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The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents Hardcover – August 5, 2014


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Frequently Bought Together

The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents + In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect + Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum (August 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804139210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804139212
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ronald Kessler is the New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets of the FBI, In the President's Secret Service, and The CIA at War. A former Wall Street Journal and Washington Post investigative reporter, Kessler has won eighteen journalism awards, including two George Polk awards, one for national reporting and one for community service. He was named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine. Kessler lives in Potomac, Maryland with his wife, Pamela Kessler.

More About the Author

Ronald Kessler is the New York Times bestselling author of 20 non-fiction books about the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA.

Kessler began his career as a journalist in 1964 on the Worcester Telegram, followed by three years as an investigative reporter and editorial writer with the Boston Herald. In 1968, he joined the Wall Street Journal as a reporter in the New York bureau. He became an investigative reporter with the Washington Post in 1970 and continued in that position until 1985.

Kessler's latest book is "The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents."

Kessler has won eighteen journalism awards, including two George Polk awards--for national reporting and for community service. Kessler has also won the American Political Science Association's Public Affairs Reporting Award, the Associated Press' Sevellon Brown Memorial Award, and Washingtonian magazine's Washingtonian of the Year award. Franklin Pierce University awarded him the Marlin Fitzwater Medallion for excellence as a prolific author, journalist, and communicator. He is listed in Who's Who in America.

Ron Kessler lives with his wife Pamela Kessler in the Washington, D.C. area. Also an author and former Washington Post reporter, Pam Kessler wrote "Undercover Washington: Where Famous Spies Lived, Worked and Loved." His daughter Rachel Kessler, a public relations executive, and son Greg Kessler, an artist, live in New York.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#23 in Books > History
#23 in Books > History

Customer Reviews

Easy read and certainly very interesting.
Paul A. Franco
I could go on but will only say that perhaps the book will come to the attention of the proper people but I doubt it.
Amazon Customer
It seemed to be a compilation of another book.
Roberta Hardy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Testy Tim on August 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Since others have prominently noted that this book is very similar to one of Kessler's earlier works, I will say this is my first exposure.

Content:
Although I lean conservative, I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I was eager to read this book because it interests me how the 'anointed' really live their lives. Opposite my expectation, I did not get the impression that this book's sole purpose was to bash one political party or the other. For example, the Obamas are generally portrayed in a favorable light, but not all good. The same is true of the Bush family. I do believe the author reported accurately what the Secret Service agents revealed to him. It seems that the book has two purposes. First, to expose the true character of our elected officials. And second, to expose how the Secret Service management makes bad decisions which ultimately puts protectee lives in danger. Not that it was wrong, or bad, but one thing that did not grab my interest were the parts that delved into the inner workings of the Secret Service.

Style:
This is mostly an easy read. However, in a couple of places in the book the author follows a couple of rabbit trails and then abruptly snaps back to the original subject. I found that to be hard to follow and a bit frustrating, which is why I took one of the stars away.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, and learned a few things. What more could you ask for? I will be recommending this book to my friends.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review is a little tough to write… so I hope potential readers/purchasers of this book read more than the first sentence or two. I have read a number of this author’s books… and like his style and his content. But there lies the rub… one of his books that I read was “In The President’s Secret Service”… and I not only read it… but I reviewed it… on May 5, 2009. This review that you’re now reading… is the six-hundred-thirteenth… that I’ve written and posted on Amazon. It so happens that the highest rated review I ever had out of the prior six-hundred-twelve… was “In The President’s Secret Service”… which as of this date… I have received four-hundred-twenty-four positive votes for. The reason I have written this preamble… is for credibility… when I tell you… that… though it’s well written… and entertaining… it is “vastly” similar to his prior aforementioned book. I feel bad pointing this out… since the author provided me with such enjoyment in the earlier book… but I feel I owe it to potential buyers… since if the roles were reversed… I would hope for the same honest interpretation… so I would have the opportunity to make an informed decision.

I feel the author would have better served potential readers… if he released this book under the banner… “NEWLY UPDATED AND REVISED” “THE PRESIDENT’S SECRET SERVICE”… then new readers could of course judge it on its own merits as a first time read… and people who read the original one five years ago could make a personal educated decision whether they wanted to invest their time and money in an updated version of what they read before.

I hope this helps potential readers.

P.S. There are some great quotes and situations in this book… but instead of rewriting them here… you can just look at my detailed “first-read” review posted over five years ago.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Charles Wimer III on August 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
After reading other reviews, I noticed this book has come under tremendous scrutiny for being an update to the authors first book on the secret service. Let me say, I didn't read that book and my review is strictly based on this title. I found The First Family Detail to be very informative on the dynamics of the Secret Service. I found it to also be very entertaining with respects given to the politicians that the Secret Service provides protection to -- some of which is humorous and confirms public perception. The balance of the intertwines of the Secret Service and the thought provoking coverage to our politicians and there families is 50/50. Personally, I would have rather had more of the later. I'd give this one a solid 4 stars and I will long remember some of the contents during the upcoming 2016 election because I'm sure some of the personalities covered in this book will be key figures during the election.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Vince Palamara on August 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Kessler's latest book is a very good tabloid style volume that borrows from his previous books, Clint Hill's books, Dan Emmett's book, and my book, among others. Well written and put together, Kessler will make a mint yet again. Bravo for him! Definitely worth your time.

Vince Palamara
Author of "Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & the Failure to Protect President Kennedy"
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 5, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic book. First I've read by the author but I found the writing style engaging and the coverage of the personal and professional lives as seen by the agents of Presidents and their families to be even handed and fair. The description of the politicization of the agency and the downward spiral of standards and ethics is shocking but not too surprising as it's simply another symptom of the disease.
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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful By anon on August 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good book, however it is 95% a carbon copy of Kessler's book "In the President's Secret Service." If you have read that already, you are only gaining stories about Joe Biden swimming nude in front of female agents and how he wastes millions of dollars flying back and forth from Washington to Delaware multiple times a day.
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