“Was rather disappointed by the tone, but there is some interesting info about the Secret Service. If the agents are so limited in training, if funds are so tight, and if the management is so inept, we cannot assume that our presidents are safe. ”Sharon Anne B wrote this review Sunday, March 14, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Living and working in the DC metro area I have seen my share of presidential motorcades, so my interest was piqued in Ronald Kessler’s In the President’s Secret Service. By interviewing current and former Secret Service agents, Kessler penetrates the wall of mystery surrounding the agency.
The Secret Service was originally created in 1865 to address the issue of widespread counterfeiting. It was not until 1902 that the Service officially assumed responsibility for presidential protection. Although the Secret Service is a dual role agency (presidential protection and financial crimes), Kessler’s book is primarily concerned with the Service’s protection role.
In the President’s Service does a good job of piercing the veil of secrecy of the various White House occupants. For instance, according to the agents, Lyndon Johnson was often drunk; Nixon rarely interacted with his wife; Ford was decent, but cheap; and Amy Carter was a terror. Although many of the presidential tidbits have been printed before reading it from the agents’ perspective elevates the stories’ credibility.
As one unnamed former agent confessed, “you just shake your head when you think of all the things you’ve heard and seen and the faith that people have in these celebrity-type people. They are probably worse than most average individuals . . . . Americans have such an idealized notion of the presidency and the virtues that go with it, honesty and so forth. In most cases, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. . . .”
Kessler also details the Secret Service’s mismanagement of its employees. Turnover is relatively high due to the Service’s lack of consideration of family issues (such as mandatory relocations) and its seriously strained budget which necessitates overtime shifts In short, the Service “fosters conditions that lead . . . experienced agents to resign [and] compromises” presidential security.
In the President’s Secret Service is a fascinating exposé of the Secret Service.
Review based on personal copy. ”
“Fantastic Book. Not yellow journalism at all. Real world secret service and what it is really all about. Well Written.”PaytonLee wrote this review Thursday, March 4, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good inside view of the secret service and the presidents they try to protect”Jim F wrote this review Sunday, February 28, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An interesting look at the Secrete Service and the Presidents they served.”Lorelyn E wrote this review Wednesday, February 24, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was excellent! I loved it! Very very interesting stories about the presidents and the people who protect him (someday her). Also lots of good stories about the families of the presidents.”Sherry B wrote this review Wednesday, February 24, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A very interesting perspective of what really goes on behind the scenes that we never hear about. I recommend it.”Daniel P wrote this review Thursday, February 18, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“So far I like it.. I think he should have stuck to reporting the facts and avoided the preachy sections about character, etc. I don't look to journalism for opinions, I look for facts and information I didn't have before in order to form my own opinions.”Fred wrote this review Tuesday, February 16, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was an interesting book about a government service I didn't know much about. The accounts of the behind the scenes activities of the people that the Secret Service protects were eye-opening as well!
Read-alikes: Inside the Oval Office: the Secret White House Tapes from FDR to Clinton by William Doyle.
American Gunfight: the plot to kill Harry Truman, and the shoot-out that stopped it by Stephen Hunter”
“This was a very informative read but I did have some issues with the way that the text read. It seemed to skip around quite a bit on a topic within the chapter. So I was confused and annoyed at times. I really liked learning all of the historical beginnings of the Secret Service. Also, contains some interesting unknown facts.”Becky wrote this review Tuesday, January 19, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No