Few American presidents were as unknown to me as James Garfield before I started this journey through the best presidential biographies. Even fewer proved as unexpectedly interesting or as potentially compelling.
President for just 200 days before succumbing to an assassin’s bullet, Garfield was poised to make a lasting impression on his country…and on the presidency. Had he survived his fatal gunshot wound, what might have been is a question that will be pondered by historians for generations.
Fourteen months ago I read three of the best biographies of James Garfield. Now we have the opportunity to enjoy a two-hour film about Garfield based on Candice Millard’s excellent (and bestselling) “Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President.”
Premiering on PBS at 9pm on February 2, this production promises to provide a fascinating peek inside the life, and death, of James Garfield.
Image courtesy of PBS/American Experience