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

 by Candice Millard

Description: President James Garfield was shot in the back by a deranged man in June of 1881. As Garfield clung to life for two months, his outcome was influenced by the invention of the first air conditioner, Alexander Graham Bell inventing a metal detector to locate the bullet still lodged in Garfield, and by physicians who rejected the antiseptic process endorsed by Lister. Garfield eventually succumbed in September. This book is meticulously researched and very well written.


Recommended by: Pam Lanza, RN, BSN Research Study Coordinator

"I recommend this book because it tells the history of a great man, James Garfield, and how a nation in tragedy struggled to save him. Garfield was born into poverty, excelled at education, became president, and fought for the rights of freed slaves and equality through public education. Alexander Graham Bell labored to alter an invention developed to quiet conduction on telephone wires to help locate the bullet. Doctors from around the country, even one from Kansas is mentioned, offer their expertise on his treatment.  It is a compelling story."

Last modified: May 21, 2012