Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Standing Next to History: An Agent's Life Inside the Secret Service Paperback – February 21, 2006
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the AuthorsDiscover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.
Top Customer Reviews
From the opening pages, this work is a dignified account of a solemn duty, and the reader can sense that Mr. Petro took his charge with the utmost of seriousness. There is not one ounce of sanctimony in his tenor. He considered each assignment a sacred duty to protect, whether they were friend (Ronald Reagan) or foe (Arafat), whether he agreed with them politically (Dan Quayle, or The Pope), or not.
What I love about this book is that Joseph Petro does not spend close to 300 pages patting himself on the back, displaying faux modesty making statements such as "I don't consider myself a hero." He's honest without being mawkishly sentimental (such as what one can see daily on Oprah).
A subplot to this book harkens the reader back to a time when our leaders displayed a respect for the office they held, and carried themselves with a dignity that was commensurate with that office. In picture after picture you see this dignity reflected in the posture and demeanor of Joe Petro.
This book is not only a tribute to the many courageous men and women of The Secret Service, it is also a tribute to the fine American who shared his life as he stood next to history: Agent Joseph Petro.
This is not a comprehensive review of the Secret Service's history, mission, or place in society. Petro delivers, with ghost writer Jeff Robinson, a highly readable yet never schmaltzy account of his many years as an active Secret Service agent protecting some of the highest-profile people in modern history and, moreover, occupying a "fly on the wall" position during such famous negotiations as Reagan and Gorbuchevs' in Geneva that eventually led to the Berlin Wall coming down. Even then-Secretary of State George Schultz was not present at some of these negotiations!
Petro dispels a few myths, including the old adage that Secret Service agents are supposed to take a bullet for the President, and really shows us how methodical and determined agents are at serving their protectees, such as when Petro alters the Popemobile to make it easier for the agent seated in front to craw into the bubblespace behind.
He also shows us a side of the people he has protected without seeming like a prying paparazzi or that he is passing judgment. For example, he was assigned to Nelson Rockefeller when he was VP to Gerald Ford. Petro tells an amusing anecdote of Rockefeller trying to dial the White House switchboard and telling them "It's the Vice President, please put me through to the President" but subsequently the phone is cut off. Petro informs poor Rockefeller that he has a direct line to the President, he does not need to use the public telephone network!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book gives great insight into the life of a Secret Service agent assigned to Presidential protection duties. Read morePublished 2 months ago by jm1971
I found this very informative. I felt as the author sat across from me relating his story. Nicely done.Published 4 months ago by pidge
Very good book I think at the time this was the only book written about protection and about the secret service and of course others have followed suit so the author is the... Read morePublished 5 months ago by jlbjr
A must read for anyone searching for a poignant look at the human side of the secret service mixed with the anecdotes of the people they protect.Published 8 months ago by marshall berman
kept my interest was nice to remember some of history when I was a teenPublished 9 months ago by J Cosgrove
Great read, recommend the book for people who love American history. Up close with details on the life and times of the Secret Service.Published 10 months ago by Jonathan Keith Daniels
This gentleman wrote it like it is, but he was very matter of fact rather than abrasive. He did not short change any of his clients who deserved compliments either, and there were... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Joan Rodriguez