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on 14 November 2013
FIRST CLASS BOOK .Telling the day today problems of trying to protect the President .Very good account of what the protectors saw and heard at the moment of the shooting . Very well written and easy to follow . A classic of its kind the authors can be proud of the book . I would recommend this book to everyone .
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“The Kennedy Detail” is the story of the men who guarded President John F. Kennedy and his family during their White House years. It is the story of the challenges, the threats, the successes, failures and lives of the men who made up the detail. It is not a tell all insight into sordid details about the lives of its protectees.

Although focusing on the road to Dallas, it does include the easy relationships between protectors and protected, with a bit of humour thrown in, such as when the President told one agent “I hear you did not vote for me” and then laughed as he walked away. After the Service’s greatest failure, it follows the men as they transitioned to a new president, a former first lady and, for some of them, new lives and occupations.

The examination of Dallas begins the realization that the 1964 campaign was beginning in Florida and Texas in November 1963. The long motorcades and presidential instructions to keep the men off the running boards set the stage for the tragedy when the President, riding in an unprotected car, was just out of reach of the men who might have been able to save his life. This story is told from the agents’ perspective and defends their record. Conspiracy theories are raised only to be disproven. I believe its facts to be accurate and, if they are, they provide an enlightening insight into the task of defending President Kennedy and an appreciation for the efforts made by the men of “The Kennedy Detail.”
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on 18 May 2017
Complete Bunk written by apologists for the CA/Dulles Commission. Even attempts to say the Secret Service were not out drinking the night before the assassination a fact accepted by the Dulles Commission and the Head of the Secret Service (Rowley) in the so called Warren report. The book is riddled with inaccuracy from start to finish.
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on 7 November 2010
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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on 23 November 2010
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. McCubbin, whose adoration of the Kennedy's leaves her less than objective at times, seems unaware that in every other crime the victim's family simply have to cope with what criminal investigations require. Many of the conspiracies theories, which McCubbin clumsily dismisses near the end of the book, were born out of those blunders.

Finally, like others, I feel this book reads all too much like something that might have been written for Woman's Day magazine circa 1965. This book, in which "JFK's Secret Service Agents Break their Silience" contains almost nothing that those agents needed to be silent about. No one cares what they had for breakfast on that fateful day, and the details of the motorcade in which they participated have been known for decades. Others have described how the morale of JFK's Secret Service agents were destroyed by his pathological womanizing, which required unknown women to be smuggled into the White House or his hotel room at strange hours. But you will find not a word about that here. In this bit of romantic fiction, JFK was an ideal father in a storybook marriage. Lisa McCubbin didn't have to dwell on that sordid side of the Kennedy Presidency. But she should have at least shown us she was aware of it and discussed those aspects of it that were relevant to his Secret Service protection.

In short, this book fails to deliver on its promises.

--Michael W. Perry, editor of Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements that Led to Nazism and World War II
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on 6 December 2015
Gerald Blaine, Lisa McCubbin and Clint Hill (who drank the night before the assassination) should all be ashamed of themselves for this wretched travesty of a book. The work includes totally invented statements for a meeting that never existed! The current reviewer interviewed and corresponded with many former agents who made statements that were the polar opposite of what is being espoused in this "blame-the-victim" tripe. These interviews took place years BEFORE this book saw the light of day. In fact, the only reason this book was written was to attempt to counter the work of the present reviewer and his book SURVIVOR'S GUILT: THE SECRET SERVICE AND THE FAILURE TO PROTECT PRESIDENT KENNEDY.

President Kennedy did NOT order the agents to do anything and the inactions of the agents in Dallas cost the nation its beloved president. These authors have made much money peddling prevarications for profit (with a FOURTH book coming out in 2016); disgraceful.

Highly NOT recommended.
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on 1 April 2011
I was really looking forward to this book but was disappointed. You can tell that they really cared for JFK and felt that they could of done more to prevent the assassination. But it seems to me that they wanted to paint JFK as some sort of saint when the evidence proves otherwise. IE the drugs, and all the affairs. The book give the impression that you if you believe there was a conspiracy then you are wrong because they were there. I would appreciated it if this book told the truth about JFK as a whole, not selected bits. Ps I am a great admirer of JFK warts and all. GP
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on 25 June 2012
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. They were thinly stretched, they had to pay for their own suits and it just wasn't fair. Kenny O'Donnell and Dave Powers had them running everywhere.

If you can borrow this from your library like I did, fine but I wouldn't pay 18 quid for it.
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on 8 December 2010
The title promised a lot. Unfortunately, the contents produced ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
These people had the opportunity to answer many important, critical questions about
that fateful event, but failed on a massive scale.
If you want to learn more about the Kennedy assassination, then avoid this!
Or maybe that is an important part of the jigsaw - the fact that they chose to ignore
any serious discussion about what really happened.
Doesn't this only draw attention to the fact that they are hiding something?
The conspiracies continue . . . . .
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on 16 February 2017
Great service. Very pleased.
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