James A. Garfield

James A Garfield The ambitious self made man who reached the pinnacle of American politics only to be felled by an assassin s bullet and to die at the hands of his doctorsJames A Garfield was one of the Republican Par

  • Title: James A. Garfield
  • Author: Ira Rutkow Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
  • ISBN: 9780805069501
  • Page: 108
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The ambitious self made man who reached the pinnacle of American politics only to be felled by an assassin s bullet and to die at the hands of his doctorsJames A Garfield was one of the Republican Party s leading lights in the years following the Civil War Born in a log cabin, he rose to become a college president, Union Army general, and congressman all by the age ofThe ambitious self made man who reached the pinnacle of American politics only to be felled by an assassin s bullet and to die at the hands of his doctorsJames A Garfield was one of the Republican Party s leading lights in the years following the Civil War Born in a log cabin, he rose to become a college president, Union Army general, and congressman all by the age of thirty two Embodying the strive and succeed spirit that captured the imagination of Americans in his time, he was elected president in 1880 It is no surprise that one of his biographers was Horatio Alger.Garfield s term in office, however, was cut tragically short Just four months into his presidency, a would be assassin approached Garfield at the Washington, D.C railroad station and fired a single shot into his back Garfield s bad luck was to have his fate placed in the care of arrogant physicians who did not accept the new theory of antisepsis Probing the wound with unwashed and occasionally manure laden hands, Garfield s doctors introduced terrible infections and brought about his death two months later.Ira Rutkow, a surgeon and historian, offers an insightful portrait of Garfield and an unsparing narrative of the medical crisis that defined and destroyed his presidency For all his youthful ambition, the only mark Garfield would make on the office would be one of wasted promise.

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    1. Ira Rutkow Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

      Ira Rutkow Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the James A. Garfield book, this is one of the most wanted Ira Rutkow Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. author readers around the world.

    851 thoughts on “James A. Garfield”

    1. Not to justify the shooting of Garfield in anyway but the wound and damage itself where not necessarily fatal. A combination of the shooting and shoddy medical care shortened his life. What might have been if Garfield had lived we will never know. This should be a lesson to all. I would recommend this one.

    2. James Garfield is probably best known for being assassinated early in his presidency and then suffering a lingering death. It is a shame that this person is so little known. His story is that of an American success (Horatio Alger spoke of him as a model of "poor boy makes good"). But we will never know how good (or mediocre) he would have been as president. There are signs that he could have been another in a long line of mediocrities (he seemed sometimes loath to make people unhappy and appears [...]

    3. Because of the shortness of Garfield's Presidency, this biography focuses on Garfield's pre Presidential life, his assassination and the controversial medical treatment that followed the shooting. The book is written by a professor of surgery and has excellent sections on the development of modern medicine and how the mistreatment of Garfield helped spark our country's acceptance of the importance of preventing and fighting infection--it was repeated probes into Garfield's wound by unwashed doct [...]

    4. An interesting man who truly was a self made man who rose to the presidency. Was president during a rather scandal ridden and "cloudy" era of our nation history. He certainly was a man who most know nothing about, but he was president and that certainly counts for something. The book points out that he was a man of integrity and had the nation best interests at heart. Most of the book was about his assasination and his prolonged death more at the hands some bungled doctors than his wound.

    5. James Garfield And The History Of American MedicineThe volumes in the "American Presidents" series offer short, accessible introductions to each of the presidents and to their accomplishments and shortcomings. With the presidency of James Garfield, this approach presents difficulty. In 1880, Garfield (1831 -- 1881) was elected the 20th president. Less than three months after his inauguration, a deranged individual, Charles Guiteau, assassinated Garfield. Although he lingered painfully for two an [...]

    6. "Assassination can be no more guarded against than death by lightning; and it is best not to worry about either (63)." - President James GarfieldA short, general biography on James Garfield, the 20th President of the United States. Although this biography does not get specific about Garfield's life, the author, Ira Rutkow does give a detailed account of Garfield's death, in particular the horrific medical treatment the President received after being shot. The author argues the President was ulti [...]

    7. Most of the books in The American Presidents series to this point had followed a certain pattern: talk about the "early life", follow the man through his political ruminations, describe his election(s), explain the administration, and briefly touch on his later life. Because President Garfield was in office for such a short period of time, however, this book takes a different tactd ends up as perhaps the most compelling read in the series so far.While providing the requisite personal and politic [...]

    8. I give this one 4 stars if only because it's relatively short, very readable, and got me back into some of the 19th century American history that I had not thought about for a very long time. This book has two different themes: the politics and issues of the post-Civil War time and the history of American medicine in the 19th century.As for the political issues the Republicans of the time gave up on trying to guarantee ordinary citizens' rights to the emancipated slaves in the South. The 13th am [...]

    9. Unfortunately since there was an attempted assassination by Charles Guiteau on Jul 2 ~4 months into his presidency about half of the book deals with the details of the malpractice that led to Garfiield's untimely demise on Sep 19. Although, Rutkow, a knowledgeable practitioner and medical historian does a creditable job and clearly implicates hubris and non sterile technique as the culprits, too much time is spent on details that have little to do with the politics of the era. This is similarly [...]

    10. This is the story of James Garfield, our second president to be assassinated. Just four months into his presidency he was shot and killed by a lunatic, Charles Guiteau. The wounds that President Garfield sustained were quite minor but because of ignorance and pride his doctors seemed to do more to contribute to his death than to prevent it. However, his long and drawn out death caused Americans to scrutinize the medical methods of the day and in the end great changes were made because it.Ira Rut [...]

