History at its best--do not miss this important book
Brilliantly done, millard's insightful, empathetic, impeccably researched work casts the warm glow of humanity into every crevice of this relatively obscure period of political turmoil. if you have any affection for america and her history, you cannot miss this book. the story of garfield's unlikely, unwanted election and unnecessary, untimely death demonstrates with heart-wrenching poignancy that what is both best and worst about this country lies entirely within its people and the choices they make, individually and collectively. instead of grasping for individual power or some kind of lasting political legacy, garfield (and alexander graham bell--another key figure in this story), naturally embodied--indeed defined--the post-civil war american ideal simply by being themselves. especially in the present era of unrelenting (and largely justified) political cynicism, this book deserves to be read, talked about and remembered, lest we bury forever the unfortunately archaic notion that the american electorate, at least on rare occasions, is capable of elevating persons of surpassing character to the highest esteem as well as the highest office.