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Showing 1-10 of 1,122 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,385 reviews
on August 11, 2017
Excellent book. Told about the day to day duties in protecting the President and politicians. Some gossip about past Presidents, Vice Presidents and their families. Scary part about the book was where Kessler talked about agent attrition rates, mis-management by Secret Service managers, lack of funding, security short cuts. If half the things mentioned in the book are true then one day a President or Vice President will be assassinated.
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on November 30, 2015
Fairly good read, but the author seems to have Presidential biases at times, plus half the book (or more) is used to criticize the secret service. I think he did this to get the many secret service agents agree to talk to him. I bought this book because I wanted to read exciting, inside stories on the men and women they protect...and half of this book is about those stories, but the other half seems like a vendetta from former disgruntled employees. Reading this book out of context would have you think that Secret Service is just lucky that no protectee has been harmed in decades. I'm glad I read this, but it would be better with only one chapter (or none) devoted to disgruntled ex-employees.
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on September 10, 2017
You think you know what the Secret Service does. This book tells you what kind of people they protect, some nice, some not so much! Our money pays for their protection and how ungrateful some are! You would think they would have the top of the line equipment! Surprise! Interesting read!
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on August 12, 2017
Not much to be learned by reading this. It is primarily his gripe of how things are run and how unfair it is. His assessments of the presidents and their wives are different and more jaded than those of the staff that worked at the White House and took care of the families.
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on March 1, 2017
I really liked this book. In fact, I purchased four of them to give as gifts. Mr. Kessler gave us insight to the dangers of the job, the bureaucracy that the department deals with daily and yet, injects humor that made me laugh out loud.
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on January 1, 2014
This book was filled with amazing information on our past (and present) Presidents and their families. The actions of the Secret Service agents were very admirable and often showed great restraint. The Secret Service agents are doing a magnificent job while being under paid and very much overworked. The reporting in this book shows that the management of the Secret Service needs an overhaul desperately before an assassination effort is successful. The book included views that have changed my mind about the "character" of the men (and women) who run for the office of President of the United States. I am very disappointed in the hidden behaviors and actions of our past "Presidents". Also clearly shown is a desperate need for the review of the almost unlimited "benefits" provided to the President. These "benefits" seem to have no curb on them and the taxpayers are paying an unbelievable amount of money for a person who is supposed to be "serving" the people of the United States. This book should be read by all taxpayers. I highly recommend this book!
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on June 27, 2014
Most people read this book for the titillating stories about Presidents, First Ladies and family life "behind the scenes." Citations from the book are often taken out of context and pop up in emails designed to advance one point of view, or another. But that's NOT what the book is really about. What Kessler is trying to show you is that the Secret Service is (or WAS, when the book was written) terribly underfunded and mismanaged, and he makes a good case for it. The dirty little secrets (out of date weapons, a ridiculous rotation of field agents, and an imperious management style, among others) have torn apart the family lives of the agents, and collectively represent a danger to the President and other protected people which is arguably as great as any threat from terrorists or psychotic personalities. Should we be surprised that the situation in the Secret Service is really any different than in many other departments of government? I doubt it. Thus the effectiveness of this agency is owed primarily to the people who get the job done in spite of (not with the support of) the circumstances of their employment. We can either wait until the next successful assassination attempt to do something about it, or start the investigative hearings NOW. But we both know how that's going to work, don't we?
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on March 3, 2016
Very interested reading about first families. I never realized that Jimmy Carter was so rude and harsh on his staff. Did you know he didn't want the staff to look at or speak to him? He carried his bags when the cameras were on, and they were empty, but when the press wasn't looking he demanded the secret service agents carry them. Worse, he would not allow the secret service to place a command trailer on his Plains property, which meant the person holding the 'football' with the nuclear codes had to be housed 15 minutes away. This meant that if there were a nuclear launch by the Soviets against the US, and if the football was called immediately, we would be 5 minutes away from annihilation by the time the codes arrived. Thanks Jimmy! Never knew we shouldn't have trusted you. I'm glad the country fired you!
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on May 24, 2017
Interesting what goes on behind the closed doors.
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on March 29, 2016
An interesting look behind the curtain of secrecy surrounding the role of the Secret Service in the protection of our public officials.

I knocked off a star for what I thought was a hopscotch approach to the subject. That is, each time I became interesting in one aspect of protective coverage of a particular official, the author was off on another tack. Perhaps this was a function of the depth or lack of depth of access he was given. I felt he promised more, but skated across the surface more than I liked. However, since he was dipping into the details of protecting several presidents, perhaps that was all he could do. Well written.
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