    11. James A. Garfield certainly falls into two distinct categories of U.S. presidents - "historical footnotes" and "what might have beens." I think it's hard to argue that if Garfield had lived, he might have been a great president - but certainly his efforts at equal rights for African Americans were more positive than his successors. The Garfield that emerge's from Rutkow's sketch is intellectual (one of our most scholarly presidents), young (only 50 when he died), politically savvy (and tricky), [...]

    12. I enjoyed this book very much. More than anything, I became immersed in the fact that this book points out how terrible politics really are in the place of real eventsen and now. The entire time Garfield was trying to settle into his victory as the next president, he was mired down in petty issues between every politician around him. This led to him being shot by a man who chose to add another chapter to the circus. At that point, the final chapter would cause Garfield to suffer horribly for 80+ [...]

    13. Despite the fact that (spoiler alert) James Garfield served as President only 4 months before being shot by a lunatic( how else can you describe someone who tried to kill Garfield so Chester Freaking Arthur could be President?), this book was a fantastic read! While covering Garfield's upbringing and impressive rise to power in Ohio and then the nation, the really fascinating part of this book is the in-depth look at Garfield's medical treatment after the assassination attempt and how the "physi [...]

    14. I learned a lot about how a basically good, and SCHOLARLY, BRILLIANT man got to be a politician and President. I also learned about how Lister's antiseptic methods, which have become a cornerstone of modern medicine, were noy used by an excessively stubborn, resistant US medical establishment. Garfield could have lived despite the assassin's bullet, had Lister's methods been followed. Instead, dirty instruments and unwashed hands provoked a bacterial infection, exacerbated by poor medical treatm [...]

    15. Ira Rutkow's short biography of President Garfield is a real treat. While you might think that a presidency that lasted only a matter of months would offer little of interest, Rutkow does a splendid job in laying out the events that led to the assassination attempt on his life and the series of mistakes made by his doctors that led to his premature death.The result is fascinating and informative, placing his injuries and the medical treatments given to him in their historic context. While this a [...]

    16. This is a light and easy Garfield biography that was started as a treatise about the effect of his post shooting treatment on the general medical community of the country.The early part of his life is sped over with great rapidity and the meat of the story comes only after he is elected president and then suffers at the hands of the doctors tasked with saving his life.Even at that it is enlightening and tells the tale of a man who was truly self made and a president to be admired.Anyone interest [...]

    17. As a presidential biography it was fascinating to read this medical industry-centric perspective regarding the assassination of President Garfield. Dr. Rutkow's review of the condition of our medical knowledge (ignorance) in the 1880's was very educational especially via his Garfield-Reagan assassination/medical procedure contrast. How far our nation's medical community has come in 100 years!! I would note that when discussing low congressional salaries and the cost of living in Washington DC du [...]

    18. This was a well-written history of James A Garfield. It did not hurt that the author is actually a practicing surgeon. Having a strong medical background helped me enjoy the discussion regarding the great differences between homeopaths and allopaths in the late 1800's. Well Done!Recommended to all who want to know why Garfield really died. a non-fatal wound. In today's justice system, the shooter would certainly not been executed - instead, we'd be supporting him on death row to this day!

    19. Short. Informative. Focuses on medical issues that caused his death 79 days after political assassination attempt. His most significant presidential accomplishments were the steps that led to the eventual Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883. No need for me to read airs on-depth bio of Garfield.

    20. The author of this book is a surgeon who has written about this history of surgical medicine in the U.S. He originally intended to write just about Garfield's medical treatment after the assassination but was encouraged to extend the reach of the book. The epilogue compares Garfield's treatment with how Ronald Reagan was taken care of after the assassination attempt by John Hinkley.

    21. This is another installment in The American Presidents series. They are short (usually under 150 pages) but informative and give insight into the men. Since Garfield was assassinated early in his Presidency, this book focuses on the care he received after he was shot and how that contributed to his death.

    22. Fascinating book about a very short presidency. It was Garfield's resistance to a party boss and the spoils system that got him shot. Most interesting was the history of American medicine in the late 19th century and how the old guard's skepticism about/misunderstanding of Lister's germ theory led to the president's premature death at age 49.

    23. Interesting short historical read on a presidents rise to office and soon afterwards assassination. Opens ones eyes to the barbaric medical practice of the day. The medicine of the time was worse than the bullet lodged in his back and is what eventually killed him. Good book to read on medicine of the late 1800's.

    24. What an interesting story, I knew almost nothing about Garfield except that he was assassinated. It turns out that as gunshot wounds go, his wasn't all that serious and if the idiot doctors had just left him alone he might have mde it. Makes one wonder what might have been

    25. InformativeTotally surprised by limited medical and infectious knowledge of doctor's.I was drawn to book by lecture featuring someone you just finished a book on Garfield.Personalhe started school 100 years before me,. My school was James A. Garfield elementary.

    26. Mostly dealt with the inept medical treatment he recieved after getting what would have normally been a non-fatal wound. Unfortunately, Garfield was best remembered for being assasinated. Turns out he was quite a scolar and I believe he would have accomplish a lot given the chance.

    27. Very interesting book outlining the state of medicine in America in the early 1880’s. It makes me glad that I did not live at that time. Much of the book dealt with the physicians as they attempted to save the life of James Garfield.

    28. Medical arrogancePolitical interest about times shows arrogance still prominent today. Power trumps humanity when it comes to public recognition. Timing is everything.

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