The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence
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The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence

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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  1,624 ratings  ·  238 reviews
THE SECRET SERVICE. An elite team of men who share a single mission: to protect the president of the United States. On November 22, 1963, these men failed—and a country would never be the same. Now, for the first time, a member of JFK’s Secret Service detail reveals the inside story of the assassination, the weeks and days that led to it and its heartrending aftermath. Thi...more
Hardcover, 427 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Gallery Books (first published October 25th 2010)
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Richard
A pretty compelling account of the Kennedy assassination by the Secret Service agents themselves. I'm convinced: one gunman (Oswald), three bullets, no government conspiracy. The book doesn't address Oswald's motives in detail, as the Secret Service agents have no particular insight into that. Well-written and super detailed. Excellent history of this tragic event, with great background information.
Frank Badalson
Five stars, absolutely. And here is why! I began my research (1980) into the Assassination after the HSCA released its’ findings around 1979 I think it was. My Assassination library is extensive. By 1980 I had been in Law Enforcement 4 years. I had an understanding of how investigations come together, how the physical evidence relates to the case, what is needed to complete an investigation and most of all the ability to separate true needed facts from what is interesting, but not really relevan...more
Jacob
This is an amazing book! well written, has some great stories from the agents and their experiences with President Kennedy and the First Family. At times funny, heartwarming, and sad, this book shows the love the agents had for the President and his family. The difficulties they encountered with security, and the sadness of the agents when Patrick died after only being on this earth for a couple days, and when President Kennedy was brutally killed during the motorcade in Dallas. I highly recomme...more
Bj Biringer
I do not know why these individuals have waited 48 years to talk about what happened that day. However, in a positive light it offers unique insight into what it was like to work with President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy on the Secret Service Detail. It is an oral testimony of history through the eyes of men that were that day and witnessed the assassination first hand. Interestingly, the book was written by one agent that was not in Dallas that day.
One of the problems I have with the book is tha...more
Cindy
Last year, one of my students asked me, "Why is history so depressing?" I was flummoxed and took a moment before I could answer. I make sure to always include cultural and technological accomplishments, things that are much more uplifting, but so much of history is sad. You can't dress up wars and tragedies with a pretty bow. So, despite demonstrating the pride and adoration for Camelot, it's impossible to teach about JFK without being depressing. It is simply heartbreaking to relive his assassi...more
Catherine
Yes, we all know what happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963. In spite of the hundreds (thousands?!) of books that have been written about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the dozens of theories - convoluted conspiracy and otherwise - never before have we been privy to the tragedy from the perspective of the Secret Service.

From the introduction of the agents, to the elements of the security preparations, to the horror of the assassination itself and its aftermath...it is all there - th...more
Leigh
Nonfiction books are usually interesting to me, but a slower read. This one, I just couldn't put down!

With all of the research done by the author, he provides a very thorough and firsthand account of the JFK presidency, what it was like to be a secret service agent on the kennedy detail (as well as other presidents), and that awful day in Dallas. Though at times it was difficult to follow who all of the agents were, I really appreciated the fact that the author used information from so many men...more
Ken
THE KENNEDY DETAIL is an account of the Kennedy Assassination told almost entirely from the perspective of the handful of Secret Service agents who were assigned to guard the president. In almost any discussion of the events of November 22, 1963 it is nearly impossible to avoid the specter of, "Who was Really Responsible" for this catastrophic slaying. However, it soon becomes clear that to these men, it was largely irrelevant as to who committed the crime, but only how the events of that terrib...more
Danielle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Blog on Books
With time moving on and memories fading, former Secret Service agent, Jerry Blaine decided it was time to finally publish the authoritative version of events from those who had the closest view, the U.S. Secret Service detail assigned to handle the president’s security on that fateful day. Though not there in person, Blaine has gone back though notes, records and most importantly his associates who were there on the front lines as the events of the day unfolded to assemble the book, “The Kennedy...more
Howard Willens
I agree that this book is significant because it was written by, and about, the Secret Service agents assigned to protect President Kennedy on his fateful trip to Dallas on November 22, 1963. I served on the Warren Commission staff and shared the views of my colleagues on the staff and of the seven commission members that the Secret Service had failed in its responsibilities on that date. The testimony of Secret Service officials persuaded the commission members that the agency was deficient in...more
Jennifer Rayment
The Good Stuff

* Compelling and authentic and extremely classy (no tell all gossip book here)
* Touching first hand accounts of the relationship between JFK and his staff and his family
* Good selection of photographs including a lovely candid one of JFK and his kids on Halloween
* The scene between JFK and his son is very touching when you realize this is the last time they will ever see each other. Made me cry -- for once at least I wasn't in a public place when I read it
* Enjoyed the little...more
Lisa
This is an excellent book that gives readers a glimpse into the lives of the secret service agents in charge of protecting President Kennedy. It's a work of historical non-fiction, but at the same time, a human interest drama about what these men dealt with during a painful and emotionally heart-wrenching time.

