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Five Days in November Hardcover – November 19, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
What this book—whose contents we've waited 50 years for—lacks in artistry, it makes up for in immediacy. Hill was one of the Secret Service agents beside J.F.K.'s car at the time of his assassination, and he managed to clamber onto the trunk in an attempt to protect the chief executive and his wife. Hill continues to feel guilty over the president's death. His account offers new, minute details of the events in Dallas and Washington, D.C., immediately before and after J.F.K.'s death. Sometimes those details are unnecessary and his precise recollection of them seems difficult to believe. But the book's photographs—some rare, some probably never seen before—are a particular strength. Astonishingly, however, none of them is captioned, nor are any of the locations, figures, or events in them identified. This inexplicable omission is unlikely to dent the book's appeal to aficionados of the period. But for those less knowledgeable about the Camelot era and its tragic end, the lack of captions represents a lost opportunity. (Nov.)
"A riveting, stunning narrative...among hundreds of books about the assassination, this is the most compelling because Hill lived it." (Herald-Review)
"With clear and honest prose free of salaciousness and gossip, Hill (ably assisted by McCubbin) evokes not only a personality both beautiful and brilliant, but also a time when the White House was filled with youth and promise. Of the many words written about Jacqueline Kennedy, these are among the best." (Kirkus starred review of Mrs Kennedy and Me)
"[Mrs. Kennedy and Me] conveys a sense of honesty and proves to be an insightful and lovingly penetrating portrait of the Jacqueline Kennedy that Hill came to know.” (USA Today (3 1/2 stars))
"Talk about being unable to put a book down; I was enthralled with this memoir from start to finish." (Liz Smith on Mrs. Kennedy and Me)
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Top Customer Reviews
All of the other books about the assassination must use secondary sources or rumors. That is not the case in “Five Days in November” because Clint Hill was there as shown in many of the photos. He succinctly describes exactly what he saw and the narrative tracks the many photos so closely that there is no need for captions. His narration gives meaning to iconic photos as well as images never seen before.
It is rare indeed for such a dramatic and important historical event to be described fifty years later in such exquisite detail by a witness to the event. The writing is tight, crisp, straightforward and unflinching without an agenda. So many minute details are revealed for the first time such that the reader seems to be carried along on the fateful trip. The emotions that we felt then seem to come back in full force. The story is highly readable even though we know the ending and wish it could be different.
Thank you Mr. Hill for sharing with us what you saw. Even though it must have been difficult for you to relive those five days, this book is an important contribution to the historical record. Everyone should read this book whether you are old enough to have experienced the horror and grief or young enough to only know about it second hand.
Mr. Hill is first, last, and always a Secret Service agent trained to look and remember details; and his recollection’s, I am sure, are right on target. Most of us, and I am including the person who represent’s Publisher’s Weekly, might forget where we left our keys, etc., but this is a trained agent who eyes record all that he sees and in such a horrific situation I am sure those memories never dim as evident by his book.
The detail is extraordinary; leaving the White House, flying to Texas, the motorcade, Dallas, Parkland Hospital, Love Field, the flight back to Washington, Bethesda, and then the funeral. One part in particular stands out as it did that day I watched the ceremonies at Arlington. I remember that beautiful plane, Air Force One, make a long and low swept over the grave as the mourners stood watching and then, in a instance, tipping its wing. I remember that part so vividly for I started crying and Mr. Hill recaps that in his book with the same feelings I was experiencing.
As for, “. . . the lack of captions represents a lost opportunity,” I find that interesting; the pictures come right before and after the subject matter discussed. All-in-all this is an exceptional book by a man whose memories are as vivid as if it had happened yesterday. Mr. Hill takes the reader with him into a world not seen by those who watched it unfold on television. He was Mrs. Kennedy’s Secret Service agent, assigned to protect, with his life if necessary, and on that faithful day he tried to protect her husband, the President.
Not only do I recommend this book but also Mr. Hill’s other book, “Mrs. Kennedy and Me.” So much innocence was lost that day along with the dreams. I hope that somewhere in the years ahead Mr. Hill will know that as a nation and as one of its citizen we are eternally grateful for his service and the protection of one of our national treasures, Mrs. Kennedy. Thank you Mr. Hill!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An easy and fascinating read.