you are REALLY EXCITED??? In a VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME I've read books about 3 American Past Presidents....I'm pleased to say.... just like the positive late bloomer reader experience WHEN A LIGHT SWITCH WENT OFF ....and I knew I'd be reading for the rest of my life.....I TURNED A HUGE CORNER AGAIN JUST IN THIS WEEK. I'm now 'clear' -- I have nothing to fear - or reasons to resist reading about past Presidents..... or U.S history-or other biographical stories. If the 'author' is terrific- research is terrific- THESE BOOKS WILL be 'as good'... if not better as ANY FICTION STORY!! It's no 'accident' that 3 books in a row about Past Presidents of the United States have been juicy enjoyable 'true' stories! Author Candice Millard meets author Taylor Jenkins Reid in "Destiny of The Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President". NO KIDDING!!!For all my 'female' friends who think they wouldn't touch this book --the book cover looks 'dry' - brown - and frightening boring???? -- I PROMISE the readers who enjoyed listening to the audiobook of "One True Loves" or "After I Do"......that if you give this audiobook a chance....( nobody was more afraid than I was)....that 'very soon' into this audiobook you'll be HOOKED .... in the SAME WAY HOOKED as you've been with TJR. The only difference-- is a part of you 'will' be proud of yourself -- for stepping outside of your comfort zone. Guess what??? PRESIDENTS ARE ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS TOO!!! I was telling a friend -- I got SO EXCITED at one point during this book - walking & listening.... that I literally cheered out loud to the trees on the trail I was hiking. .....James A. Garfield was our 20th President .....He was born in NE Ohio.... Born into poverty. .....OMG... we hear THE BEST survivor story about Garfield with he - a rope - and water! It's sooooo good -- I WONT SPOIL IT.... ( it's toward the beginning of the this book) .....Garfield went to College with the $17 his mother had saved for him. 17 dollars!!!!!! .....An excellent student -- ( oh I believe he had a reason for wanting to be the very best scholar he could be).....he was asked to TEACH CLASSES AT his University 'while' he was still an undergraduate student. Garfield loved to read and learn about 'everything'. ......Garfield became a University Professor.....While giving a speech at the Republican Convention in 1880... endorsing candidateJohn Sherman, his speech was so powerful - so real - that all the people in the room started yelling 'Garfield's' name. CHANTING grew LOUDER.... "Garfield, Garfield"!!!......Readers - audiobooks listeners will be ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEATS through what happens next ---- shaking your heads -- it's UNBELIEVABLE the way James Garfield 'wins' the Presidency. I ONLY WISH THIS HAPPENED in 2017!!!! James Garfield said: "I never had Presidential Fever, even for a day"!!!!!!!!.....A humble man - a man with so much integrity- my body ached at how much I loveWHO Garfield WAS AND ALL THAT HE STOOD FOR.I realized how MUCH my insides ARE CRYING for this type of leadership in our country. Is it any wonder that I'm reaching for books like this right now??? I'm wanting to believe in the probability and possibility of goodness, honestly, honor, justice, service for the greater needs of others... I DONT WANT TO BELIEVE THIS WAS THE END OF AN ERA!!! .....I found the story about Garfield and his wife Lucretia fascinating. The first five years of their marriage they only spent five months together. The truth about the troubles in the early years of marriage was so raw and personal -- it made me believe every single thing in this book because it was at this moment I realize nothing is being hidden. AGAIN.... I'll say....FOR READERS WHO LIKE TO READ ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS- and MARRIAGE.... it's all right here. As valuable as any fiction story!!!! we dive deeper into the book --- it becomes very clear why the title includes the words madness, medicine, and murder of a President. SUCH A TRAGIC TALE!!!!!...... Garfield was an ethical guy. He was willing to work where he was needed. He was considered a rational man that would call himself a radical when it came to civil rights. He was the only President ever to deliver a speech not in English. He was a staunch ally of the newly freed black population. .....AND THEN SOME FRICKEN CRAZY GUY....Charles Guiteau shot a couple of bullets.The first shot went into Garfield's arm. The second went into his back and broke two ribs. Garfield did not die right away. Alexander Graham Bell tried to save him. He was already famous at age 34 for already having invented the telephone. He had been trying to create a machine that would be find the bullet inside the president. However, Garfield was being treated by another doctor: Dr. Bliss. There was nothing blissful about Dr. Bliss. When you hear the story it makes your stomach turn when you realize that this doctor put his dirty fingers, unwashed hands, and unsterilized instruments deep into Garfield's wounds. Joseph Lister and other scientists had already proved that infections were caused by germs and could be prevented by antiseptic practices. Basically, Garfield died from malpractice---however a jury convicted Guiteau guilty anyway. PARTS OF THIS STORY STAND OUT TO ME: 1. The way James A. Garfield 'became' President. What's the likelihood that the exact same situation that happened back in 1880 could happen like that today? 2. A smaller part of this story was the relationship - beginning dating days - early marriage - later years of marriage ... with Lucretia were interesting to me.3. The ROPE STORY is AWESOME!!!! 4. FEMALE -- author Candice Millard..... I think she's kinda inspiring!!!!5. I look at the cover of this book with TRANSFORMED eyes. I see nothing but the most beautiful man: James Garfield. Oh.... and how I enjoyed reading about when you would belly-laugh .... rolling on the floor at times. Your wife thought you were a fruitcake.... YOU WERE A MAN 'the people' loved!!! Men and women loved you.... for all the right reasons!!!!! I'm sad your life ended too soon!!! Thank you to ALL THE MANY FRIENDS WHO TOLD ME TO READ THIS BOOK! I had No idea I would ENJOY IT THIS MUCH!!!!!!This was the GREATEST HOMEWORK - book - recommendation!!!! ---haha!!! Never felt like homework!!!!!HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!! >>> TO EVERYONE!!!!!!!!

