The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence

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The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence

Format:  Paperback,

427 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publish Date: Nov 2011

ISBN-13: 9780199734757

ISBN-10: 0199734755

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
THE SECRET SERVICE. An elite team of men who share a single mission: to protect the president of the United States. On November 22, 1963, these men failed--and a country would never be the same. Now, for the first time, a member of JFK's Secret Service detail reveals the inside story of the assassination, the weeks and days that led to it and its heartrending aftermath. This extraordinary book is a moving, intimate portrait of dedication, courage, and loss.
Drawing on the memories of his fellow agents, Jerry Blaine captures the energetic, crowd-loving young president, who banned agents from his car and often plunged into raucous crowds with little warning. He describes the careful planning that went into JFK's Texas swing, the worries and concerns that agents, working long hours with little food or rest, had during the trip. And he describes the intensely private first lady making her first-ever political appearance with her husband, just months after losing a newborn baby.
Here are vivid scenes that could come only from inside the Kennedy detail: JFK's last words to his tearful son when he left Washington for the last time; how a sudden change of weather led to the choice of the open-air convertible limousine that day; Mrs. Kennedy standing blood-soaked outside a Dallas hospital room; the sudden interruption of six-year-old Caroline's long-anticipated sleepover with a friend at home; the exhausted team of agents immediately reacting to the president's death with a shift to LBJ and other key governmental figures; the agents' dismay at Jackie's decision to walk openly from the White House to St. Matthew's Cathedral at the state funeral.
Most of all, this is a look into the lives of men who devoted their entire beings to protecting the presidential family: the stress of the secrecy they kept, the emotional bonds that developed, the terrible impact on agents' psyches and families, and their astonishment at the country's obsession with far-fetched conspiracy theories and finger-pointing. A book fifty years in coming, "The Kennedy Detail "is a portrait of incredible camaraderie and incredible heartbreak--a true, must-read story of heroism in its most complex and human form.
***
A medic burst out of the trauma room, and instinctively Clint Hill took a step toward Mrs. Kennedy. "He's still breathing," the man said as he rushed past. Mrs. Kennedy stood up. "Do you mean he may live?" she asked.

No one answered.

Kellerman handed the phone back to Hill and rushed back into the trauma room.
"Clint, what happened?" Jerry Behn asked earnestly.
"Shots fired during the motorcade," Clint said as he kept an eye on Mrs. Kennedy across the hall. "It all happened so fast. We were five minutes away from the Trade Mart. . . . The situation is critical. Jerry, prepare for the worst. . . ."

The operator cut into the line, "Attorney General Robert Kennedy wants to talk to Agent Hill."

"What's going on down there? " Bobby Kennedy demanded.
"Shots fired during the motorcade," Clint repeated. "The president is very seriously injured. They're working on him now. Governor Connally was hit too."

"Well, what do you mean, seriously injured? How serious?"

Clint swallowed hard. It was all he could do to keep it together. "It's as bad as it can get."
--From "The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence"

Specifications

:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: Nov 2011
ISBN-13: 9781439192993
ISBN-10: 1439192995
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 427
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.15
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.25

Chapter outline

Prologue
Foreword
Introduction: When Time Stood Still
The Men
On the Detail
The President-Elect Detail
The Threats
The Advance
The Risks
The First Lady's Detail
The Job
The Summer of '63
The Reelection Campaign
Rising Tensions
Texas
That Day
The Final Hours
Six Seconds in Dallas
Breakdown
The Unimaginable
Darkness Falls
No Time for Tears
Burial
Our Lives
The End of Camelot
The Johnson Detail
The Pendulum Falls
The Verdict
Confronting Conspiracies
Clint Hill: Witness to History
Clint Hill: Don't Call Me Hero
Epilogue
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations and Code Names
Index

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2010-10-29)

Almost a half-century after the JFK assassination, Blaine, a member of Kennedy's Secret Service detail, describes how he and his colleagues tried to protect Kennedy that day under impossible circumstances. Blaine describes how JFK did not want agents near his car in the Dallas motorcade so he could be close to the crowd, which made him an easy target for lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald. With journalist McCubbin, Blaine, who resigned from the Secret Service in 1964, has written this compelling book in the third person because it is the story of the 34-member detail; however, much of the book focuses on the author and Clint Hill, the agent assigned to protect First Lady Jackie Kennedy. This book is Blaine's rebuttal to what he says is the outrageous maligning of the Secret Service, especially in Abraham Bolden's The Echo from Dealey Plaza, which charges the agents with drinking and carousing.

Verdict: This account will create controversy as it denies all conspiracy theories about who shot President Kennedy. It is an important contribution to Kennedy assassination literature for its presentation in riveting detail from the agents' perspective and descriptions of the lifelong emotional burden the agents endured when their best efforts were not enough.

-Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

THE SECRET SERVICE. An elite team of men who share a single mission: to protect the president of the United States. On November 22, 1963, these men failed—and a country would never be the same. Now, for the first time, a member of JFK’s Secret Service detail reveals the inside story of the assassination, the weeks and days that led to it and its heartrending aftermath. This extraordinary book is a moving, intimate portrait of dedication, courage, and loss.

Drawing on the memories of his fellow agents, Jerry Blaine captures the energetic, crowd-loving young president, who banned agents from his car and often plunged into raucous crowds with little warning.

He describes the careful planning that went into JFK’s Texas swing, the worries and concerns that agents, working long hours with little food or rest, had during the trip. And he describes the intensely private first lady making her first-ever political appearance with her husband, just months after losing a newborn baby.

Here are vivid scenes that could come only from inside the Kennedy detail: JFK’s last words to his tearful son when he left Washington for the last time; how a sudden change of weather led to the choice of the open-air convertible limousine that day; Mrs. Kennedy standing blood-soaked outside a Dallas hospital room; the sudden interruption of six-year-old Caroline’s long-anticipated sleepover with a friend at home; the exhausted team of agents immediately reacting to the president’s death with a shift to LBJ and other key governmental figures; the agents’ dismay at Jackie’s decision to walk openly from the White House to St. Matthew’s Cathedral at the state funeral.

Most of all, this is a look into the lives of men who devoted their entire beings to protecting the presidential family: the stress of the secrecy they kept, the emotional bonds that developed, the terrible impact on agents’ psyches and families, and their astonishment at the country’s obsession with far-fetched conspiracy theories and finger-pointing. A book fifty years in coming, The Kennedy Detail is a portrait of incredible camaraderie and incredible heartbreak—a true, must-read story of heroism in its most complex and human form.

***

A medic burst out of the trauma room, and instinctively Clint Hill took a step toward Mrs. Kennedy. “He’s still breathing,” the man said as he rushed past. Mrs. Kennedy stood up. “Do you mean he may live?” she asked.

No one answered.

Kellerman handed the phone back to Hill and rushed back into the trauma room.

“Clint, what happened?” Jerry Behn asked earnestly.

“Shots fired during the motorcade,” Clint said as he kept an eye on Mrs. Kennedy across the hall. “It all happened so fast. We were five minutes away from the Trade Mart... The situation is critical. Jerry, prepare for the worst... ”

The operator cut into the line, “Attorney General Robert Kennedy wants to talk to Agent Hill.”

“What’s going on down there?!” Bobby Kennedy demanded.

“Shots fired during the motorcade,” Clint repeated. “The president is very seriously injured. They’re working on him now. Governor Connally was hit too.”

“Well, what do you mean, seriously injured? How serious?”

Clint swallowed hard. It was all he could do to keep it together. “It’s as bad as it can get.”

—From The Kennedy Detail: JFK’s Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence

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