Last summer, I read Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard. Possibly one of the best books I’ve ever read. Millard is a great story teller, but her subject was captivating. I’d not known much of Garfield before this except that his presidency was short. He was an intelligent, thoughtful man. He loved his family. He had huge faults, but truly cared for all citizens of the US. He was not a man to be bought. The efforts of A. G. Bell to save his life was an amazing side story.
Today, I’m being rather lazy and I came across a program on Amazon. American Experience: Murder of a President. It’s not as good, not as thorough, not as well-rounded as Destiny of a Republic, but it is a good retelling of Garfield’s life and death – flaws and all. We have no idea what Garfield might have done as president if he’d lasted longer than his half a year, but to think about the accomplishments and character of presidents past seems a good idea today.