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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.

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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 April 3, 2011

    'a guide on how to cover your a** after a tragedy'

    I am mixed on my review for this one... On one hand its an interesting read with some great inside info on the behind the scenes goings of the secret service; on the other hand I detested the third person narrative it was written in. It really could have been written without all of the whining about lack of sleep, etc.... I also didn't like how the book seemingly blamed Kennedy for his own murder or the ignorant stance that The Warren Report was correct.... Please! These men were enlisted to protect the president and failed. That is a terrible tragedy in its self but don't take the stance that Kennedy had a death wish when the agents rolled over and didn't stand up and realistically relay the risks.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2011

    Interesting, but no shocking revelations

    This is a good read that does its best to put a human face on the men who protected the President. Some cool, behind-the-scenes insight here, but no shocking revelations. Just an under-staffed, over-worked team of committed guys doing the best they could and living with the painful aftermath. Does a good job of explaining-away some of the odd moments that conspiracy theorists have run wild with.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    Preview or book

    I just read the free sample and it seemed to repeat sections of the book i few times. Does this error happin in the full book as well?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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