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The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret…

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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138987,614 (3.93)3
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
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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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 |
The Good Stuff

* Compelling and authentic and extremely classy (no tell all gossip book here)
* Touching first hand accounts of the relationship between JFK and his staff and his family
* Good selection of photographs including a lovely candid one of JFK and his kids on Halloween
* The scene between JFK and his son is very touching when you realize this is the last time they will ever see each other. Made me cry -- for once at least I wasn't in a public place when I read it
* Enjoyed the little glimpse into how compassionate and how all to human JFK and his wife were
* The obvious love and respect that the agents had for each other and for their "boss"
* honestly just really interesting to learn about the inner workings of the Secret Service and of the men whose job it is to protect the president - just plain fascinating
* Extremely detailed descriptions of the days before and after the assassination
* The descriptions of the agents grief and their obvious feelings of survivors guilt and shame are very moving
* Touching stories about the relationship between the agents and JFK's kids before and after the assassination
* Why are you still reading my ramblings just go get the book - you know you want to.

The Not so Good Stuff

* Jumps around a little and I got lost a couple of times -- but hey I am a sleep deprived mom, you guys might not notice as much
* Sometimes I was a little frustrated with all the minute details - see above note
* Also, (and you should know one of my history teachers, Mr Centa was a HUGE conspiracy theorist and I had to attend tons of his presentations in high school so this stuff has been ingrained in me - I can't tell you how many times we had to see the Zapruder film) I sort of balked at the obvious plea for us to put our full trust in the findings of the Warren Commission (See the last quote in next section)

Favorite Quotes/Passages

"The publishing of motorcade routes was a constant battle between the Secret Service and the president's political advisers. From the Secret Service standpoint, informing the public about the president's movements in advance was like inviting the fox into the hen-house, while the political folks looked at is as a necessity. From their views, the whole point of the motorcade was for JFK to be seen by as many people as possible."

"Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others - John F. Kennedy"

"Meanwhile, Godfrey was fuming. He couldn't wait to get out of the country. He turned to Rowley and said, "The Italians haven't changed since the last time I was here. The only difference is, now we can't shoot at 'em"

"I would be very pleased if the results of the Warren Commission and its investigation would be accepted as the final word. However, I know that the researchers, writers, and filmmakers who continue to question those findings will never accept those as the truth. The information presented by the majority of these people is theory, not fact. They were not witnesses to the assassination; have little or no knowledge of protective procedures; did not know the dedicated agents on this assignment; and simply were not in our shoes that day in Dallas."

What I Learned

* Fascinating details about the day to day challenges faced by members of the Secret Service
* How few Secret Service were actually in charge of protecting the president and how this has changed since
* Too many interesting historical tidbits to mention -- just go buy the book -- or of course ask your friendly neighborhood Librarian for a copy
* John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic to be elected president -- seriously I couldn't believe it either
* How little these guys actually got paid to put their lives on the line and how horribly boring it could be
* Really would have hated to be married to one of these guys

Who should/shouldn't read

* I'm thinking serious conspiracy theorists will be totally put off by this one -- that's right Fox Mulder and Dr. Jack Hodgins this book is not for you (And cannot forget about you Mr Centa)
* History buffs and those interested in the Secret Service will definitely enjoy
* Definite must have for Kennedy junkies

4.5 Dewey's

Purchased this from Indigo on recommendation from Captain Awesome of Indigo Jeremy Cammy ( )
1 vote mountie9 | Apr 7, 2011 |
Excellent Read. Very interesting look inside the Secret Service. I'm a child of the 60's and I almost couldn't get thru the chapter dealing with the assasination! Even after all these years it still is heartbreaking.

But as hard as it was for we the general public, it is almost unbearable to read of the aftermath in the closed world of the agents. To think that in 40 some odd years they had never discussed even among themselves the feelings of failure, the sadness, the truths is unbelievable.

I would recommend this one especially to those whose hearts were broken in 1963 ( )
1 vote busyreadin | Mar 18, 2011 |
The Kennedy Detail by former agent, Gerald (Jerry) Blaine with journalist Lisa McCubbin, is a fascinating book which explains in detail the workings of the Secret Service during the Kennedy administration. The daily life of the Secret Service agents covering the Kennedy family is shown. One is impressed by the amount of work the agents had; they often worked numerous hours per day without time for eating meals or getting sufficient rest. They had very little time with their own families.

The Secret Service followed a strict code of behavior which included not criticizing decisions made by Kennedy or his political advisors – some of which made guarding the President extremely difficult. This account describes both the advance preparations which went into various trips of Kennedy, particularly to Florida in mid-November 1963 followed by the fatal trip to Texas, and how these preparations were carried out.

Kennedy’s assassination was considered to be a failure of the Secret Service. The toll which this event had on the lives of some of the agents is described. Clint Hill, the agent responsible for guarding Mrs. Kennedy, who climbed on the back of the presidential car following the shots, did not reach closure until many years later when he visited the museum in the building from which the shots had been fired, and realized that he could not have saved the President. ( )
1 vote sallylou61 | Jan 8, 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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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