Its subtitle, “A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President” says it all.
The Assassination of James A. Garfield
Shooting a President, his lingering death, unbelievably incompetent doctors and a deranged assassin makes for a fine and exciting story. Truth is frequently much better than fiction! Author Candice Millard is a skillful and careful historian-narrator, but not a riveting storyteller.
James Garfield (1831-81) was definitely a dark horse president, nominated and elected because few people outside the political sphere knew of him. It was also fifteen years post-Civil War, and the bloody shirt was still more attractive as a motivator than real political leadership.
Author Millard is a big fan of President Garfield, and with just cause: James Garfield was decent, articulate and intelligent man, with a good sense…
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