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Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan [ RAWHIDE DOWN: THE… (edition 2011)

by Del Quentin Wilber

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1861963,528 (4.09)6
Member:redsox0407
Title:Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan [ RAWHIDE DOWN: THE NEAR ASSASSINATION OF RONALD REAGAN BY Wilber, Del Quentin ( Author ) Mar-15-2011
Authors:Del Quentin Wilber
Info:Henry Holt & Company (2011), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Non Fiction, American Presidential History

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Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan by Del Quentin Wilber

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
It's OK. I think it's biggest draw is that it does provide a complete, well-written, minute-by-minute set of events of where President Reagan and his Secret Service officers were and their decisions, and also the thoughts of the doctors and nurses who treated him, on the day that he was shot.

However. The first portion and the ending portion of the book, and also peppered throughout, are overblown homages to Reagan and his spot in US Presidential history. He alone is credited with ending the Cold War and the Soviet threat; not once are the names Lech Walensa" of Poland and the late "Vaclev Havel" of then Czechoslovakia mentioned. Not in the index, and not in the book. When the writer ventures into this mythologized, Reagan-as-hero writing, the reason for his writing the book becomes bogged down into glamorizing this polarizing person.

However. He has done amazing research, filled with recollected details, notes, medical records, and even the plans of the hospital where Reagan was taken (torn down in 2003) to better describe the enormity of his injury and how confusing those first few minutes after his shooting were.

It's worth reading with an eye to the political bent." ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
It's OK. I think it's biggest draw is that it does provide a complete, well-written, minute-by-minute set of events of where President Reagan and his Secret Service officers were and their decisions, and also the thoughts of the doctors and nurses who treated him, on the day that he was shot.

However. The first portion and the ending portion of the book, and also peppered throughout, are overblown homages to Reagan and his spot in US Presidential history. He alone is credited with ending the Cold War and the Soviet threat; not once are the names Lech Walensa" of Poland and the late "Vaclev Havel" of then Czechoslovakia mentioned. Not in the index, and not in the book. When the writer ventures into this mythologized, Reagan-as-hero writing, the reason for his writing the book becomes bogged down into glamorizing this polarizing person.

However. He has done amazing research, filled with recollected details, notes, medical records, and even the plans of the hospital where Reagan was taken (torn down in 2003) to better describe the enormity of his injury and how confusing those first few minutes after his shooting were.

It's worth reading with an eye to the political bent." ( )
  cctest01 | Jun 15, 2016 |
"Today, Mr. President, we are all Republicans."

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was leaving a speaking engagement at the Washington Hilton when six shots were fired at him and his staff. It took only 1.7 seconds for John Hinckley Jr. to unload all six explosive-tipped Devastator bullets. Three men - the President's press secretary, a Secret Service agent, and a Washington D.C. police officer - lay wounded as the President was sped away. Initially, no one realized the President had been hit as well, but when Special Agent Jerry Parr saw blood on Reagan's lips, he instructed the driver to head directly to George Washington University Hospital. His instincts saved the President's life.

Del Quentin Wilber has written a riveting account of the events that day. It is not an exhaustive detailing of every fact surrounding the attempted assassination of President Reagan, but is a readable narrative that is as hard to put down as an engrossing novel. He includes the experiences of dozens of agents, officers, medical personnel, and those in the Reagan Administration in a real-time manner as it unfolded. It is both moving and terrifying to view the assassination attempt from the perspective of those who were there. It is highly inspiring to see the reaction of those around him - the agent who used his body to block the bullets, Parr's automatic response in protecting Reagan, and the medical personnel who cared for him. It is also chillingly interesting to see the motives behind John Hinckley's actions that day. Most of all it was nice to read of the way Reagan handled himself, from insisting on walking into the hospital to the jokes and words he used to offer comfort to others.

I remember hearing about the shooting in my 8th grade algebra class, and the shocked feeling that followed the teacher's sober announcement. But my memories from 30 years ago were fuzzy and it was amazing to read of everything that occurred. I re-watched the videos of the shooting online and was surprised to realize you could see the gun being fired and the wounded men going down - if they showed all that back then I certainly didn't remember it. I highly recommend this worthwhile book. ( )
  J.Green | Aug 26, 2014 |
"Today, Mr. President, we are all Republicans."

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was leaving a speaking engagement at the Washington Hilton when six shots were fired at him and his staff. It took only 1.7 seconds for John Hinckley Jr. to unload all six explosive-tipped Devastator bullets. Three men - the President's press secretary, a Secret Service agent, and a Washington D.C. police officer - lay wounded as the President was sped away. Initially, no one realized the President had been hit as well, but when Special Agent Jerry Parr saw blood on Reagan's lips, he instructed the driver to head directly to George Washington University Hospital. His instincts saved the President's life.

