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Hunting the President: Threats, Plots and Assassination Attempts--From FDR to Obama Hardcover – April 14, 2014

3.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I picked up this book, boy, it's fascinating!" - Eric Bolling, Hannity

"Readers who pick up Hunting the President will take away much they didn't know before about many who've stalked presidents with murder in mind." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Editorial Writer Alan Wallace

"I love the book...it's a great read." - Peter Boyles, The Peter Boyles Show

"The stories behind (attempts on the president's lives) are really interesting. [Hunting The President] is a really fascinating book." - Janet Mefferd, The Janet Mefferd Show.

"(Mel Ayton) has done a lot of research. It's a fascinating book...a terrific story." - Rob Schilling, The Schilling Show

“The only book of its kind and certainly the best book of its kind...A fascinating and very important book which I heartily recommend... it’s easy to figure out why Mel Ayton’s writing has drawn nearly universal praise in the past and for his present volume Hunting The President... Even for people who know American history; even for people who have a special expertise in the history of presidential assassinations; you’re going to learn a great deal from (this) new book.” - Michael Medved, The Michael Medved Show

About the Author

Mel Ayton received his master's degree in history from Durham University, is a former Fulbright Teacher, deputy headmaster, and college lecturer, and lives in County Durham, England. He is also the author of The Forgotten Terrorist: Sirhan Sirhan, and the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and, in a review for the Guardian newspaper, he was described as "…one of the few analysts who has fully grasped (the RFK assassination's) Middle East connection.” Ayton has appeared in documentaries produced by the National Geographic Channel ("CIA Secret Experiments", 2008) and the Discovery Channel ("CIA— Mind Control" 2006, "Conspiracy Test: The Robert Kennedy Assassination" 2008).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery History (April 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621572072
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621572077
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #575,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Roxanne Yannul on June 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hunting the President tells you about what you didn't know while the president was in office. Some of the assignation attempts talked about in the book were very close. Some of our presidents were almost murdered in office and we didn't even know anything about it. In some cases, not even the president himself was told until he was out of office. Very intriguing.
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Format: Hardcover
There is one paragraph in this book I know to be factually incorrect, because it concerns me. In chapter 12, page 211, Ayton claims that Daniel Cvijanovich (me) told fellow inmates that I planned to kill then President Bush after I got out of jail. It's correct that these inmates made this claim and that a jury believed one of them (Kyle White; I was acquitted on the Robby Aldrich count). However, they were both lying. The Secret Service considered me a danger to Bush because of an earlier event, out of which they were unable to bring charges. I made the mistake of being candid with these guys about the Secret Service's interest in me. They later distorted what I said to make it sound like I had a continuing interest in harming Bush, which I never claimed and which I absolutely did not have at that time. I was railroaded, and in fact I later got this wrongful conviction overturned. Mr. Ayton, and anyone else who is interested, can very easily look up my name and find these things out. Apparently he was lazy and relied on one distorted source. Knowing this, I have little faith in the accuracy of the other stories he tells.
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Format: Hardcover
"Hunting the President” is a must read for all who have an interest in our great country. Mel Ayton has once again written a fascinating and thought-provoking book about presidential threats and assassinations; not of one, but of all presidents since Franklin Roosevelt. As a historian and meticulous researcher, Ayton reveals the extent of almost daily threats, many of which are never revealed in public, to the lives of our presidents. It makes one wonder, why risk one's life 24/7 to be president?
The book is not just about threats. Ayton skillfully describes the attitudes of the presidents toward the restrictive security controls that must be imposed by the Secret Service to protect them. The personalities of the presidents are clearly shown, as some accepted the restrictions, some welcomed them, and some opposed them. Unfortunately one, Kennedy, lost his life.
The author also clearly shows the awesome responsibility the Secret Service White House detail has, not only to personally protect the president and his family, but also to screen and evaluate the thousands of hate letters and assassination threats that are sent to the President of the United States
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Format: Hardcover
Mel Ayton is perhaps the worst source to read if you want to learn about political assassinations. He goes beyond supporting the official stories and forces the "lone nut" theory to explain all American assassins, whether the facts fit or not. Here is what he wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece:

“Lincoln was the first American president to be assassinated. But the motivations that drove his assassin were unfortunately not unique. Understanding the nature of those who want to kill a president goes considerably further toward explaining assassinations than looking to fanciful conspiracy theories...Booth’s desire for fame and recognition is a common theme among assassins. In researching a book on presidential killers and would-be killers, I found that they tended to share certain personality traits. While some had been treated for mental illness, an even more predominant characteristic is that many of them were disillusioned with and resentful of American society after a lifetime of failure. And most of them also had a burning desire for notoriety. Killing an American president, most would-be assassins believed, would win them a place in history, making a ‘somebody’ out of a ‘nobody.’”

This is ludicrous. John Wilkes Booth was not a disturbed loner. He was a popular, famous, handsome, well-paid actor who was popular with women, and he certainly did not act alone. Even the US government's official story acknowledges that he had co-conspirators, four of whom were executed by hanging, while others were imprisoned! Private researchers have made a good case that there were people in the Union government who aided and possibly controlled Booth's little group of Confederate sympathizers.
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Format: Hardcover
Hunting the President by Mel Ayton chronicles the scores of assassination attempts made against U.S. presidents since the election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. Taking one president at a time, the book presents a series of case studies of presedential attackers, plotters and threateners.
As with all of his other books, Ayton's research is wide and deep. This book is based on archived interviews with Secret Service agents, U.S. presidents and their family members; oral histories from presidential libraries; congressional reports; the published memoirs of Secret Service agents; police profiles; FBI files; government agency reports, newspaper archives, and court records.
The book is an amazing and disturbing account of a subset of U.S. citizens who, regardless of who happens to be president, desire to kill the incumbent. Almost all of these people are lonely and alienated -- not moved by political fervor -- who see assassination as a way to settle a score for a real or imagained grievance. Another major motivator is fame or at least infamy.
In his research, Ayton discovered an extraordinary array of cases that did not gain public attention even as they rang alarm bells at the highest levels of the government. In many cases the threat was quite real but the Secret Service, wary of "copycat" perpetrators, kept many of these attempts under wraps. Such was the case in the spring of 1963 when President Kennedy was approached by a man with a gun during a stop at a high school in Nashville. Secret Service agents tackled the man before he could take a shot.
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