  1. Candice Millard is a former writer and editor for National Geographic magazine Her first book, The River of Doubt Theodore Roosevelt s Darkest Journey, was a New York Times bestseller and was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, and Kansas City Star The River of Doubt was a Barnes Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and a Book Sense Pick, was a finalist for the Quill Awards, and won the William Rockhill Nelson Award It has been printed in Portuguese, Mandarin, and Korean, as well as a British edition.Millard s second book, Destiny of the Republic A Tale of Madness, Medicine the Murder of a President, rose to number five on The New York Times bestseller list and has been named a best book of the year by The New York Times, Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, The Kansas City Star and Barnes Noble Destiny of the Republic won the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime, the PEN Center USA award for Research Nonfiction, the One Book One Lincoln Award, the Ohioana Award and the Kansas Notable Book Award Millard s work has also appeared in Time Magazine, Washington Post Book World, and the New York Times Book Review She lives in Kansas City with her husband and three children.

731 Reply to “Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President”

  1. In recent years I ve been attracted to books about obscure presidents When I read about the Candice Millard book on James Garfield I was instantly intrigued I mean no one knows much of anything about Garfield including myself He is easy to pass over because he barely survived 6 months into his term as president and a good portion of that time he was fighting for his life The only time his name is brought up in conversation is when someone is struggling to remember the names of the four assassina [...]

  2. I m excited that I m excited Does this make sense Have you ever been excited that you are REALLY EXCITED In a VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME I ve read books about 3 American Past Presidents.I m pleased to say just like the positive late bloomer reader experience WHEN A LIGHT SWITCH WENT OFF d I knew I d be reading for the rest of my lifeI TURNED A HUGE CORNER AGAIN JUST IN THIS WEEK I m now clear I have nothing to fear or reasons to resist reading about past Presidents or U.S history or other biograp [...]

  3. If you re like me, I ll bet you haven t given President James Garfield much thought either Have you Come on, admit it He was elected in 1880, shot in 1881 and gone in months, and suddenly it was all Chester Arthur, all the time But here s a book that manages to make mountains out of this molehill of a Presidency First, the author persuades us that Garfield was a truly likable, magnetic, wonderful human being Honest, thrifty, salt of the earth, up from the farm, a true man of the people in the sp [...]

  4. If most people were to be asked today what they thought of Garfield, they would most likely offer an answer about a cartoon cat, and not the 20th president of the United States, the president who served only 200 days in office, the second president to be assassinated, and one of our great losses as a nation Candice Millard, thedishy author of The River of Doubt Theodore Roosevelt s Darkest Journey, here follows the paths of two men, the ill fated president, James A Garfield, and the man who woul [...]

  5. There would come a time when the story of James Garfield s early life would be widely admired Throughout the nation and around the world, his extraordinary rise from fatherlessness and abject poverty would make him the embodiment of the American dream This is an outstanding biography of the 20th President of the United States, one whom I admittedly knew very little about previously James A Garfield has left such an estimable impression on me after reading this comprehensively researched book by [...]

