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Publisher's Summary

A rare and fascinating portrait of the American presidency from the number-one New York Times best-selling author of Mrs. Kennedy and Me and Five Days in November.

Secret Service agent Clint Hill brings history intimately and vividly to life as he reflects on his 17 years protecting the most powerful office in the nation. Hill walked alongside Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford, seeing them through a long, tumultuous era - the Cold War; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy; the Vietnam War; Watergate; and the resignations of Spiro Agnew and Richard M. Nixon.

Some of his stunning, never-before-revealed anecdotes include:

  • Eisenhower's reaction to Russian prime minister Khrushchev's refusal to talk following the U-2 incident
  • The torture of watching himself in the Zapruder film in a Secret Service training
  • Johnson's virtual imprisonment in the White House during violent anti-Vietnam protests
  • His decision to place White House files under protection after a midnight phone call about Watergate
  • The challenges of protecting Ford after he pardoned Nixon

With a unique insider's perspective, Hill sheds new light on the characters and personalities of these five presidents, revealing their humanity in the face of grave decisions.

©2016 Hill McCubbin, LLC. (P)2016 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Lynn
  • Georgia
  • 05-08-16

Narration flawed by mispronunciation.

As one who was glued to the television during the Watergate hearings, I was distracted from the story by the narrator who didn't bother to find out the correct pronunciation of the names of people and places.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating Journey

As a book that traces the history of the major political events of my lifetime, I found this to be a fascinating journal of one secret service agent's extraordinary eyewitness account of what went on to protect the president of the United States from the 1950's through the 1970's. For me it humanized each of the presidents and have me an even higher regard for the men and women whose jobs it is to protect our nation's leaders, even at the risk of their lives.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • COLUMBIA, MO, United States
  • 05-21-16

True American Hero

With the previous excellent books by Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin detailing his experiences with JFK it is interesting to hear about his service with the other presidents, as well as a more in depth look at his life after the Secret Service. The only negative is George Newbern's sometimes bland reading and occasional mispronunciations, though that does not diminish the impact of this true American hero's story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rosemary
  • Greenwich, CT, United States
  • 05-17-16

A real drag of a book that should have been terrific

What an opportunity! Serving five of the most vivid Presidents in recent history. Watching them up close and personally.
Clint Hill, loyal and ever mum about anything interesting or new, writes like a Danny do-good fifth grader. The book is narrated by a voice that sounds right out of a high school public speaking class.
Hill's choice of travelogue adjectives on a 15 country tour with Ike is so cliche ridden I had stop the narration. You could go to sleep bored to tears by these squeaky clean, tell-nothing pair! What a shame. A chance of a lifetime drowned in cliches!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Interesting, but....

There were some very interesting insights into the various presidents. And some rather entertaining/spellbinding incidents that occurred. But the book could have been reduced by at least a third and possibly more by cutting out the endless references to time spent away from his family, the technical designation of the presidential limousines, the size of the crowds, and how they constantly relied on local assistance.
I wound up having to put the book down because I got so tired of the endless repetition of details.
A pity, because parts of the book were quite fascinating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Tremendous!

This book was excellent. I love presidential history but am always a little skeptical of someone claiming to have insider information. I thought Clint Hill did a very good job of telling a very interesting story through his eyes without sensationalizing the details. I listened to this book on a long drive and found the hours flying by.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting

I thought the book was quite interesting. It did not go as much into the personality of the presidents he protected as I wanted but it is a very interesting look at the day-to-day life of a Secret Service agent

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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amazing story

I loved this book! Well constructed. I learned so much about the personalities of these presidents as well as the events that defined them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Incredible perspective on the US presidency

Who else but a Secret Service agent sees the inner workings of the White House on a daily basis? Clint Hill shares his experiences as part of various protective details and as an administrator setting policy for the agency. For anyone who would like to learn more about this branch of law enforcement and/or the subject presidencies, this book should be required reading. Important events in history come to life from a unique point of view. I highly recommend.

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Very insightful and worthy of our attention.

I had no expectations. I am a sucker for a personal life story and this one was a pleasant surprise. I enjoyed the journey through history. I loved that he didn’t overstep his boundaries. For example, while working with Mrs. Kennedy and Vice President Agnew, he didn’t try to focus on President Kennedy and President Nixon, respectively. He kept it honest. Worth 14 hours of your life to listen to his.

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  • Suzy
  • 10-13-17

Informative biography - bit on the dry side

The book was interesting. It's a biography of Clint Hill through his time in the secret service for the period covered by 5 presidents. I was interested to hear how he was recruited & bits about his family but there wasn't enough of this personal insight for me. With his first president he travelled a lot but didn't see much with one quick stop after another on tour. The period covering the Kennedy years & LBJ was most interesting but it lacked an emotional punch. Apparently there are other books devoted to this period. Overall interesting to learn about a world I'm not familiar with, how protection works (or used to) and to draw your own comparisons to how different things must be today. Excellent narration too, although a little monotone at times made me nod off!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-02-17

Love Clint Hill

Excellent audiobook. Compelling inside track on a turbulent time in US history. Easy to listen to and lacks the boredom factor of UK politics. Highly recommended.

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  • Di
  • 02-28-17

History as it happened

I listened to Mrs Kennedy and Me and found that to be so very interesting. This book really brings home how much dedication to duty there is. All the different Presidential egos to deal with.
The service really does go above and beyond. Clint Hill has seen it all.

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  • francesca
  • 11-08-16

Well worth a listen!

I was sad when this book ended. It's was very interesting to learn about the back stage life of the people who lived and worked at the White House. If you like modern history you'll love this!

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  • Eoin
  • 05-20-16

Fascinating glimpse behind the scenes

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. It offers a unique perspective on the men behind the presidency, along with the development of the secret service.

While, the book started a little slow, with the section on the tours of the Eisenhower administration feeling drawn out, from Kennedy on, the later sections were engrossing. You cant help but marvel at the huge number of historic moments Hill observed through his career.

Lastly, the narration was excellent. I am very happy to recommend the book.

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  • josh
  • 06-27-16

Behind the scenes of the guy who protected the most powerful men in the world

He's journey from a normal agent to the presidential detail is phenomenal and his rise through the ranks .
Amazing insight into the Jfk assassination

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • William Bulloch
  • 07-01-16

Outstanding!

This is the best audiobook I have ever read. If you have even the slightest interest in any of the 5 US presidents from Eisenhower to Ford then this is a must read. Full credit to the narrator George Newbern who's voice seemed to take me back in time to the 1960's.

Clint Hill as a member of the secret service has done a great service in writing this book. It makes you realize the great sacrifices that these agents make for their job.