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June Book Club Meeting

The June book is Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard. The extraordinary New York Times bestselling account of James Garfield's rise from poverty to the American presidency, and the dramatic history of his assassination and legacy, from bestselling author of The River of Doubt, Candice Millard.

In the past, people have frequently been disappointed because they had read the book but "LIFE" interrupted their plans to attend the Thursday night discussion. For Junee will offer 2 discussions on the book: 1 discussion at the normal time on Thursday, June 27 and 1 discussion on Saturday, June 29. Choose the date/time that best fits your schedule: attend one or attend both.


Since our discussion is held at the Nordstrom Market Cafe, I plan on enjoying dinner during our discussion. Eating or drinking is optional but I certainly plan on enjoying something to eat and drink during our discussion. The Nordstrom Market Cafe is located on the second floor of Norstroms in the Columbia Mall.



James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back.


But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country so recently fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle for power—over his administration, over the nation’s future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. A team of physicians administered shockingly archaic treatments, to disastrous effect. As his con­dition worsened, Garfield received help: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, worked around the clock to invent a new device capable of finding the bullet.











Book Availability at the Howard Count Public Library

Destiny of the Republic is available for checkout at the Howard County Public Library. The Howard County Public Library has:


(14) Copies of the book.

(10) Copies in audio book on CD of the book.

(1) Copy as an ebook.


This is a very popular book so make sure that you request this book from the Library early.

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  • Nicole H.

    The book was very interesting. And I loved the way we broke up the groups so nobody was screaming across the table.

    June 28, 2013

  • Maxine F.

    We had quite a turnout for this meeting, the discussion went very well, and most everyone liked the book and had learned quite a bit of history in the process of reading this one. Good choice for the June book, look forward to the July book! Still say it's worth the trip to Columbia, MD from Gaithersburg (Rockville area) to meet with this group. Thanks for organizing this and leading the discussion, Wayne!

    2 · June 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I enjoyed this meetup. I really liked the book.
    P.S. Nice try on that "author's angle" thing, Grant :-P

    2 · June 27, 2013

  • Wayne M.

    It was wonderful meeting everyone. I really enjoyed this book but the book was enhanced by everyone's comments. Thanks to everyone for the enjoyable evening.

    June 27, 2013

  • Pauline P.

    Very interesting comments. Nice to meet so many new people.

    1 · June 27, 2013

  • Benita K.

    Sorry I can't attend, unfortunately my babysitter is on vacation this week. I've been listening to this book on tape, and have really enjoyed the depth it adds to the story.

    June 26, 2013

  • Wayne M.

    Here is one last question for us to think about and discuss at our meeting:

    Perhaps the most shocking revelations in Destiny of the Republic are those concerning the maltreatment at the hand of the Garfield's doctors, who seemed almost willfully ignorant of sound medical practices. How do you explain their mistreatment? What was the medical establishment's attitude toward Joseph Lister's theory on antisepsis? How did Dr. Bliss gain so much power of the president's medical care?

    I'll see you at our book club discussion.

    June 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Time ran out for me to read...hoping for July!

    1 · June 24, 2013

  • Wayne M.

    As you are reading, here is another question to think about. Let's discuss this question at our meeting:

    Charles Giteau was no stranger to Garfield or to members of his family and admininstration. He also made his intentions to murder the president quite clear. What could/should have been done, within legal bounds, to prevent him from carrying out his assassination of Garfield? Talk about Guiteau. How would you chararacterize the madness that led to his carrying out the assassination?

    June 23, 2013

  • Catherine P.

    How long do meetings usually last?

    June 23, 2013

    • Wayne M.

      Hi Cate, we typically meet for about 90 minutes but it's a open discussion which can last anywhere from 1 - 2 hours and people come and go based upon their own personal schedule. See you on Thursday.

      June 23, 2013

  • Grant

    Just finished the book and looking forward to the meeting. By the way, there didn't seem to be a lot of copies of this book for the HCLS. I only had to wait a week or so, but that much unused time could be a problem at times.

    June 21, 2013

    • Wayne M.

      I'm glad you finished the book despite having to wait so long to get it from the Library. The July book will be a problem for most people because the Library only has one copy of that book.

      June 22, 2013

  • Wayne M.

    Wow it's amazing how fast time flies, our book club meeting is a week away. I hope that your reading is going well. As you read, here is a question for us to think about and discuss at our meeting:

    Before you started this book, how much did you know of James A. Garfield? Do you agree with Millard that Garfield would have been considered one of the country's great presidents? Is Millard's case for Garfield potential greatness convincing?

    June 21, 2013

  • marilyn s.

    cancel my confirmation for the sat alt meeting.

    May 26, 2013

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