  6. History has not done much to remember the 20th President of the United States Perhaps it was because James A Garfield was shot just four months into his term of office Or maybe it s because he has the misfortune to share a surname with an orange cartoon cat who loves lasagna and hates Mondays Whatever the reason, Garfield has been unfairly removed from popular knowledge, and exists mainly as an answer your beer fogged mind struggles to form during trivia night at the local bar Candice Millard s [...]

  7. This is another fascinating history book from Candice Millard Destiny of the Republic is about the life of President James Garfield and Charles Guiteau, the deranged man who assassinated him in 1881 There s also great stuff on the history of medicine, including how long it took before American doctors believed in the importance of sterile instruments and in the dangers of infections in wounds.One of the frustrating side effects of reading a lot of history is realizing how many times that things [...]

  8. I learned a lot of facts from this account of the 1881 Garfield assassination, and I was moved by the plight of good people handicapped by the lack modern advances in presidential security and medical care But I wasn t enthralled with how the pieces of the book came together or with the limited reflections on the big picture I liked the foreshadowing method Millard employed near the beginning with a visit to the 1876 science and technology exposition in Chicago There we get Lister failing to per [...]

  9. What drew me into Destiny of the Republic was a PBS Special that aired not too long ago We all had a skeletal understanding of the assassination of James A Garfield Garfield, unfortunately, became an elusive name in the litany of former presidents Ah, dear readers, this man was so much .In regard to the author, Candice Millard is an exceptional writer I read her book, The River of Doubt, that depicts the treacherous journey of Teddy Roosevelt as he ventured down the River This river trip almost [...]

  10. If a mentally ill person had not been able to get his hands on a gun, the secret service was doing the job that it does today, if doctors didn t consider the science of antisepsis the way the anti science crowd considers climate change today, Ohio would have had a significant president in James A Garfield.I had a long review written here that seemed to have grown out of control I decided I would let you read the book instead, and you should In short er Mr Garfield grew up poorer than poor He ros [...]

  11. I never meet a ragged boy in the street without feeling that I may owe him a salute, for I know not what possibilities may be buttoned up under his coat James A Garfield Without a doubt, Destiny of the Republic is one of the most interesting and thought provoking non fiction books I ve read in quite some time Author Candice Millard does an extraordinary job of enlightening readers about the life of James A Garfield, and the political, scientific, and medical theories and practices of the day.Gar [...]

  12. Wow Who knew When I saw that our Minneapolis Institute of Art book club had picked this for the October book tour, I knew I would read it, but was unsure about whether I would like it Although the stellar reviews from my GR community were encouraging I did not just like it, I LOVED it And it was so appropriate to where we are right now in the States with the election just a couple of weeks away Millard s story of Garfield, his life and his death by assassination read like a novel It reminded me [...]

  13. Reading the Presidents POTUS 20 James GarfieldWhat a great way to start out my mission to get to know the presidents Candice Millard does a great job of interweaving the stories of multiple characters la Erik Larson in The Devil in the White City Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America James Garfield, Charles Guiteau his assassin , and to a lesser extent Alexander Graham Bell Toss in some history of science medicine, some solid info on the early days of the M Naghten rule, a [...]

  14. James A Garfield, 20th President of the United States, assassinated by a disgruntled office seeker I remember those exact words from my childhood lessons in American history, as I suspect do most other Americans Millard makes the case for a meaningful historical legacy Between his inauguration on March 5 and the shooting on July 2, Garfield was an active opponent of the spoils system Despite the distraction of his wife Lucretia s near fatal illness in May, he installed his own appointee as Cust [...]

  15. Excellent history, engagingly written I give it as I couldn t put it down The story focuses on the assassination of James A Garfield, but it became a really riveting story for me as it detailed the doctors efforts to save the life of Garfield I was aware that, unlike Lincoln, Garfield could have been easily saved by present day medical practice But I didn t know that he could have been saved in 1881 if the doctors had used up to date methods of the time Dr Joseph Lister in England had demonstrat [...]

  16. Surprisingly very good audiobook Who ever knew anything about this president Highly recommend for those that like history and politics Just terrific.5 out of 5 stars.

  17. This book was amazing Seriously It will also turn your stomach and cause you to hate certain segments of the population.Garfield s death was probably one of the greatest tragedies in American History He truly seemed liked an incredible human being, and would have been such a wonderful president I had no idea what a genius we lost when he was murdered.Highly HIGHLY recommend this book.

