James Abram Garfield was one of the most unique and complex presidents of the United States. Born into extreme poverty, he fought in the Civil War and later became a champion of Black suffrage. He believed education was the salvation of the nation and that science achieved the greatest good of humanity. He never sought the office of the President, but was reluctantly dragged into running on the Republican ticket stating “This honor comes to me unsought. I have never had the presidential fever, not even for a day.” Widely admired and beloved, he was brutally cut down by the psychotic assassin Guiteau only to die a slow and painful death over two months due not to the bullet, but because of infection and a doctor’s neglect. Tonight on Inquiry we speak with writer and editor CANDICE MILLARD. Her new history DESTINY OF THE REPUBLIC: A TALE OF MADNESS, MEDICINE AND THE MURDER OF A PRESIDENT recounts the life of Garfield as well of those around him, in one of the most engaging and interesting history books of this year. If you love American history, don’t miss tonight’s show!
Inquiry welcomes back writer, teacher and critic MAGGIE NELSON, here to talk about two books JANE (A MURDER) and THE RED PARTS (A MEMOIR). It was only as an adult that Ms Nelson discovered that her aunt, Jane, had been brutally murdered by a serial killer. Jane had been a brilliant student at the University of Michigan in the late 1960s, but her brutalized body was found in a remote rural cemetery. In JANE, Maggie Nelson attempts to let Jane speak for herself though long excerpts from Jane’s journals combined with Maggie’s uncovering how this shocking event had affected her family. Just as she was mailing in the manuscript for JANE, Michigan police call Maggie’s family to reveal that due to new DNA evidence they are about to arrest Jane’s killer decades after the crime. While JANE is poetic, deeply tragic and lyrical, THE RED PARTS (A MEMOIR) is a powerful, shocking, scary, gripping and brutally honest account of Maggie’s Nelson’s experience in court while trying to make some sense of this violent crime.