Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President
, Mar 7, 2012
- 625 pages
James A. Garfield was considered an extraordinary men to be elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a 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 story of a nation in turmoil. The unhinged assassin's half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter struggle for power - over his administration, over the nation's future, and 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 worked around the clock to invent a new device capable of finding the bullet.