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Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  7,130 ratings  ·  890 reviews
A rare and fascinating portrait of the American presidency from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Kennedy and Me and Five Days in November.

Secret Service agent Clint Hill brings history intimately and vividly to life as he reflects on his seventeen years protecting the most powerful office in the nation. Hill walked alongside Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower,
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  7,130 ratings  ·  890 reviews

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David Huff
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most will remember Secret Service Agent Clint Hill from the hauntingly iconic photo of him climbing on the back of the Presidential Limousine in Dallas, that fateful November day, to lend assistance and protection to the First Lady, and sadly seconds too late, to President Kennedy. This is a riveting read and a unique panorama of three decades of history that wrought great change in America. Hill's personal accounts of five different Presidents, their families, lifestyle, personalities, challeng ...more
JwW White
Sep 01, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Clint Hill was a witness to so much history (and uses a ghostwriter), so it is a travesty that he makes that history so completely listless in this book. The text reads like a rundown of the official White House log of the President during those times that Hill was on duty. It appears that in trying to write this book, Hill used those logs to provide the bulk of his material. How much can one read about the date and time that the President traveled to certain places, that he was warmly received, ...more
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Four and one half stars.

I have read Mr. Hill's previous book- Five Days in November and was fascinated by his eyewitness account of JFK's murder and the days that followed.

This book repeats some of the same material, but most of his recollections are fresh and very insightful. Mr. Hill reveals the following truths about the Office of the President:
There is no perfect individual who possesses every single characteristic to be in this position. Most have great qualities that enhance the position.

Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Hill encapsulated history he lived and protected through the existence of 5 American Presidents. This is a compelling read for anyone interested in Presidential History. On this, the eve of the election of 2016 I was determined to attempt to read one book apolitical in nature; but, one that also captured the moral ethics of what it means to be a "diligent servant of the people". Mr. Hill is to American History most notable for his attempted protection of First Lady Jackie Kennedy on that fat ...more
Dean Cummings
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Even if Clint Hill’s career had not spanned eighteen years and five history-making presidency’s, his exceptional experiences as an agent of the United States Secret Service would have been more than sufficient to write a compelling autobiography.

He grew up in the small town of Washburn, North Dakota where sports and the Lutheran Church were the centers of all activity. After High School, and on the strength of a $100 scholarship, Clint enrolled in Lutheran-affiliated Concordia College in Moorhe
Melissa Embry
I first met Clint Hill in 2013 when he and co-author, Lisa McCubbin, visited Dallas for a book signing during commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Hill was famous as the Secret Service agent who had leaped onto the back of the presidential limousine on its breakneck journey to Parkland Hospital following the shooting that killed Kennedy, and he and McCubbin had written a book about his role and the days immediately following.

I didn’t know that
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
If I had not lived through these presidential terms I would have not finished this book, as it is written as if it is a Secret Service report - flat. It gave me a behind the scenes look at events and daily happenings that I had followed in the newspapers, magazines and TV reports though so I stuck with it. If the writing flowed better or gave me a sense of feelings instead of doings, I would be reaching for his other books. It disappointments me to be saying I won't. ...more
Anthony Buck
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
So interesting! The stretch of history covered here is one of my favourites and Clint Hill was right there for some of the key moments! And what a charming and engaging narrator he is to those events. My favourite element was the lbj section, and hill really brings this extraordinary character to life.
Ian Anderson
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the fascinating story of retired Secret Service agent Clint Hill. He is most remembered for being the man who climbed onto the back of John F. Kennedy's Presidential Limousine moments too late on November 22, 1963. The book is about as straightforward as it can get, chronologically providing a detailed overview of the ups and downs Clint faced while serving for five different presidents from 1958-1975. What made the reading experience fascinating for me was not only the historical moment ...more
Katie Nelson
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book! Clint Hill is the Secret Service Agent who helped Jackie get off the trunk and back into the car when JFK was shot. He was forever changed by that day. It was fascinating to read about his experiences with 5 different Presidents and his role in the Secret Service with each of them. He gave up so much of his own life to serve our leaders. He witnessed so much history.

This isn't a juicy tell-all kind of book, this is a first person accounting of what it was like to be ser
Kenny Dickson
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a quick interesting read. While most know Clint Hill for his heroic efforts to reach and save JFK by climbing on the back of the limo during the assassination, most don't know about his service to 4 other presidents. By serving on the details of Ike, JFK,/Jackie, LBJ and administrating PPD for Nixon and Ford, Hill was on the front row witnessing some of the most tumultuous times in postwar America. Hill gives respectful presentations of the five presidents, their quirks and strength ...more
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an autobiographical depiction of Clint Hill's career as a member of the United States Secret Service Presidential Protection Detail. As the title suggests his service tenure included working with Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford. For those of you who have seen the
news film covering the assassination of President Kennedy, Clint Hill is the Secret Service agent seen climbing up on the back of the presidential limousine in an attempt to cover the bodies of President
Larry Van Bibber
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-lib
This is an excellent book with many auto biographical references and facts that have not been described in other references. This book read like a novel in that it was easy to understand and hard to put down. I read it in two days.

