Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

98%

17 Critic Reviews

...the overwhelmed Arthur and larger portraits of the truly impressive Garfield and the thoroughly insane Guiteau make for compulsive reading.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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 deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back.

But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. 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 con­dition 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.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Candice Millard

See more books from this Author
Candice Millard, the New York Times-bestselling author of The River of Doubt, is a former editor and contributing writer at National Geographic magazine. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and children.
 
Published September 20, 2011 by Anchor. 354 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, Professional & Technical, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 16 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Destiny of the Republic
All: 17 | Positive: 17 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
Jul 01 2011

...the overwhelmed Arthur and larger portraits of the truly impressive Garfield and the thoroughly insane Guiteau make for compulsive reading.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Kevin Baker on Sep 30 2011

Though Garfield’s death had little historical significance, Millard has written us a penetrating human tragedy.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Sep 11 2011

Ms. Millard shows the Garfield legacy to be much more important than most of her readers knew it to be.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by ManoflaBook.com on Sep 07 2013

Destiny of the Republic reads like a novel, an exciting page turner which will keep you wanting for more.

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WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by Fergus Bordewich on Sep 27 2011

...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.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Del Quentin Wilber on Sep 30 2011

...Millard has crafted a fresh narrative that plumbs some of the most dramatic days in U.S. presidential history.

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Christian Science Monitor

Excellent
Reviewed by Erik Spanberg on Sep 13 2011

It is a fascinating look into a period of neglected American history.

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Washington Independent Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Frederick Millham

Millard succeeds in moving James Garfield from the back of a “Trivial Pursuit” card to his proper place in our minds as a great American

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The Seattle Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Bruce Ramsey

The story is a natural for narrative history. Millard has created a readable and colorful account.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Excellent
Reviewed by Meredith Hindley on Sep 22 2011

Millard's sympathetic portrayal of Garfield leaves the reader wondering what might have been had he lived.

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The Daily Beast

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirk Davis Swinehart on Oct 19 2011

...so one sets down Destiny of the Republic entranced by Millard’s considerable narrative powers and...a little saddened by the death of a remarkable man

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NJ.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Jonathan Lazarus on Sep 18 2011

Candice Millard confronts this wrenching presidential episode with unerring depth and clarity.

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Cleveland.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Alan Cate on Sep 17 2011

This wonderful book reminds us that our 20th president was neither a minor nor merely a tragic figure, but rather an extraordinary one.

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Watermark Books And Cafe

Excellent
Reviewed by Sarah Bagby

Millard pulls several narrative strings together with great skill.

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Bloomberg

Excellent
Reviewed by Joe Mysak on Sep 20 2011

“Destiny of the Republic” will probably be the last word on the Garfield assassination.

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Christianity Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Jay Green

Perhaps the greatest service rendered in this book is its success in reanimating the buoyant personality and thoughtful demeanor of a man who seemed bound to become one of America's finest presidents.

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inReads

Good
Reviewed by Bryce Wilson on Sep 20 2011

...she manages to present a compelling, tense work of history, a book that has the potential to cross over in the way that Manhunt and Devil in the White City did.

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Reader Rating for Destiny of the Republic
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