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The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret…
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The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (edition 2010)

by Gerald Blaine, Lisa McCubbin, Clint Hill (Foreword)

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1561276,544 (3.94)3
Member:jjocarbone05301
Title:The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence
Authors:Gerald Blaine
Other authors:Lisa McCubbin, Clint Hill (Foreword)
Info:Gallery Books (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:US history, John F Kennedy, secret service, biography

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The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence by Gerald Blaine

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Close as you could get to event w/out being there ( )
  jimifenway | Feb 2, 2016 |
Breaking more than four decades of silence, Secret Service Agent Gerald Blaine has compiled government documents, agent stories and his own personal account of November 22, 1963 to give readers an inside look at what happened the day President Kennedy was assassinated. The book is written in four sections: The Men, The Job, That Day, and Our Lives which fills in the picture of the president’s life in the early 1960s and the small intimate detail of agents who sole job it is to protect the president from harm.

Retired Secret Service agent Clint Hill had been to Dallas just twice in his life. The first time was the day he flung himself on President John F. Kennedy's car a moment after the fatal shot was fired 47 years ago. In 1990, he returned to Dealey Plaza and finally come to terms with what had happened. Hill says "I know exactly where it was and what happened at that moment. ... I still can see the president's head being blown apart, being blown wide open. I can see him lying on Mrs. Kennedy's lap in the back seat of the car as I lay above them trying to get to Parkland Hospital. ... It'll never go away."

These men served their country, not for the low wages, but for inner reasons. Their lives were intertwined with the First Family, spending more time with Caroline and John than their own children. Their wives and children were bonded together in an effort to make up for the time their husbands were away. The agent life style deprived them of regular meals, regular sleep and taxed their inner resources.

I was only nine years old when President Kennedy was assassinated but I remember being let out early from school and our teachers were crying and clinging to each other. This is certainly not an in-depth look at the events that happened in Dallas that day but more of an autobiographical remembrance from a group of men we know little of, even today. When I was done reading it, I downloaded the documentary from the History channel and found it very interesting as well. You not only see the young agents but a lot of footage of the Kennedy family during the years preceding the assassination. I found it more interesting that I expected when it was selected by my local book club as their January read. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Fifty-one years ago President Kennedy was assassinated. For many years the Secret Service have maintained their silence about that day. Their job was to protect the president, and they had failed. Their feelings of loss and failure had to be buried because they still had a job to do, they had to protect the new president. Since most of what happened in their job was confidential they couldn’t even talk to family members about their feelings.

There is much controversy concerning the assassination of John Kennedy. Was it conspiracy? Was there more than one shooter? Did Oswald even fire a shot? Just this week there is a show about a mafia hit man who confessed to shooting John Kennedy from the ‘grassy knoll’. These theories are briefly mentioned along with the belief that the Dallas police got the right guy, but the focus of this book is the Secret Service agents, the men who had to be “Worthy of Trust and Confidence”.

With the personal accounts of other agents, made possible because of the extensive records they were required to keep and most of the agents saved we learn many intimate details about the president, first lady and agents. The agents had to adjust to fit the new personality of the presidents. Eisenhower was a former military man who treated the Secret Service agents as if they were soldiers standing post. He didn’t take unnecessary risks and ran things with military precision. Kennedy was completely different. He was the youngest man elected president, he had a wife and young children. He was popular and loved interacting with people. Which caused many security headaches for the Secret Service.

These facts are all brought out in great detail in this book. Along with many personal details witnessed only by Secret Service agents such as Kennedy’s last words to his young son when leaving Washington and why the President and First Lady were in a convertible on the motorcade. Overall I was impressed at how the Agents balanced being considerate of people’s feelings while never losing sight of their responsibilities and maintaining their professionalism.

It also helps us to understand the great stress they were under, how they had to adjust instantly from protecting Kennedy to protecting Johnson. How they had to keep secret everything they witnessed while on the job, and how the agents had to work so closely as a team. Also the extreme feeling of guilt they carried with them after the assassination, even the agents who weren’t in the motorcade felt some sense of guilt.

If you are a conspiracy theorist you will probably not like this book, if you are interested in the life and death of JFK, or want to learn about the inner workings of the presidency and the secret service, this is the book for you. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Feb 14, 2015 |
I liked this book because it told you about how the secret service works and it also told you things about the Kennedy family like Jackie smoking secretly and made them seem like everyday normal people and not just the icons they were known as. It was also the first time I had read a written account about the day of his assasination not just viewing video of what was shown on the news. ( )
  susanmaj67 | Jun 8, 2011 |
The Kennedy Detail is well-written and believable book about the presidency and assassination of John Kennedy. The book is written in third person so it can be read as a book from the perspective of many of the Secret service agent. Though we see alot of Mr. Blaine in the story, it is the inclusion of Clint Hill's story that infuses the story with personal drama. It was enjoyable to read a story of this event in which the only motive was to present a personal account of what happened that day. ( )
1 vote taterzngravy | May 11, 2011 |
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This book is dedicated to the agents who served on the Kennedy Secret Service White House Detail and their wives and families whose lives were dramatically, yet silently, impacted by the events described in this book, and to all Special Agents of the United States Secret Service dedicated to the mission of protecting our country's leaders.
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It was one of those rare moments in history when time stood still and people the world over remember where they were and what they were doing.
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The true story of the assassination of JFK, told by Secret Service agents who were there and who have lived with the guilt and grief from that day.

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