In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect by Ronald Kessler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Parts of this book were so good I didn't want to put it down. Yet, there were some parts that were so boring I skimmed the pages. There were some good insights into the Secret Service, and the history of the organization was wonderfully done. But, at times, the book took on a gossipy tone which, while fun to read, didn't really add much to the core content. On the other hand, that is probably what will move books because we have an unquenchable thirst for gossip about....well, everyone.
What I found most amazing about this book was how stupid some of my fellow citizens can be when it comes to how (and how not to) behave in regards to people who enjoy Secret Service protection. Most of the things that are detailed in the book had me saying "Really? Someone would really be that dumb? Seriously?!" The book passes a lot of it off as mental instability/illness and I'm sure some of that is true. But there seems to be just a lack of common sense in these anecdotes as well.
As always, readers have to decide for themselves how much of it they're going to believe. When you're dealing with real people, especially real people who aren't around to defend themselves anymore, you take it all with a grain of salt. I can't remember what I said to half the people I saw last week. Do I really believe all of the reports in this book were remembered correctly from 10, 20, 40 years before? Not necessarily. And, there is always bias involved when you have people reporting what other people may have done or said. That's just how things go. But, taking that into account, I believe you can still get the gist of the Secret Service job and a sense of how they felt about the particular people they were assigned to guard. If you're a political history buff, or have an interest in the secret service,you'll probably want to check this one out.
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