The Resource The destiny of the republic : a tale of medicine, madness and the murder of a president, Candice Millard

The destiny of the republic : a tale of medicine, madness and the murder of a president, Candice Millard

Label
The destiny of the republic : a tale of medicine, madness and the murder of a president
Title
The destiny of the republic
Title remainder
a tale of medicine, madness and the murder of a president
Statement of responsibility
Candice Millard
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A narrative account of the twentieth president's political career offers insight into his background as a scholar and Civil War hero, his battles against the corrupt establishment, and Alexander Graham Bell's failed attempt to save him from an assassin's bullet
Writing style
Award
  • ALA Notable Book, 2012.
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2011.
  • Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Fact Crime, 2012.
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2011.
  • YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2015.
Review
  • This rendering of an oft-told tale brings to life a moment in the nation's history when access to the president was easy, politics bitter, and medical knowledge slight. James A. Garfield, little recalled today, gained the Republican nomination for president in 1880 as a dark-horse candidate and won. Then, breaking free of the sulfurous factional politics of his party, he governed honorably, if briefly, until shot by an aggrieved office seeker. Under Millard's (The River of Doubt) pen, Garfield's deranged assassin, his incompetent doctors (who, for example, ignored antisepsis, leading to a blood infection), and the bitter politics of the Republican Party come sparklingly alive through deft characterizations. Even Alexander Graham Bell, who hoped that one of his inventions might save the president's life, plays a role. Millard also lays the groundwork for a case that, had Garfield lived, he would have proved an effective and respected chief executive. Today, he would surely have survived, probably little harmed by the bullet that lodged in him, but unimpeded infection took his life. His death didn't greatly harm the nation, and Millard's story doesn't add much to previous understanding, but it's hard to imagine its being better told. Illus. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed July 11, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 28, p)
  • Millard (The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey ) presents a dual biography of the 20th U.S. President and his assassin. James A. Garfield and Charles Guiteau were both born into hardscrabble Midwestern circumstances. While Garfield made himself into a teacher, Union army general, congressman, and President, Guiteau, who was most likely insane, remained at the margins of life, convinced he was intended for greatness. When he failed to receive a position in Garfield's administration, he became convinced that God meant him to kill the President. At a railway station in the capital, Guiteau shot Garfield barely four months into his term. Garfield lingered through the summer of 1881, with the country hanging on the news of his condition. In September he died of infection, apparently due to inadequate medical care. Millard gives readers a sense of the political and social life of those times and provides more detail on Guiteau's life than is given in Ira Rutkow's James A. Garfield . The format is similar to that in The President and the Assassin, Scott Miller's book on President McKinley and Leon Czolgosz. VERDICT Recommended for presidential history buffs and students of Gilded Age America. [See Prepub Alert, 3/7/11.]— Stephen L. Hupp, West Virginia Univ. Lib., Parkersburg --Stephen L. Hupp (Reviewed October 1, 2011) (Library Journal, vol 136, issue 16, p86)
  • /* Starred Review */ The shocking shooting and the painful, lingering death of the 20th president. "Killed by a disappointed office seeker." Thus most history texts backhand the self-made James Garfield (1831–1881), notwithstanding his distinguished career as a college professor, lawyer, Civil War general, exceptional orator, congressman and all too briefly president. Millard follows up her impressive debut (The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey, 2005) by colorfully unpacking this summary dismissal, demonstrating the power of expert storytelling to wonderfully animate even the simplest facts. As she builds to the president's fatal encounter with his assassin, she details the intra-party struggle among Republicans that led to Garfield's surprise 1880 nomination. The Stalwarts, worshippers of Grant, defenders of the notorious spoils system, battled the Half-Breeds, reformers who took direction from Senators John Sherman and James G. Blaine. The scheming, delusional Charles J. Guiteau, failed author, lawyer and evangelist, listened to no one, except perhaps the voices in his head assuring him he was an important political player, instrumental in Garfield's election and deserving of the consulship to Paris. After repeated rebuffs, he determined that only "removing the president" would allow a grateful Vice President Chester A. Arthur to reward him. During the nearly three excruciating months Garfield lay dying, Alexander Graham Bell desperately scrambled to perfect his induction balance (a metal detector) in time to locate the lead bullet lodged in the stricken president's back. Meanwhile, Garfield's medical team persistently failed to observe British surgeon Joseph Lister's methods of antisepsis—the American medical establishment rejected the idea of invisible germs as ridiculous—a neglect that almost surely killed the president. Moving set pieces—the 1876 U.S. Centennial Exhibition which Garfield attended and where both Lister and Bell presented, the deadlocked Republican Convention, the steamship explosion that almost killed Guiteau, the White House death watch—and sharply etched sketches of Blaine, the overwhelmed Arthur and larger portraits of the truly impressive Garfield and the thoroughly insane Guiteau make for compulsive reading. Superb American history.(Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2011)
Biography type
contains biographical information
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10012132
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Millard, Candice
Dewey number
973.84
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • plates
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Garfield, James A.
  • Garfield, James A.
  • Guiteau, Charles Julius
  • Bell, Alexander Graham
  • Presidents
  • Presidents
  • United States
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a President
Label
The destiny of the republic : a tale of medicine, madness and the murder of a president, Candice Millard
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (p. 313-323) and index
Contents
Prologue: Chose -- Promise -- The scientific spirit -- Providence -- A light in the wilderness -- God's minuteman -- Bleak mountain -- War -- Hand and soul -- Real Brutuses and Bolingbrokes -- Brains, flesh, and blood -- Casus belli -- The dark dreams of presidents -- "A desperate deed" -- Fear -- "Thank God it is all over" -- "It's true" -- All evil consequences -- Blood-guilty -- "The whole nation kin" -- Neither death nor life -- One nation -- Hope -- On a mountaintop, alone -- Terror, hope, and despair -- One : after all -- Two : all the angels of the universe -- The scientific spirit
Dimensions
25 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
x, 319 p., [16] p. of plates
Isbn
9780385526265
Lccn
2011001549
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) a683138
  • (OCoLC)759531600
Label
The destiny of the republic : a tale of medicine, madness and the murder of a president, Candice Millard
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references (p. 313-323) and index
Contents
Prologue: Chose -- Promise -- The scientific spirit -- Providence -- A light in the wilderness -- God's minuteman -- Bleak mountain -- War -- Hand and soul -- Real Brutuses and Bolingbrokes -- Brains, flesh, and blood -- Casus belli -- The dark dreams of presidents -- "A desperate deed" -- Fear -- "Thank God it is all over" -- "It's true" -- All evil consequences -- Blood-guilty -- "The whole nation kin" -- Neither death nor life -- One nation -- Hope -- On a mountaintop, alone -- Terror, hope, and despair -- One : after all -- Two : all the angels of the universe -- The scientific spirit
Dimensions
25 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
x, 319 p., [16] p. of plates
Isbn
9780385526265
Lccn
2011001549
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
  • (Sirsi) a683138
  • (OCoLC)759531600

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