  18. Quite a few times while reading this page turning and well researched book, I asked myself, Where is James Garfield now that we really need him Our 20th president was both a gentleman and a scholar After pulling himself up from an impoverished background, he quickly distinguished himself as a Civil War brigadier general, a respected Senator, a university president at only 26, and a passionate abolitionist Much to his own amazement, he emerged the winner of the deadlocked 1880 Republican conventi [...]

  19. This is one of the most interesting biography history books I ve been fortunate to read The story of the brief Presidency of James Garfield is little known though Millard s work is changing that situation He came to the Presidency almost accidentally as the Republicans chose him without his campaigning for the position a compromise of sorts and a man who became a very popular choice, a man of the people.Sadly his life would intersect with a madman and with doctors one in particular too certain o [...]

  20. His ultimate place in history will be far less exalted than that which he now holds in popular estimation, the New York Times warned its readers More painful even than the realization that his brief presidency would be forgotten was the thought that future generations would never know the man he had beenWhat a tragedy Like many of the other reviews I have read on this book I must admit that I knew little to nothing concerning Garfield other than he had been one of the 4 presidents who had been a [...]

  21. Does anyone really care about James Garfield You will after reading this book Were it not for the Emperor of Brazil would Alexander Bell have been relinquished to the backwater of history And how ironic that a British Dr Lister proclaimed knowledge that had it been followed would have saved Garfield s life Our reading club decided to read this book for several reasons, perhaps the most important being that Charles Guiteau hailed from Freeport where most of us live We used to joke it was Freeport [...]

  22. This was goodally good Candice Millard does an excellent job of detailing James Garfield s rise to the Presidency, the sixth months he served a third of that mortally wounded and fighting for his life , and his eventual death not so much a result of the gunshot wound but the questionable treatment he was forced to endure However, she also includes details on Alexander Bell and Joseph Lister and the history surrounding some of their inventions discoveries as they intersect and impact Garfield s t [...]

  23. 4.5 stars Incredible I really loved it.I am so thankful that this was selected for my local book club as otherwise I may have never learned about the extraordinary James Garfield How inspiring that he rose from true abject poverty to become the most powerful man in the country albeit against his personal wishes desires This book has quotes throughout that give the current generation glimpses of what a great leader he was, including his strong support of equality and civil rights How dishearteni [...]

  24. This year I ve decided to challenge myself I have decided to research American Presidents that I knew nothing about This basically covers from George Washington to Theodore Roosevelt James Abram Garfield Just what exactly do we know about him We know he was a involved in the Civil War as a Captain, b he was chosen as a candidate in what would eventually come to be known as an extremely close nominating convention, c he would serve less than a year in office as President and d he is, unfortunatel [...]

  25. While this is the life story of President James A Garfield, it s a history lesson on his assassination Garfield died 11 weeks after he was shot because of sepsis introduced by dirty doctors fingers and instruments The revered experts in attendance dismissed the innovative theory of sterilization to discourage an unseen tiny world of germs There were several other historical shockers Garfield was an abolitionist and champion of black civil rights legislation no Secret Service protected Garfield [...]

  26. Millard takes a deep dive into a little known or at least little known to me period of American history in a way that is exciting, and while well cited, reads like a novel.I did know the basics of Garfield s short presidency, but I did not know that much about the man himself, and certainly not about the political intrigue of the time I did not know that Garfield was a scholar, a speaker of multiple languages, a Union General, and a man that had won the nomination to be President against his own [...]

  27. Audiobook narrated by Paul MichaelA few short months into his presidency, James A Garfield was shot at close range by a delusional office seeker named Charles Guiteau The two bullet wounds were serious but they didn t kill Garfield Rather, his physicians killed him by repeatedly introducing infectious agents into the wound Gripping, fascinating, and informative, Millard s novel clearly shows that she is on a par with Laura Hillenbrand Seabiscuit and Erik Larsen Devil in the White City when it co [...]

  28. James Garfield was in office for just 200 days the second shortest presidency in U.S history But this relatively obscure president had the potential to be one of the all timers until an assassin s bullet, and the medical care he received as a result, ended his life Candace Millard s book does an impressive job of telling Garfield s story while also exploring the larger world of late 19th century America The book opens on the 1876 World s Fair, where Alexander Graham Bell first unveiled the telep [...]

  29. At first glance this book appears to be about a subject matter I would think I d have only a passing interest in, however, I found myself unable to put it down It is meticulously researched and reads almost like fiction, and is filled with suspense This is not only a historical account about a somewhat obscure president s assassination, but a fascinating insight into the politics, society, state of medicine, and lack of sanitation in the US at that time I was particularly engrossed with the part [...]

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