The book is well written and brings the reader into the heads and hearts of the Kennedy Detail Agents. It lays out the difficulties of the job the agents had, as well as captures a glimps...more
Penny McGill
Fantastic example of behind-the-scenes Secret Service stuff. Lisa McCubbin and Gerald Blaine pair up to give us that feeling of learning special details about the work of secret service agents with a tone that is very easy to read. The subject makes this book so hard to put down and the style of writing makes the hours just fly by. Poof, all finished a 400+ page book about working on the Kennedy detail. It's a great choice for fans of the Kennedy years and a must read for anyone who wants to kno...more
Sher
This book puts a new slant on the Kennedy Assassination, which has been approached from almost every conceivable angle. It was enlightening to read about this most horrendous of atrocities from the point of view of those who were sent to Dallas to protect the man who was killed. I feel sorry for the burden they have born all these years. With that said, though, I have never read a really satisfying account of the assassination, this book included. There are still just too many troubling details...more
Jim Anderson
I had the opportunity to meet Mr Blaine at an event in Kansas City. He also signed my book that I purchased at the time. To meet someone that had first hand knowledge and experience with President Kennedy and his family and to be there on that fateful day was amazing. He sheds a whole new light and perspective of that day and the life on JFK. I have always admired President Kennedy even from the young age of 8 years old when he was assassinated. I highly recommend this book. You may or may not b...more
Gary
Wow! The true story of the Kennedy assassination from the men who witnessed it,and experienced it firsthand. I read 300 of the 402 pages in one afternoon, glued to the pages.

I was also lucky enough to meet Jerry Blaine,and Clint Hill and hear them speak at a booksigning. They were awesome and true Patriots.
Clint rode on the trunklid of the limo after the shots rang out. What a truly brave man he is!


This book is a definate must read for anyone that loves JFK,and his story!


Mary Stanik
The world waited for many years for the men who composed President Kennedy's Secret Service detail to break their silence. They finally did so in this marvelous book, which is startling, sometimes heartbreaking and always interesting. This book should be read by all who consider themselves Kennedy historians, professional or amateur. It's an important part of the historical record of those exciting, tragic times.
Beth
Since I was in the 6th grade when JFK was assassinated, I have been intrigued with the events of those days my entire life. It was interesting to read the first-person accounts of a couple of the Secret Service agents who were on President Kennedy's Protection Detail in Dallas. If this subject is something you are interested in, then I would highly recommend this book to you.
Nancy
Very interesting look inside the Secret Service through the eyes of those protecting President Kennedy on that fateful trip to Texas. Not tabloid-y or trashy at all, just the facts. The agents in the Dallas motorcade definitely believed in the lone gunman theory. Author was (if I remember correctly) in Austin, TX awaiting the arrival of President Kennedy after his luncheon in Dallas.
Hdock
I continue to read about the Kennedys and the assassination. It's must be a morbid facination to me. I enjoyed this book as it paints a very affectionate portrait of the Kennedy family, and offers insights we have not heard. The inside stories of the Secret Service and the events leading to the assassination are still chilling to me. A worthwhile read
Paul Ward
This is the definitive book on the Kennedy assassination, written in part by agents who were there and who experienced this event up close and personal. It also offers the added perspective of what happened to the agents after the assassination and other little anecdotes that history buffs are sure to enjoy. I recommend this with the highest rating!
Holly
I loved the historical aspects of this book, and think the information is technically correct, but occasionally got a little bored with the various personnel described.

All in all, it was very good and I would recommend it to anyone who'd like to know the nitty-gritty of what happened those 6 seconds in Dallas in November of 1963.
B Town
A whole new perspective on the Kennedy Administration and assassination. These men adored JFK and his family and lived with the horrific and needless guilt of not being able to save him. An excellent read.
Donna Hill
I found the first half to be rather pedestrian with too much detail about too many people and events I just wasn't interested in. However, once I hit the chapter "Six Seconds In Dallas" I couldn't put it down - and sobbed uncontrollably through most of the rest of this insider account of the day that changed the world.
Jean
A very insightful,heartwrenching "behind the scenes" account of the brief Kennedy years and those few moments in our American history that fowever changed so many of us. I read it cover to cover without putting it down and am most apprecitative of the author's personal revelations.
Mary Jane
I really enjoyed reading this book. It describes the inner workings of the men who served in the Secret Service during the Kennedy years. The details of their working lives were fascinating to me. The emotion over the inability to protect their President tugged at my heart. Good book!
Jerome Jewell
I grabbed this book as soon as it came out...literally on my way home from Arlington Cemetery in November 2010, after visiting the Kennedy gravesite.

To describe the reading experience as "extremely moving" would be a gross under-statement. To finally hear the story from those who were part of the story was not only refreshing, but extremely memorable. It's important that this book will live to tell the story long after all of us who watched it (on TV, for instance) are gone.

The details of the...more
Arnold Osborn
The book is good overall.
The story has been told a 1,000 times and depending on your leaning you are either into the conspiracy or the lone shooter and this book speaks to neither of the possibilities.

The focus of the book is the time from before the assasination until the funeral... and life after the dying of a president. It mentions facts related to oswald in custody and ruby shooting him. It speaks to the various conspiracies but that is not the point of the book. I was very happy to see all...more
Paul Varner
Very detailed account of what the agents went thru to protect the president in the 60's and 70's.

The personal agony of the agents closest to the Kennedy asasination in Dallas especially Clint Hill was also well told.
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JFK Show and you will love the Kennedy music! 1 12 May 15, 2013 05:55PM  
  • Five Days in November
  • The Death of a President: November 1963
  • Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years
  • Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation
  • Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy
  • The Warren Commission Report: The Official Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
  • The Kennedy Men: 1901-1963
  • President Kennedy: Profile of Power
  • JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy
  • Robert Kennedy: His Life
  • Parkland
  • Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy
  • Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy
  • Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House
  • A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House
  • Kennedy and Nixon: The Rivalry That Shaped Postwar America
  • The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America
  • After Camelot: A Personal History of the Kennedy Family--1968 to the Present
The Kennedy Detail [Enhanced Edition]

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“I sat there, staring at the television set, the images of her playing over and over, my memories right there on the screen. I was overcome with a deep sense of loss. The tears streamed down my face, and I was not ashamed.” 3 likes
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