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Standing Next to History: An Agent's Life Inside the Secret Service Paperback – February 21, 2006
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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.
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
By far this is the best book written by a former secret service agent and I read them all. The extraordinarily wide variety of his assignments brings such new and interesting... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Cathesper
You will enjoy this fast read book. There are a lot of touching insights about Ronald Reagan for four years that Joe protected him. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Reed A. Lott
This book gives great insight into the life of a Secret Service agent assigned to Presidential protection duties. Read morePublished 8 months ago by jm1971
I found this very informative. I felt as the author sat across from me relating his story. Nicely done.Published 10 months ago by pidge