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

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

I took it as my reading sign when Suzanne picked this narrative nonfiction book on WSIRN episode 242, describing it as "gripping." Millard weaves together three strands—politics, medicine, and technology to tell the story of James Garfield, the 20th president of the United States, who only served 200 days because he was shot and eventually died. The world of the late 1800s was just starting to understand germs and antiseptic and washing, but the whole country was lying in absolute agony for months while people were wondering, can we save him? Historic cameo: Alexander Graham Bell, who you'll remember as inventor of the telephone, plays a part as he worked around the clock, desperate to invent a device to find the bullet without injuring the president further.

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The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey

When Suzanne of Goodreads chose another Candice Millard, Destiny of the Republic, as one of her favorite books in What Should I Read Next Episode 242 ("Sharing Good Reads with good friends), I bumped it to the top of my TBR. Now I'm interested in reading more by Millard. From the publisher: "From the soaring beauty of the Amazon rain forest to the darkest night of Theodore Roosevelt’s life, here is Candice Millard’s dazzling debut. After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever."

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