|Ambushed! : the assassination plot against President Garfield (Medical Fiascoes)|
Author: Jarrow, Gail
Blends science, history, and medical mysteries to tell the story of the assassination and ultimately horrible death of President James Garfield the 20th President of the United States.
School Library Journal (+) (11/01/21)
Booklist (+) (11/01/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 11/01/2021 *Starred Review* This well-researched, engaging second entry in the Medical Fiascoes series recounts the torturous medical treatment President Garfield endured after being shot by an assassin on July 2, 1881. Jarrow reveals how ignorance of the cause of infection, as well as the improper sanitary methods used by Garfield’s doctors, resulted in Garfield’s painfully slow death—he lingered for 80 days after being shot by Charles J. Guiteau. The book opens with the shooting and then goes back to describe Garfield’s background and rise to prominence. Jarrow devotes other chapters to Guiteau, a fame-obsessed con artist, and his plot for assassinating Garfield. The public’s intense interest in the president’s ordeal is described, as is how lead doctor Bliss and other doctors misrepresented and lied to them about the president’s health. Garfield’s death resulted in the abolishment of the political spoils system and wider embrace of Joseph Lister’s sanitary medical practices. The primary source materials (diaries, letters, interviews) are revealing, and the many historical photos and full-page illustrations from newspapers and magazines of the time are appealing. Each chapter’s intriguing last sentence invites continued reading. Readers unfamiliar with this nearly forgotten president will find themselves admiring him for his forbearance and good nature throughout his ordeal. Well sourced and highly recommended. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2021 Gr 4–9—Jarrow continues her "Medical Fiascoes" series with a compelling account of the life and death of James Garfield, the 20th President of the United States. Clearly presenting the figures of Garfield and Charles Guiteau, Jarrow's analysis of the lead up to the assassination and its aftermath is a mesmerizing read. Readers, who most likely already know the outcome of the July 2, 1881 shooting, will be rooting for Garfield's survival along with the nation as it receives daily updates from the president's medical team. The author has provided a multitude of primary sources to enhance the immediacy of her writing. The ramifications of each medical decision are reviewed and placed in their political and the historical contexts. The slow, lingering death of James Garfield in the summer heat of Washington, D.C., the anger of the American people, and the mental instability of the assassin all combine to make this an unforgettable book. Back matter includes glossary, time line, more to explore online websites, author's note, source notes, extensive bibliography, index, and picture credits. VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of medical nonfiction. Works by Mary Roach and other titles by Jarrow.—Susan Catlett, Green Run H.S., Virginia Beach - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.