Hunting the President: Threats, Plots and Assassination Attempts--From FDR to Obama

Hunting the President: Threats, Plots and Assassination Attempts--From FDR to Obama

by Mel Ayton

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Overview

Hunting the President: Threats, Plots and Assassination Attempts--From FDR to Obama by Mel Ayton

In American history, four U.S. Presidents have been murdered at the hands of an assassin. In each case the assassinations changed the course of American history.

But most historians have overlooked or downplayed the many threats modern presidents have faced, and survived. Author Mel Ayton sets the record straight in his new book Hunting the President: Threats, Plots and Assassination Attempts—From FDR to Obama, telling the sensational story of largely forgotten—or never-before revealed—malicious attempts to slay America’s leaders.

Supported by court records, newspaper archives, government reports, FBI files, and transcripts of interviews from presidential libraries, Hunting the President reveals:

  • How an armed, would-be assassin stalked President Roosevelt and spent ten days waiting across the street from the White House for his chance to shoot him
  • How the Secret Service foiled a plot by a Cuban immigrant who told coworkers he was going to shoot LBJ from a window overlooking the president’s motorcade route
  • How a deranged man broke into Reagan’s California home and attempted to strangle the former president before he was subdued by Secret Service agents.
  • In early 1992 a mentally deranged man stalking Bush turned up at the wrong presidential venue for his planned assassination attempt
  • The relationships presidents held with their protectors and the effect it had on the Secret Service’s mission

Hunting the President opens the vault of stories about how many of our recent Presidents have come within a hair’s breadth of assassination, leaving America’s fate in the balance. Most of these stories have remained buried—until now. Includes glossy photo signature of historic pictures and documents

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621572077
Publisher: Regnery History
Publication date: 04/14/2014
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 982,604
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Mel Ayton received his master's degree in history from Durham University, is a former Fulbright Teacher, deputy headmaster, and college lecturer, and lives in County Durham, England. He is also the author of The Forgotten Terrorist: Sirhan Sirhan, and the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and, in a review for the Guardian newspaper, he was described as "…one of the few analysts who has fully grasped (the RFK assassination's) Middle East connection.” Ayton has appeared in documentaries produced by the National Geographic Channel ("CIA Secret Experiments", 2008) and the Discovery Channel ("CIA— Mind Control" 2006, "Conspiracy Test: The Robert Kennedy Assassination" 2008).

