Episode 3: James Garfield v. the World. Alex tells a story he’s waited years to share, the improbable rise and tragic death of our 20th President, Cleveland’s own James Garfield. We’re joined by one of Alex’s favorite authors and historians, the incomparable Candice Millard. Millard, the Ohio native, is the author of the award-winning book Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President (2012). BUY THIS BOOK here, you won’t be sorry. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/114423/destiny-of-the-republic-by-candice-millard/
Alex goes to Garfield’s home in Mentor, OH and meets with Todd Arrington, site manager of the James A. Garfield National Historic Site. Todd and Alex discuss Garfield’s humble beginnings in NE Ohio, his brilliance in all disciplines, rise to General in the Union Army and his career in the US Congress. We also discuss his dark horse nomination and narrow election to the Presidency in 1880. We encourage you to visit the National Park Service’s site that Todd manages in Mentor. http://www.nps.gov/jaga
Lastly, we met with Sarah Chase, graduate of Garfield’s alma mater Hiram College in NE Ohio and producer of the awesome podcast, Clear and Vivid w/ Alan Alda. https://alanalda.com
We focus on Garfield’s unlikely election in 1880 and his short presidency. His rivalry with powerful Senator Roscoe Conkling and their battle over civil service reform dominates his healthy months in office. Candice introduces us to his assassin, the deranged office seeker, Charles Guiteau. She takes us through the medical malpractice that dooms the President’s recovery and the political fallout of his slow and agonizing death.