Definitely a page turner of the nth degree. Clint and Lisa weave an insider's view of the Presidency as no one else can. Their crisp and readable prose makes this a fascinating and enjoyable book that is hard to put down. We all know about Clint's interaction with John and Jacqueline Kennedy but the anecdotes of the others he protected are priceless. This is all new material here. Tales of Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Agnew and Ford will keep you craving more. When you are finished you'll want Clint and Lisa to write a sequel with other historical gems too. Books like this are rare, informative and incredibly enjoyable to read. A winning combination!
If you want a detailed, intelligent, eloquent tale of presidential history read Clint Hill's "Five Presidents" which covers his 17 years in the Secret Service protecting occupants of the White House. From the days of Eisenhower, when security was far more casual than it would be after the assassination of JFK, to the Ford administration Mr Hill tells the stories which illuminate the lives of each leader in a thoughtful way. He allows us to see the human side, but keeps the anecdotes to the humorous/insightful, devoid of the trashy/speculative material so many "insiders" go to in order to boost sales. This is Clint Hill's story and it is peopled with all the names we have heard in the headlines, but on a human scale. He explains the passion Eisenhower had for golf but does not make it an attack on him. We learn about Lyndon Johnson from someone who walked right beside him daily. Of course there are more stories about Hill's years with Jacqueline Kennedy, a favored time of his career. And one is certain that Mrs Kennedy would approve the way he describes working with her and the president. Lisa McCubbin is the co-author of this book and it is clear that she has magnificently set the tone and voice with which it is written. Selecting the stories to tell and shaping the narration has resulted in a grand book, which will resonate with all interested in a life of service to his country. Bravo to both authors.
Clint Hill has done it again! This incredible book is a MUST READ for anyone with the slightest interest in history. Five Presidents is a rare window into the personalities and characters of five uniquely different presidents written by the Secret Service agent who was there not to judge them, but to protect them. He saw the strengths and weaknesses of these men as they wrestled with life and death decisions.
The 60’s and 70’s were extremely turbulent decades for America’s presidency and it was the only time in our history when five presidents in a row over a span of 20 years failed to serve two full terms -- due to assassination, protests over an unpopular war, threat of impeachment, pardon of his predecessor’s crimes, incompetence. And Clint Hill was there an arm’s length away.
There is no hearsay, no editorializing, no opinion, no political point of view--only what he saw and what he heard as history unfolded before his eyes, and you feel like you are right there with him. He was there for the birth of a son, the death of a son and was splattered with a president’s blood. He felt Lyndon’s hot breath and the poke of his finger as he bullied and intimidated those around him.
He portrays how these men spent their private time, their leisure time, and how they treated the people around them. He reveals what it was like to be with Ike on the golf course, how JFK loved to sail and truly seemed to care about his family, how LBJ treated guests at his ranch, how Nixon’s paranoia lead to his downfall, how Ford’s decency calmed the nation. He saw how Eisenhower was worshiped as a hero around the world.
Mr. Hill sacrificed his own life, marriage, fatherhood, and emotional health to protect these five presidents. He witnessed the joys, triumphs, agony, disappointment, human frailty, ego, lust for power, and facilitators of the most powerful person in the world.
Thank you, Clint Hill, for all that you have done and for sharing your story with us in Five Presidents.
While I was alive , though somewhat young in the early part of this book, I was reminded constantly the turmoil our country has gone through. This reads like a history book but with one big difference – this is a smooth and easy read and you cannot put it down. I highly recommend this book to you. I promise you won't find yourself yawning at any time . Also, as an added benefit , there are many fine and high-resolution photos included.
This is a fascinating look at history, as told by a man who was literally a step away from some of the most influential people of the 20th century. Mr. Hill's travels as a new Secret Service Agent with President Eisenhower, virtually spanning the globe; his time on the Kennedy Protective Detail; and his incredibly close association with Lyndon Johnson convey the sense of being right there with him as he dealt with the principals he was assigned to protect. I was quite taken with Mr. Hill's insights into the character of Richard Nixon - and his observations about Gerald Ford, the so-called "accidental president." Running through almost the entire narrative, however, are the events of that awful day in Dallas in 1963. In particular, Mr. Hill's torment over his inability to reach the President's vehicle in time to keep the fatal shot from reaching it's target. His recount of the feelings of guilt he carries with him left me with tears in my eyes.