Customer Reviews for

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

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Highly recommended; a good read.

The Kennedy Detail, ISBN 978-1-4391-9296-2, Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 427-pages, by Gerald S. Blaine: is the first comprehensive look into the thoughts and actions of the Secret Service agents who were tasked with protecting President John F. ...
The Kennedy Detail, ISBN 978-1-4391-9296-2, Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 427-pages, by Gerald S. Blaine: is the first comprehensive look into the thoughts and actions of the Secret Service agents who were tasked with protecting President John F. Kennedy over the months leading up to that fateful day, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, TX, when those who were present in the motorcade bore first-hand witness to the assassination of the President. These men were there, they did not acquire their knowledge from dusty public archives or the Internet, as some so-called experts have done, rather they were eye witnesses before, during, and after an historic event that has captured the imagination of people the world over. Blaine's story is told in the third person narrative, a relatively uncommon form, but in this case it allows the author to be a participant, which he was, rather than just the teller of the tale. The author's research was exhaustive, obviously entailing correspondence and telephone conversations with his compatriots, along with extensive travel to personally verify details with his respondents. Rather than dry historical verbiage, Blaine weaves the recollections of actual conversations between the agents and members of the first family into the sequence of historical events, making the narrative character-driven. As the stage is set the reader is made aware of the daily details that can only result from eye witness accounts compiled from notes made by the agents, as well as their collective memories, at the time of occurrence. As a result, the reader will acquire details and insight into the personal lives of the first family and the agents of the Kennedy detail that have never before been available as the author builds momentum toward the inevitable conclusion. Not everyone will like this book, for it refutes much of the flawed information that has resulted after the fact. The author does not address any of the resulting conspiracy theories arising from the event; for that is not his purpose. Rather, he conveys the deeply personal feelings, honor, integrity, and heart wrenching sense of guilt carried by the agents of the President's detail over almost half a century. His desire to tell their personal story is precisely his stated reason for writing about the event that has haunted the members of the Kennedy detail for most of their lives. And he does it well.

posted by JAHunsinger on February 20, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

17 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

Awesome!

This is the best book I've ever read about the JFK assassination. I should know because I think I have them all! I couldn't put this book down. No conspiracy theories here. Just the truth from the honorable men who were there and witnessed this horrific murder. A must b...
This is the best book I've ever read about the JFK assassination. I should know because I think I have them all! I couldn't put this book down. No conspiracy theories here. Just the truth from the honorable men who were there and witnessed this horrific murder. A must buy for anyone who remembers where they were the day it happened.

posted by 4022493 on November 13, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2010

    Awesome!

    This is the best book I've ever read about the JFK assassination. I should know because I think I have them all! I couldn't put this book down. No conspiracy theories here. Just the truth from the honorable men who were there and witnessed this horrific murder. A must buy for anyone who remembers where they were the day it happened.

    17 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2011

    Highly recommended; a good read.

    The Kennedy Detail, ISBN 978-1-4391-9296-2, Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 427-pages, by Gerald S. Blaine: is the first comprehensive look into the thoughts and actions of the Secret Service agents who were tasked with protecting President John F. Kennedy over the months leading up to that fateful day, November 22, 1963, in Dallas, TX, when those who were present in the motorcade bore first-hand witness to the assassination of the President. These men were there, they did not acquire their knowledge from dusty public archives or the Internet, as some so-called experts have done, rather they were eye witnesses before, during, and after an historic event that has captured the imagination of people the world over. Blaine's story is told in the third person narrative, a relatively uncommon form, but in this case it allows the author to be a participant, which he was, rather than just the teller of the tale. The author's research was exhaustive, obviously entailing correspondence and telephone conversations with his compatriots, along with extensive travel to personally verify details with his respondents. Rather than dry historical verbiage, Blaine weaves the recollections of actual conversations between the agents and members of the first family into the sequence of historical events, making the narrative character-driven. As the stage is set the reader is made aware of the daily details that can only result from eye witness accounts compiled from notes made by the agents, as well as their collective memories, at the time of occurrence. As a result, the reader will acquire details and insight into the personal lives of the first family and the agents of the Kennedy detail that have never before been available as the author builds momentum toward the inevitable conclusion. Not everyone will like this book, for it refutes much of the flawed information that has resulted after the fact. The author does not address any of the resulting conspiracy theories arising from the event; for that is not his purpose. Rather, he conveys the deeply personal feelings, honor, integrity, and heart wrenching sense of guilt carried by the agents of the President's detail over almost half a century. His desire to tell their personal story is precisely his stated reason for writing about the event that has haunted the members of the Kennedy detail for most of their lives. And he does it well.

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2010

    A must read

    The exquisite detail from the men who were closest to the Kennedy family makes this book an engaging read. It reads like a novel and brings tears to your eyes when you feel the emotion of the agents who were there during this historic time.

    15 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 17, 2010

    A Definite Must Read!

    This book provides a new perspective on the JFK assassination. It is well written with a unique insight from the agents whoe were actually there. It provides a sneak peak into the life of a Secret Service agent as well as an honest and courage account of the time surrounding the assassination. The Kennedy Detail is moving and makes it hard for the reader to put it down!

    11 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 26, 2010

    Unforgettable--a MUST READ!

