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The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence Paperback – 15 Nov 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 427 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (15 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439192995
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439192993
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.6 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 526,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The Kennedy Detail 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 heart-rending aftermath. This extraordinary book is a moving, intimate portrait of dedication, courage, and loss. Full description

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ed Matson on 14 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
There is a recording on YouTube where the three authors are promoting their book in front of an audience at the museum on the 6th floor in Dealey Plaza. The presenter informs the audience that there will be a question and answer question session after he has finished the interview with them.
Like the book, nothing of new interest is revealed and the subsequent Q&A session doesn't have many questions from the audience. One of them asks Gerry Blaine if his game of golf has suffered since he's been promoting the book; another asks Lisa McCubbin if it's her first visit to Dealey Plaza.
GerryBlaine says that when the three shots rang out, Clint Hill sprinted to JFK's limo probably as fast as 15mph! He doesn't explain what they were all doing staying behind standing on the second car. He says no one could be blamed - good old Clint got there as fast as posssible. Yes they could ! They failed to protect their President. As bodyguards, they should have all been standing on President Kennedy's limo.
There was only one interesting question. They were told that a Dallas police officer with his gun drawn raced up the grassy knoll and confronted a man standing behind the picket fence. This man produced a secret service ID card and so the police officer let him go. Yet both Hill and Blaine had earlier said that there were no SS men on the ground in Dealey Plaza. Asked to explain who this SS man might be,they both just shrugged their shoulders.
All in all, quite disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Feedback68 on 25 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I didn't find this book to be a particularly great read and thats possibly my own fault as the previous three books I have read which involved Pres. Kennedy, Frederick Kempes "Berlin 1961", Jim Rasenbergers "The Brilliant Disaster" and Michael Dobbs "One Minute To Midnight", are, although completely different topics, brilliantly produced, professionally delivered for all intents and purposes historical accounts.

This book claims that the agents "Break Their Silence!!" in that they have not spoken since 1963, as if the Warren Commission, various interviews, and several other books never happened in the intervening years.

Some of the quotations from the agents regarding various conversations from 1963 are recorded here in an almost childish manner.
Like regarding a motorcade in Florida where Blaine asks another agent "If you've got any connection with the man upstairs we'd love to have it be pouring with rain next Monday".
To which Agent Peppers laughed saying I'll see what I can do. But remember this is Florida the sunshine state. I wouldn't count on it". In other words the Agents had their heads screwed on when it came to Kennedy's car either having or not having the hardtop raised, just to let the reader know.

Or "Hey Jer, Arnie gave me the name of a good Cuban restaurant not too far from here. Are you up for some local culture?" 'Sure that sounds super" Blaine said. "I just realized I didn't have lunch".

The chapter on Dallas doesn't really reveal any new information or revealing facts that hasn't been recorded a million times before.

The whole book is littered with bland verbal interactions between agents like how tired they were or how hot or cold the weather was.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Perry on 23 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
As you may have noticed from Amazon US, the reviews of this book are all over the place. Some liked it, others did not. I'm in the latter category.

This problem isn't, as some have claimed, that this book was written in the third person by a first-person source, Gerald Blaine. That's explained in the Introduction. It's that the book bears little evidence of having been written by someone with Blaine's background in security and technology. It gushes, it emotes, and it burdens readers with overabundance of trivial detail like travel writers. And, judging by her website, that is precisely what the "with author," Lisa McCubbin typically does for a living. It isn't hard to conclude that she was not the person who should have written this book.

That's unfortunate, because it could have been an important resource for historians for generations to come. Numerous interviews were conducted with the agents involved, but what we learn from them is the clothes they wore, the food they ate, and their feelings at particular moments. That's the stuff of travelogues but not of serious history.

Even worse, at critical points in the narrative the author seems unaware of the historical significance of what is taking place. One example is the clash that takes place between the local medical examiner and Secret Service agents over what is to be done with the President's body. Her focus isn't on what matters, the serious blunders that were being made by removing the President's body and limousine from the scene of the crime, it's on what Jacqueline Kennedy may have been feeling at that particular moment.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Barry Ryder on 7 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a long time in coming - almost half a century, but it's arrival is a most welcome addition to the accurate, historical record.

Written by a man who was part of the Kennedy Detail for that fateful trip to Texas, the reader can have confidence that his recollections are honest and reliable.
Indeed, Clint Hill provides the forward to the book and, is featured prominently throughout. If Blaine's account is good enough for Clint Hill, it's good enough for me.

Blaine's own story is interwoven with the reminiscences of his colleagues who, along with him, were responsible for presidential security.

A recurring theme is that of the conflict between the political need for JFK's maximum exposure and the Secret Service's duty of maximum protection. It was a circle that could never be squared.

The reader is afforded a rare insight into the Secret Service and its men whose dedication to the job exacted a high price on them, their families and their lives. Nine-to-five it was not.

Blaine is ably assisted by Lisa McCubbin whose journalistic skill propels the narrative along toward the horrors of Dallas and beyond.

For readers who are genuinely interested in the JFK assassination and those whose careers and lives were forever changed by it, Blaine's book is required reading.

Barry
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