Del Quentin Wilber has written a riveting account of the events that day. It is not an exhaustive detailing of every fact surrounding the attempted assassination of President Reagan, but is a readable narrative that is as hard to put down as an engrossing novel. He includes the experiences of dozens of agents, officers, medical personnel, and those in the Reagan Administration in a real-time manner as it unfolded. It is both moving and terrifying to view the assassination attempt from the perspective of those who were there. It is highly inspiring to see the reaction of those around him - the agent who used his body to block the bullets, Parr's automatic response in protecting Reagan, and the medical personnel who cared for him. It is also chillingly interesting to see the motives behind John Hinckley's actions that day. Most of all it was nice to read of the way Reagan handled himself, from insisting on walking into the hospital to the jokes and words he used to offer comfort to others.

I remember hearing about the shooting in my 8th grade algebra class, and the shocked feeling that followed the teacher's sober announcement. But my memories from 30 years ago were fuzzy and it was amazing to read of everything that occurred. I re-watched the videos of the shooting online and was surprised to realize you could see the gun being fired and the wounded men going down - if they showed all that back then I certainly didn't remember it. I highly recommend this worthwhile book. ( )
  J.Green | Aug 26, 2014 |
Rawhide Down is a detailed account of that fateful day in 1981 when John Hinckley gunned down President Ronald Reagan and several members of his party outside a hotel in Washington DC.

This was of course a momentous day, but it seems in recent years it’s faded quite drastically into the cultural background. ‘Oh yeah, that’s right – Reagan got shot just after he took office . . .’. Reagan’s two terms were so eventful that this early incident seems far in the past indeed, and since Reagan seemed to recover so rapidly, it’s easy to forget how very close he came to dying.

This book brings back the memories of that day, vividly, and adds a great deal of fascinating detail and insight. It’s not a macabre book at all, though – in fact, strangely enough, it’s almost a ‘feel-good’ read. Not only did the President himself show remarkable bravery and savoir-faire, the medical team that saved his life was extraordinary. The sequences in the book that highlight, almost minute by minute, this team’s actions in saving Reagan’s life are gripping and often moving.

Most of the rest of the book focuses on the goings-on in the White House, as shocked members of the administration scrambled, sometimes ineffectively, to say and do the right things in the face of the great uncertainty and confusion that accompanies a threat to the life a world leader. Wilber recounts Vice-President Bush’s flight back from Texas to Washington, and the behind-the-scenes White House meetings that culminated in Al Haig’s bizarre announcement to the press. I found these parts of the book more interesting than compelling. At this historical distance – it’s over 30 years ago, now – I was more interested in what was happening to Reagan himself than to the ephemeral machinations of his administration.

But that is no criticism of Rawhide Down. Wilber’s account deserves to read by anyone interested in American history, in the life of one of our greatest presidents, and in human drama in general. ( )
  mrtall | May 28, 2012 |
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When President Ronald Reagan awoke a seven a.m. on March 30, 1981, the world outside the White House was gray and dreary.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 080509346X, Hardcover)

Product Description

For the first time, a minute-by-minute account of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan

On March 30, 1981, President Reagan walked out of a hotel in Washington, D.C., and was shot by a would-be assassin. For years, few people knew the truth about how close the president came to dying, and no one has ever written a detailed narrative of that harrowing day. Now, drawing on exclusive new interviews, Del Quentin Wilber tells the electrifying story of a moment when the nation faced a terrifying crisis. With cinematic clarity, we see the Secret Service agent whose fast reflexes saved the president's life; the brilliant surgeons who operated on Reagan as he was losing half his blood; and the small group of White House officials frantically trying to determine whether the country was under attack. Most especially, we encounter the man code-named Rawhide, a leader of uncommon grace who inspired affection and awe in everyone who worked with him.

Ronald Reagan was the only serving U.S. president to survive being shot in an assassination attempt. In Rawhide Down, the story of that perilous day—a day of chaos, crisis, prayer, heroism, and hope—is brought to life as never before.


Amazon Exclusive: Bill O'Reilly Reviews Rawhide Down

For more than 13 years, Bill O'Reilly has presided over The O'Reilly Factor on the FOX News Channel. He is the author of ten books, the most recent of which is Killing Lincoln: The Assassination that Changed America Forever (available September 27).

Rawhide Down is enthralling because of the tremendous detail that Del Quentin Wilber provides to the reader. We learn about President Ronald Reagan's daily habits, his grooming, his demeanor on the job, as well as how he reacted after being shot. We also see how the would-be assassin, John Hinckley, conducted himself in the days leading up to the shooting.

This is fascinating stuff and, as a history buff, I couldn't get enough of it. Most Americans have nearly forgotten that Mr. Reagan was on the verge of death after being shot by the unstable Hinckley, and the drama of how the president's life was saved is intense.

This book is a page-turner from beginning to end and I believe you will learn a lot about an event that came razor-close to changing America forever and certainly altered the presidency of Mr. Reagan. Rich in detail with reporting I have never heard before, Rawhide Down rewards the reader on just about every page. Trust me on this.


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:45 -0400)

A minute-by-minute account of the 1981 assassination attempt on the fortieth president reveals how close he came to dying, in a report that pays tribute to the individuals who saved his life and oversaw national security throughout the crisis.

(summary from another edition)

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