The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agencyby Philip H. Melanson, Ph.D., Peter F. Stevens (With), Peter Stevens
Pulling the veil off a highly visible yet tight-lipped federal agency, acclaimed scholar Philip Melanson has created the first definitive history of the Secret Service. With 8 pages of photographs, rigorous research and interviews with former White House staffers, retired agents, Service training dropouts, and the first female agent on the presidential detail, Melanson presents the agency's hidden history and examines its role in the headlines of our times. Here are revelations about the assassination of JFK and the shooting of President Reagan, along with threats against other presidents; presidential demands on agents and agency funds (by JFK, LBJ, Nixon, the Bushes, and Clinton); alcoholism, divorce, and burnout among agents; the Service's inexplicable failure to develop a profile of assassins that would facilitate effective prevention; and how the gender gap within the Service has been institutionalized. Assailing the image of a highly professional and apolitical organization, the book examines the pervasive, often detrimental influence that politics exerts on the Service, typified by Kenneth Starr's efforts to use agents' testimony against President Clinton. Melanson also discusses the profound new challenge facing the Secret Service: How to respond in a post–September 11 world, as brazen new assassination methods proliferate. With this provocative study, one federal agency still veiled in secrecy is exposed for all to see. Explosive and revealing, this is the first comprehensive history of one of our government's most shrouded agencies.
- Basic Books
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.52(w) x 8.21(h) x 1.03(d)
Meet the Author
Philp H. Melanson, Ph. D., an expert on political violence and governmental secrecy, has done original research into the JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King assassinations, prompting appearances on CBS Evening News, BBC, History Channel, Discovery Channel, and C-SPAN. He has served as a consultant to the (JFK) Assassinations-Records Review Board, and is coordinator of the RFK Assassination Archives at the University of Massachussetts Dartmouth. His last book was SECRECY WARS: NATIONAL SECURITY, PRIVACY, AND THE PUBLIC'S RIGHT TO KNOW. He lives in Marion, Massachussetts.
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If you can ignore the typos, this is one of the most fascinating books I've read in a while. Very readable, which means a lot with non-fiction. I really enjoyed the book and learned a lot. Every angle is covered and very few questions are left unanswered. Very well researched.
Melanson and Stevens do a great job of peeling back the thick bureaucratic layers that lie atop all our federal agencies; they expose without partiality the mistakes that exposed (though did not cause) the greatest tragedy of this country: KENNEDY'S DEATH... However they also sing the great men and women's praises... BUT GAWD!!! the typos are embarassing and should be ignored if possible when reading this book...