    This book is a gripping and moving account of the behind the scenes work that Secret Service agents do on a daily basis to keep our nation intact by protecting the President of the United States. I learned so much from this book and literally couldn't put it down. I fell in love with the "characters"--REAL men, the likes of whom I daresay do not exist any more. Do not hesitate to buy this book and give it as a gift to everyone you know.
    Obviously anyone who gave this book a low rating is doing it for some unknown vengeful reason, or simply to promote their own despicable self-interests.
    Anyone with a heart will find this book irresistible and truly UNFORGETTABLE.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2010

    highly recommended, excellent book.

    The book was very interesting and took me back all those years ago, when I was just in grade school. The author explained everything with compassion and great insight. I was very pleased that he didn't go into the "bad" issues about the Kennedys.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    Highly recommended!

    The most truthful account of the Kennedy assassination I have read to date. Until you have walked in these heroes shoes you will never know the ordeal they went through. As a retired law enforcement officer the authors were right on the money re: procedures, protocol, etc. when it came to their daily activities. I can't wait to shake their hand when and if they ever come to my town. These are true heroes!

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2012

    terrible-Vince Palamara's work is far superior

    terrible-Vince Palamara's work is far superior

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    poor-only a true piece of ____ would blame the deceased presiden

    poor-only a true piece of ____ would blame the deceased president for his own assassination
    Joyce B

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Blaine is a coward and this book reflects his cowardice. In my o

    Blaine is a coward and this book reflects his cowardice. In my opinion, he is no better than Hitler or Osama Bin Laden. May he burn in Hell for blaming JFK for his own death. This book is terrible.
    C Zboril

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    My brother is a Secret Service agent and has no respect for Blai

    My brother is a Secret Service agent and has no respect for Blaine or Hill.
    Doreen Jansen

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Vincent Palamara's book- now that is the book to get, not this o

    Vincent Palamara's book- now that is the book to get, not this one

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    hated it

    hated it

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Pure crud-avoid steve jansen

    Pure crud-avoid
    steve jansen

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    For the most part, this is an enjoyable tale of the Kennedy year

    For the most part, this is an enjoyable tale of the Kennedy years in the White House, and an excellent recollection of the sad days of November, 1963. There is some repetition in the book that could have been cleaned up.
    But beyond that, this book is a vehicle for former Secret Service agents to defend themselves against dereliction of duty allegations in losing Kennedy. They turn the tables and blame the dead president himself for his own death, claiming that, in an insulting way, he ordered agents off of the back of his vehicle. The assumption seems to be, that had he not done that, he would have been saved on November 22, 1963. This allegation holds no water and is an abomination. Beyond that, the book is highly critical of Jacqueline Kennedy for determining to walk eight blocks in the Kennedy funeral to the Church. She only insisted that she walk, others were afraid not to walk if she did. They could have ridden in a car. I think Mrs. Kennedy showed the nation that even after an assassination attempt, leaders of men should not hide.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    AWESOME

    A book and story I have been waiting for - for along time. What closure on the Horrific killing of President John Kennedy. The book is great and to see and meet the Agents and have them tell their story at a Book Festival is heart wrenching and an unbelievable historical high to believe we can finaly hear the true story. Your heart goes out to Agent Clint Hill for having to live with this for all these years and years to come. What true gentlemen they are and truly from another time in history - of modesty and true regard for the job they had chosen. May Gog Bless Them Both and anyone who serves our country and will lay down his life for another.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    terrible

    terrible

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    2 stars

    * *

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    *It was nice to hear the view of the Secret Service Men who protected JFK. At one point in my life, I to thought they might be involved in the conspiracy theories. Although the Kennedy Detail book did not answer all of my questions concerning that awful day in November of 1963. It did give me insight as to how the Secret Service honored and care for the President. Not to mention the respect and care, I believe they held for each other and the Kennedy family. We can all look back on our life experiences and say "I should of, would of and could of handle that situation differently". And, I know these poor men beat their selves up every day of their life for what they could have done. One point that I think wasn't listed in the book was how the Secret Service were also caught up in the overwhelming excitement and experience of that day. I think they wanted the people of Texas to love this man as much as they did.
    I do believe that the President did tell them in Florida, to back off limousine. It is possible the feel of this order carried over to the Motorcade in Texas without the actual wording. Nonetheless, the Secret Service Men did the best they could for what they were dealing with at that time in their lives and ours. This book helps us understand how they dealt with protecting the President and the struggles of being a Secret Service Man of this era.

    Thank You Clint Hill for your honorable service.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2010

    A Great Read...Truth is freeing for the whole country.

    The conspiracy writers have made a name for themselves even if they were not there at the time. They always ask questions in interviews that will satisfy their objectives,rejecting any other view true or not. Only eyewitness accounts tell it like it happened and they for sure needed to know what truly happened for future security of our leaders. None of them made a name for themselves from the telling of theories. In every situation of high profile events we find those that want to make a name for and collect fame for themselves on the tragic event. This one was no stranger to those who milked the system and the hearts of the people for their own benefit confusing the truth in the minds of the people. We are so pleased that the eyewitness accounts of those closest to the President finally broke their silence. This one should go to the top of the list of history taught to our youth and to our adults who care. This was a magic time in history and this book outlines it so beautifully. Thanks to all who participated in the writing and telling for future generations to know truth from the men who were there in the midst of the event. Bless you all

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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