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Chapter 1 The Boss 1

Chapter 2 General 21

Chapter 3 Scorecard 37

Chapter 4 Lancer 55

Chapter 5 Volunteer 71

Chapter 6 Searchlight 87

Chapter 7 Passkey 109

Chapter 8 Deacon 127

Chapter 9 Rawhide 143

Chapter 10 Timberwolf 165

Chapter 11 Eagle 185

Chapter 12 Trailblazer 205

Chapter 13 Renegade 221

Epilogue: Notoriety and the "Copycat Effect" 243

Acknowledgments 249

Notes 251

Bibliography 283

Index 303

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Hunting the President: Threats, Plots and Assassination Attempts--From FDR to Obama 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The reviewer below is a convicted felon peeved that his crimes were reported by me. One of the reasons I highlighted his crime was because people should be aware that you cannot joke about wanting to kill a president just as you cannot joke about flying a plane into a building when aboard an aircraft. His lawyer confirms he threatened to kill Bush, joking or not. Shame on him as he could have used this review to actually show some remorse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dry facts, quick read, obvious conservative bias -a bit disrespectful glossing over Leslie Coffelt- considering the subject matter the man's name should have been mentioned more than once
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
patoconnorJO More than 1 year ago
This review is from: Hunting the President: Threats, Plots and Assassination Attempts--From FDR to Obama (Hardcover) Hunting the President by Mel Ayton chronicles the scores of assassination attempts made against U.S. presidents since the election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. Taking one president at a time, the book presents a series of case studies of presedential attackers, plotters and threateners. As with all of his other books, Ayton's research is wide and deep. This book is based on archived interviews with Secrety Service agents, U.S. presidents and their family members; oral histories from presential libraries; congressional reports; the published memoirs of Secret Serive agents; police profiles, FBI files; government agency reports, newspaper archives, and court records. The book is an amazing and disturbing account of a subset of U.S. citizens who, regardless of who happens to be president, desire to kill the incumbent. Almost all of these people are lonely and alienated -- not moved by political fervor -- who see assassination as a way to settle a score for a real or imagained grievance. Another major motivator is fame or at least infamy. In his research, Ayton discovered an extraordinary array of cases that did not gain public attention even as they rang alarm bells at the highest levels of the government. In many cases the threat was quite real but the Secret Service, wary of "copycat" perpetrators, kept many of these attempts under wraps. Such was the case in the spring of 1963 when President Kennedy was approached by a man with a gun during a stop at a high school in Nashville. Secret Service agents tackled the man before he could take a shot. I was astounded to learn that as far back as 1954, when war hero Dwight Eisenhower was president, the Secret Service estimated that "every six hours someone in the United States made a threat against the president or his family." FDR, in particular, stirred deep resentment. Of the 40,000 letters a month sent to him at the White House each months, 5,000 of them contain threats on his life. In the period between 1949-1950, the Secret Service investiated 1,925 threats against President Truman's life. During the first year of the Korean War, the threats doubled. By his last year in office, the trheats had grown to 3,000. President Nixon evaded six extremely serious assassination attempts, including one from Aurthur Bremer who stalked Nixon in Ottawa, Canada in April of 1972 for three days. Foiled there, Bremer attempted to assissinate Gov. George Wallace the next month. By 1978, when Jimmy Carter was president, the Secret Service was processing more than 14,000 cases of threats against him. Of the 406 arrests that resulted, 311 led to convictions and prison time for the offenders. One potential assassin was sentenced to 40 years for trying to kill President Clinton. After 9/11, George W. Bush became the most-guarded president in U.S. history. The election in 2008 of Barack Obama brought an unpredented level of threats against the nation's first black president both at home and abroad. Anders Breivik, who would go on a mass-murdering spree at a summer camp in Norway, plotted to assassinate President Obama at the Nobel Peach Prize ceremony in Oslo in 2009. For U.S. history buffs, Hunting tThis review is from: Hunting the President: Threats, Plots and Assassination Attempts--From FDR to Obama (Hardcover) Hunting the President by Mel Ayton chronicles the scores of assassination attempts made against U.S. presidents since the election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. Taking one president at a time, the book presents a series of case studies of presedential attackers, plotters and threateners. As with all of his other books, Ayton's research is wide and deep. This book is based on archived interviews with Secrety Service agents, U.S. presidents and their family members; oral histories from presential libraries; congressional reports; the published memoirs of Secret Serive agents; police profiles, FBI files; government agency reports, newspaper archives, and court records. The book is an amazing and disturbing account of a subset of U.S. citizens who, regardless of who happens to be president, desire to kill the incumbent. Almost all of these people are lonely and alienated -- not moved by political fervor -- who see assassination as a way to settle a score for a real or imagained grievance. Another major motivator is fame or at least infamy. In his research, Ayton discovered an extraordinary array of cases that did not gain public attention even as they rang alarm bells at the highest levels of the government. In many cases the threat was quite real but the Secret Service, wary of "copycat" perpetrators, kept many of these attempts under wraps. Such was the case in the spring of 1963 when President Kennedy was approached by a man with a gun during a stop at a high school in Nashville. Secret Service agents tackled the man before he could take a shot. I was astounded to learn that as far back as 1954, when war hero Dwight Eisenhower was president, the Secret Service estimated that "every six hours someone in the United States made a threat against the president or his family." FDR, in particular, stirred deep resentment. Of the 40,000 letters a month sent to him at the White House each months, 5,000 of them contain threats on his life. In the period between 1949-1950, the Secret Service investiated 1,925 threats against President Truman's life. During the first year of the Korean War, the threats doubled. By his last year in office, the trheats had grown to 3,000. President Nixon evaded six extremely serious assassination attempts, including one from Aurthur Bremer who stalked Nixon in Ottawa, Canada in April of 1972 for three days. Foiled there, Bremer attempted to assissinate Gov. George Wallace the next month. By 1978, when Jimmy Carter was president, the Secret Service was processing more than 14,000 cases of threats against him. Of the 406 arrests that resulted, 311 led to convictions and prison time for the offenders. One potential assassin was sentenced to 40 years for trying to kill President Clinton. After 9/11, George W. Bush became the most-guarded president in U.S. history. The election in 2008 of Barack Obama brought an unpredented level of threats against the nation's first black president both at home and abroad. Anders Breivik, who would go on a mass-murdering spree at a summer camp in Norway, plotted to assassinate President Obama at the Nobel Peach Prize ceremony in Oslo in 2009. For U.S. history buffs, Hunting the President will open an entirely new area of Americana.
Daniel_Cvijanovich More than 1 year ago
There is one paragraph in this book I know to be factually incorrect, because it concerns me. In chapter 12, page 211, Ayton claims that Daniel Cvijanovich (me) told fellow inmates that I planned to kill then President Bush after I got out of jail. It's correct that these inmates made this claim and that a jury believed one of them (Kyle White; I was acquitted on the Robby Aldrich count). However, they were both lying. The Secret Service considered me a danger to Bush because of an earlier event, out of which they were unable to bring charges. I made the mistake of being candid with these guys about the Secret Service's interest in me. They later distorted what I said to make it sound like I had a continuing interest in harming Bush, which I never claimed and which I absolutely did not have at that time. I was railroaded, and in fact I later got this wrongful conviction overturned. Mr. Ayton, and anyone else who is interested, can very easily look up my name and find these things out. Apparently he was lazy and relied on one distorted source. Knowing this, I have little faith in the accuracy of the other stories he tells.