James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man 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... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man 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.
“"Light itself is a great corrective. A thousand wrongs and abuses that are grown in darkness disappear like owls and bats before the light of day." JA Garfield”
“"If wrinkles must be written upon our brow, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old." JA Garfield”
“"There is no Stratification of society in this country like the rocks in the earth, that hold one class down below forevermore, and let another come to the surface to stay there forever. Our Stratification is like the ocean, where every individual drop is free to move, and where from the sternest depths of the mighty deep any drop may come up to glitter on the highest wave that rolls." James A. Garfield”
Part 1: Promise
1: The Scientific Spirit
3: "A Beam in Darkness"
4: God's Minute Man
5: Bleak Mountain
Part 2: War
6: Hand and Soul
7: Real Brutuses and Bolingbrokes
8: Brains, Flesh, and Blood
9: Casus Belli
10: The Dark Dreams of Presidents
11: "A Desperate Deed"
Part 3: Fear
12: "Thank God It Is All Over"
13: "It's True"
14: All Evil Consequences
Part 4: Tortured for the Republic
16: Neither Death nor Life
17: One Nation
18: "Keep Heart"
19: On a Mountaintop, Alone
20: Terror, Hope, and Despair
21: After All
22: All the Angels of the Universe
Epilogue: Forever and Forever More
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