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Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- ASIN : B08GJZDP4V
- Publisher : Random House (May 18, 2021)
- Publication date : May 18, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 3221 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 526 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,358 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The book is divided into 5 parts: The Kennedy to Nixon years, The Ford to Clinton years, the Bush years, the Obama years, and finally the Trump years. Each part has several chapters that document the major crises and changes that occurred during those presidencies; and many unreported incidents. The chapters contain real accounts of events that took place, albeit with the agent's names usually changed. I found the first few chapters particularly interesting, as they explain the origin of the Secret Service after the Lincoln assassination, and later the challenges of protecting a controversial President Kennedy.
Much of the later chapters though, focus mostly on the many controversies and mistakes the Service has made, and the times the agency failed to adequately perform its assigned tasks. This will probably upset some people, as the book seems to focus on exposing as many failures as possible, while not spending much time highlighting the successful operations. There also doesn't seem to be much of an effort to propose possible solutions to these problems, although perhaps that isn't the goal of the book exactly. There are quite a few stories of incompetence or misuse of resources, that I'm sure the Secret Service would rather the public not be made aware of.
Overall, this book was very interesting, and I enjoyed the historical information the most. The later chapters feel more like a “Secret Failures of the Secret Service” report; somewhat surprising and troubling information indeed. I'm not sure if this will actually lead to any institutional changes, but if you are interested in these kind of details, then you will probably enjoy this book.
Beginning with her information on Kennedy, it does not agree with what I have come to understand is the most accepted information regarding his relationship with his Secret Service detail. Opinions do differ and information does change over the years, but her facts aren’t ringing true for me.
Johnson, Nixon, Regan, Carter, Bush - these presidents all had their own special needs for Secret Service intervention, (some much more than others!), and the book is historical and anecdotal in its reporting of the evolution of this organization. I’d forgotten some of the incidents even tho’ I’ve lived thru them all. During these years there’s lots of growing and changing pains for the organization as the country does the same but there’s also an air of decorum and pride. Enter Clinton.
Changes in the Secret Service during Clinton’s presidency are shocking, much like he was. It became a boys club, a frat house that traveled internationally; a national embarrassment. Quite frankly, based on information provided to Leonnig, I cannot imagine why anyone wants to serve in this thankless capacity.
Bushes and Obama are slightly better but not by much. 9/11 is a significant drain on the organization and the economic down turn withholds much needed resources and technology upgrades for years. There are an host of events to read about in these chapters that had me cringing.
Leonnig is able to report all of these issues from both Republican and Democratic presidents and remain neutral until she reaches the last chapter on Trump. All professional distance disappears. It’s like reading MSNBC or CNN. I should have stopped at the 84% mark. Most of what she says is media hyperbole and not her well researched prose. Sadly, Leonnig is a victim of her own industry and this effort is diminished because of it📚