I grew up in that era and like everyone else I had an awareness of the key events. I know exactly where I was and what I was doing when JFK was assassinated. I was never a big fan of LBJ and I was surprised about his passions and concerns for our country.

I will read t
John Smiley
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book.

It was interesting to get a behind the scenes look at the way our President's life is guarded, and the sometimes foolhardy things the President does to put his own life in danger (ie JFK in 1963).

I was amazed at the hard work Lyndon Johnson put it---of the 5 Presidents highlighted, he seemed to be the one that drove himself most to exhaustion.

All 5 of them (Eisenhower, JFK, Johnson, Nixon, Ford) worked hard, but Johnson was really something else.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The history this man has seen - it’s extraordinary beyond belief. As Clint Hill relates his memories of serving 5 different Presidents, and the change of society over time, it provided a fascinating and sobering outlook on America of the 1950s-1970s.
Joy H.
Added July 12, 2018
(Published May 3rd 2016 by Gallery Books)
Narrated by: George Newbern

I started reading this book July 12, 2018, as an ebook in my browser.
(It's an OverDrive library loan from SALS, the Southern Adirondack Library System.)

Sept 5, 2019 - I'm continuing to read this e-book.

Clint Hill "reflects on his seventeen years on the Secret Service for presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford." (from Goodreads description)

Other books I have read o
Dec 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
I'm 2 hours into the audio book and I think that's about enough.

Clint Hill spends the entire time talking about all the neat trips he took off-duty. Did you know he escorted president Eisenhower to India, Pakistan, and Italy? Apparently the only thing worth noting is that they were warmly received and that Clint got a free tour of the vatican. When Eisenhower wasn't traveling, he was playing golf, which Clint describes in great detail about how he would hit 18 holes every week, and would take tr
Don Gorman
Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it
(2 1/2). This is a longish, 20+ year history lesson with lots of insights. Clint Hill is now on his third book capitalizing on his time as a Secret Service agent. When he gives us the logistics, the inside scoop, the personal touches that he or others had with people they were protecting this book is terrific. But unfortunately, a fair amount of it is just recounting the actual events of the day, and that is old news and can get tedious. It was great to revisit some of the events and certainly a ...more
Sharon Royle
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great chance for those of us who are so interested in American history to find out what presidents are really like. Clint Hill protected presidents from Eisenhower to Nixon. To find out what these men were really like and the sacrifices that were made to protect them is amazing. They were all so different from each other and these Secret Service men had to adjust to each man's needs and demands.

Although I didn't select this book to read because of the current status of our president, t
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This is my first book by Clint Hill. It was interesting and it is amazing the events that he witnessed. The assasination details are what you would expect but it was all the other things he witnessed that made this so interesting. It was a little slow when he talked about all the traveling. Not necessarily the places but every crownd was enormous and dangerous. It was just a bit repetitive.
Kristen Dutkiewicz
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, four-stars
Clint Hill has lived quite a life having experienced first hand what it is like to protect five of our country's presidents/vice presidents. I loved every moment of reading his memoir and was sad to see it end.

I enjoyed his honesty, humor, and bluntness in this memoir. It was an engaging behind the scenes look at some of our nation's most well known history. Particularly touching were some of his personal memories. This book made me laugh and cry. Well done!
Nancy Istenes
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Full review after my book club discussion with The Wards. Absolutely give this book 5 stars. The perspective of the author gives us an inside view of the presidency, politics and an amazing period of American History.
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am not a history buff, but I have found this very interesting and can't wait to read Mrs. Kennedy and me. ...more
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was such a good read. It was nice getting to hear more about a president than just what they accomplished or didn’t accomplish. It was like you got to see into what they were like as a person. It was also interesting reading this all from someone’s perspective who served through multiple presidents.

There was some language throughout.
Kathie Wilson
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely tremendous read! Very enlightening and well written! I have so much admiration and respect for honorable men and women like Clint Hill who sacrifice their safety daily to protect our country’s leaders.
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! It was cool to see everything from a fresh perspective
Leslie Miller
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Part memoir, part history lesson.
Cathy D
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed this book. Hill writes like I’m sure he is - a humble man who served five Presidents. And had a front seat to history.
Sara Mack
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Told from a straightforward secret service perspective. No frills, no op-ed, no deep analysis just perspective of what it would be like to protect the presidents with enough flavor of the presidents personality to satisfy. Cleverly the secret serviceman him is almost invisible in this narrative.
Patrice Jones
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Only a Secret Service Agent can tell what the American people do not know about the presidents. Much of what was in this book was strictly from an SSA's perspective. Clint Hill wrote this book to help him heal, but he ended up writing to tell the world about being a secret service agent while guarding or being in charge of guarding five US presidents. This job costs Clint so much.
I laughed. I cried. I became angry, but mostly I grew to love Clint Hill. What a job. I have more respect for the Se
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Around the Year i...: Five Presidents, by Clint Hill 4 47 Jan 08, 2017 04:47PM  

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