He called her Mrs. Kennedy. SHE called him Mr. Hill.
For four years, from the election of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in November 1960 until after the election of Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Clint Hill was the Secret Service agent assigned to guard the glamorous and intensely private Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. During those four years, he went from being a reluctant guardian to a fiercely loyal watchdog and, in many ways, her closest friend.
Now, looking back 50 years, Clint Hill tells his story for the first time, offering a tender, enthralling, and tragic portrayal of how a Secret Service agent who started life in a North Dakota orphanage became the most trusted man in the life of the First Lady who captivated first the nation and then the world.
When he was initially assigned to the new First Lady, Agent Hill envisioned tea parties and gray-haired matrons. But as soon as he met her, he was swept up in the whirlwind of her beauty, her grace, her intelligence, her coy humor, her magnificent composure, and her extraordinary spirit.
From the start, the job was like no other, and Clint was by her side through the early days of JFK's presidency; the birth of sons John and Patrick and Patrick's sudden death; Kennedy-family holidays in Hyannis Port and Palm Beach; Jackie's trips to Europe, Asia, and South America; Jackie's intriguing meetings with men like Aristotle Onassis, Gianni Agnelli, and André Malraux; the dark days of the year that followed the assassination; to the farewell party she threw for Clint when he left her protective detail after four years. All she wanted was the one thing he could not give her: a private life for her and her children.
Filled with unforgettable details, startling revelations, and sparkling, intimate moments, this is the once-in-a-lifetime story of a man doing the most exciting job in the world, with a woman all the world loved, and the tragedy that ended it all too soon - a tragedy that haunted him for 50 years.
©2012 Lisa McCubbin, Clint Hill (P)2012 Simon & Schuster
"With clear and honest prose free of salaciousness and gossip, Hill (ably assisted by McCubbin) evokes not only a personality both beautiful and brilliant, but also a time when the White House was filled with youth and promise. Of the many words written about Jacqueline Kennedy, these are among the best." (Kirkus)
A dedicated professional
Clint Hill gives a first person account of his amazing years with the Kennedy family in the White house. I never really thought about the difficult and dedicated job of the Secret Service. The SS must leave their own family to travel for long periods of time, during holidays, etc. They had to protect the family at all times. Originally disappointed because he was "only" with Mrs. Kennedy and not the president, he came to respect and admire her. His emotional account of the days surrounding the Kennedy assassination is written from a perspective very few can give.
The subtle change of the narrator's voice when he spoke as Mrs. Kennedy was enthralling. You knew each character by his inflections.
He had to live with the rich and famous on $16 a day.
Anyone who has read the many stories and theories around the Kennedy assignation will want to read this account from someone who had an personal relationship with the first-family.
This is one of the best books I've read. Clint Hill writes of Mrs. Kennedy with warmth and respect. He lets us know what she was really like and in the process shows his personality as well. I would love to meet him.
ADHD had taken away my enjoyment of books as it worsened after onset in 4th grade. Now I can "read"again! Thanks to all of you at audible!
I would listen again. I loved hearing the adventure in the story.
One of the memorable moments was when Mr. Hill and Mrs. Kennedy run into each other on the Christina and she is dressed very casually. It seems unusal.
Mu favorite scene was when Mr Hill watches television when Mrs. Kennedy (Onassis) dies of cancer. He thinks back to all of the years he smoked a lot and drank heavily after Presiident Kennedy died. He calls them "wasted years". Now he faces his loss of Mrs Kennedy and he cries without shame,
When Mr Hill learn that baby Patrick has died. He wants to breakdown, but he cannot.
I really enjoyed the memories of time spent with Mrs. Kennedy. Clint Hill has a rare insight into what life was like for Jackie during her time as First Lady. He knows first-hand what happened in Dallas and the aftermath, maybe better than anyone else that's alive to tell about it.
Some reviews for this book talk about Clint being in love with Jackie. I suppose that's possible, but I think he just deeply cared about someone that he was very close to, someone he was to protect at all cost. I think you would almost have to have some kind of feelings for someone like that.
This is a good listen for someone interested in what things were like behind-the-scenes with the Kennedy's, someone wanting to know more about the assassination, and someone who is a fan of Jackie Kennedy. I would also recommend his book, Five Days in November. It is very detailed about the Dallas trip. It may be better to order in hardback or with the Kindle version, because there are many interesting pictures.
Having been in grade school when President Kennedy was assassinated, the event was impacting, yet so "far away" from my life. The Kennedy family has always held my interest. To listen to such an intimate and detailed story related to that was really quite captivating. It was a wonderfully endearing book.
The book gave me what I wanted - a closer look at Mrs. Kennedy's personality. And the author is clearly a little (maybe more than a little) in love with her. But for me, the surprising takeaway is just how immature and inconsiderate she was, and how insensitive and casually cruel the Born Rich can be towards people whose lives are dedicated to their service. I've been reading Kennedy biographies, and the more I read, the less I respect the Kennedy First Couple.
I enjoy listening to Audible books on my way to work as a psychiatric nurse! I am a fan of non-fiction; political and artist from film/stage
I enjoyed this book tremendously! it gives a wonderful and respectful portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy
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