This well researched book reads like a novel. It doesn't focus on one character but truly tells what was happening in 1881. With many first person observations scattered throughout it features A.G. Bell, Chester A. Author, Joseph Lister and Charles Guiteau as well as the President. Garfield, a smart, cheerful, and kind champion of black rights rose from poverty to the highest position in the land. Many citizens identified with him, and he was the first president the South truly accepted after the war, making them feel like it was their government for the first time in decades. What would have happened if he had lived? Great read for anyone wanting to know more about the social or political history of the U.S.