Jessica: James Garfield

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

Who really killed President Garfield? Sure, Charles Guiteau may have been the one to pull the trigger, but the doctors did more damage than the actual shooting did. Such a tragedy that the doctors believed they were saving lives when they were actually doing just the opposite.

A part of me thought the author ‘glorified’ James Garfield. Even the mention of his affair got only about a line or two of text and then it was quickly glossed over by how much he realized he loved his wife. I wonder if this was a ploy to make the reader more sympathetic toward the plight of Garfield on his deathbed? Not that it didn’t work because I bought it hook, line and sinker.

I really thought the author did a fantastic job keeping the book readable and gripping. I found the entire story fascinating and was surprised how Alexander Graham Bell was involved. And I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for Robert Lincoln.

All in all this was a wonderful (if not a bit biased) read. I would highly recommend it for anyone doing the presidential challenge.

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