Kessler portrays the dangers that agents face and how they carry out their missions---from how they are trained to how they spot and assess potential threats. With fly-on-the-wall perspective, he captures the drama and tension that characterize agents' lives. In this headline-grabbing book, Kessler discloses assassination attempts that have never before been revealed. He shares inside accounts of past assaults that have put the Secret Service to the test, including a heroic gun battle that took down the would-be assassins of Harry S. Truman, the devastating day that John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas, and the swift actions that saved Ronald Reagan after he was shot. While Secret Service agents are brave and dedicated, Kessler exposes how Secret Service management in recent years has betrayed its mission by cutting corners, risking the assassination of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their families. Given the lax standards, "It's a miracle we have not had a successful assassination," a current agent says. ,p>Since an assassination jeopardizes democracy itself, few agencies are as important as the Secret Service---and few subjects are as tantalizing as the inner sanctum of the White House. Only tight-lipped Secret Service agents know the real story, and Kessler is the only journalist to have won their trust.
©2009 Ronald Kessler; (P)2009 Tantor
Ok, so I normally don't read the reviews before downloading a new book but I wish I had in this case. From the very start I was turned off by this book.
I downloaded this book expecting to hear information and stories about the secret service and how they do their job. Instead it starts like a gossip column with dirty secrets about 2 past presidents. And continues to intermix private details of the president's life with the story. Also, a re-occurring theme of the book is all of the tasks that the secret service is tasked with but how it gets almost no money (and therefore no resources) to do the job. I'm sorry but after hearing this 2x in the book I lost any sympathy for the author's point of view. Who doesn’t deal with this on an almost daily basis in their job these days.
So again, skip this download and look for something less like a supermarket tabloid. If I find any good alternatives, I’ll update this review with them.
This book seems to be written as an "I knew it was going to happen" book. I thought the historical aspects of the department were interesting. It might have been better to put the editorial sections about "underfunding" the Secret Service rather than throughout the entire book. Not a very good read!!
I purchased this book expecting to learn how the secret service works, but all I learned was useless gossip and one sided opinions of the author. I did learn an important lesson, read other member reviews before purchasing. Most of the reviewers share my opinion regarding the book. The book contained very little actual history or a "behind the scene" look at the secret service. I wish I could return this download, at least I can delete it and warn others before they make the same mistake.
I would have been happy with either "gossipy" information or legitimate, interesting, hard-to-find facts about our presidents. What I found, however, was a letdown. I tried to stay interested but just heard about the evolution of the secret service over time mostly. Disappointed.
The reader had a whiny voice and the text was too self deprecating (personally aggrandizing) to be fully credible. There were some very good points but FAR too repetitive.
I guess I shouldn't have expected much from Kessler based on his other tomes but this book was really a disappointment. Reads like the diary of a petulant child, full of complaints, juvenile prose and commentary from "a current agent". Funny at times, annoying most. Give it a pass....
I have never written a review before but this book compelled me to do so. It is clearly my least favorite book, and the biggest waste of time, of the nearly 100 audio books I've listened to. With it's Jerry Springer-like quality, there is little to recommend about it. It's hard to know whether I disliked the material or the narrator more. Okay, there was one good thing: the book is thankfully short, if otherwise repetitious.
This was quite a let down. I was expecting an in depth and captivating read but instead endured a salacious kiddie pool of a book filled with excitable gossip and unsubstantiated drivel.
If you are a right wing conservative it will right up your alley.
How can the Democratic Presidents of the last 50 years all be so horrible to work for and Republicans all be so sweet and accommodating.
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