The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents

The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents

by Ronald Kessler


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804139618
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/28/2015
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 82,407
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Ronald Kessler is the New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets of the FBI, In the President's Secret Service, and The CIA at War. A former Wall Street Journal and Washington Post investigative reporter, Kessler has won eighteen journalism awards, including two George Polk awards, one for national reporting and one for community service. He was named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine. Kessler lives in Potomac, Maryland with his wife, Pamela Kessler.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 "Regular Joe" Biden 7

2 Hillary 16

3 Clandestine Movements 27

4 Potus 35

5 The Stripper 43

6 Sifting Threats 55

7 Penny-Pincher 63

8 Wilmington Shuttle 66

9 Advance 74

10 Peanut Farmer 87

11 White House Collar 93

12 Boys Will Be Boys 104

13 A Bullet for the President 113

14 Nancy 124

15 Corner Cutting 131

16 "Keep Your Head Down" 139

17 Hawkeye 148

18 Energizer 156

19 Dallas 166

20 Operation Moonlight 176

21 Missing Sunglasses 186

22 Watch the Hands 196

23 Throwing a Fit 202

24 Exposing Romney to Danger 212

25 Intrusion 220

26 Risking Assassination 228

Secret Service Chronology 247

Acknowledgments 253

Index 254

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The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
SavvyMomma More than 1 year ago
Investigative journalist Ronald Kessler's newest book, "The First Family Detail" promises to reveal the hidden lives of the Presidents, and it doesn't disappoint. It is easy for most of the public to see only what the Commander in Chief chooses to let us see, but in this book we get an inside peek into the more private lives of the President and the first family. Kessler gives accounts from Secret Service agents about the Clinton family, particularly Hillary, as well as Vice President Joe Biden, President Obama, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter. Personal, first hand observations and interactions with these Presidents and their families abound in these pages, and it's truly fascinating. For example, Kessler talks about Jimmy Carter in Chapter Ten of this book, peeling back the layers of Carter's outwardly friendly appearance to reveal someone who was almost hostile to the men of the Secret Service who were sworn to protect him. I found it to be very interesting the differences in the public persona Carter created for himself and the actual accounts from Secret Service agents of him coming in to work early in the Oval Office, only to close his curtains a half hour later and take a nap. Overall I found this book to be full of unknown information, and a real inside look at the lives, attitudes, and personalities of the President and his family. Most of the stories I read in this book were ones that I had never heard before, and I think that makes it a must read for any history buff. I would rate this book a 5/5, and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys history or politics. Great read.
tiffanya94 More than 1 year ago
Investigative journalist, Ronald Kessler, has wrote a phenomenal book! This book boasts to reveal the private lives of the presidents and it does just that. There were many many stories that I have never heard before. I was very shocked to read about some presidents and how their public persona was totally different then who they were in private. After all, we can only see what the president and first family allow us to see. The chapters aren’t super long so it won’t lose your interest. Just about all the stories about presidents come from actual Secret Service Agents who were on their detail. I was extremely interested in reading about President George Bush (Sr). He and First Lady, Barbara, were truly wonderful people in public and private. One story that made me smile was when Mrs. Bush gave an agent on their detail a hat because it was cold outside and he didn’t have one. Another thing I enjoyed was all the code names that were given to the presidents and first ladies. It was really awesome to know how everything worked. The cover is very eye catching. It features 5 thumbnail pictures of former and current president and their families. The cover will make you stop and want to know what lurks on the inside! It is also a hardcover book which I appreciate. I would give this book 5 stars! If you are very interested in politics and history then this book is definitely for you! I really learned a lot from this book about our nation’s leaders. I recommend everyone to give this book a read! You won’t regret it! I received this book for free from Blogging For Books Program in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book makes some important points. It is also amusing to read about the first families and their offscreen behavior.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read.
JCgirl More than 1 year ago
The "Dysfunctional" First Family truly should be name of this book. From the moment I began reading this book, I was hooked and couldn't put it down until I finished all 270 pages. Due to the recent scandals of the United States Secret Service (USSS) in the news, I was of course curious to see what the agents had to say about the lives of the Presidents. What was really causing all these problems within the USSS and how was it effecting the security of America. Page after page introduced me to details with the USSS that really shocked me. No, I wasn't surprised that Uncle Joe comes off just as creepy in print as he does in the media or that, "The real Hillary Clinton hungers for power and bears little resemblance to the image she seeks to project", says one agents. What I found interesting was the Presidents i.e. Johnson, Carter treatment of the USSS. The way the staff of the President, Vice President and families will by pass suggestion for safety by agents simply by picking up a phone and complaining to USSS management. The lack of support the USSS agents receive in support, training and the hypocrisy of the management of the USSS. And the biggest shocker is fining out that real changes are not made in the USSS until an assassination attempt is made, causing the incompetence of the USSS to be exposed, forcing them to address the issue. Kessler's brief section on the character & behavior of the a President really stood out for me. He states, " In training new agents, the FBI Academy teaches that the best predictor of the future behavior is past behavior. Yet over and over, voters have ignored warning signs of poor character and candidates' track records and focused instead on the promises, their celebrity, and their acting ability on television. It's a blindness that they would never extend to choosing a friend, a new employee, an electrician, or a plumber. Yet in entrusting the country and their security to a president, they are making a far more important decision. Each time, voters have regretted disregarding those clues to character." For that reason I highly recommend all Americans reading this book, to truly open their eyes to the true character of the Presidents past and present, looking beyond the over zelous view pushed on society to hide the truth.
JamieLittle More than 1 year ago
Based on the blurb on the back cover of this book, I expected this book to contain stories about things Secret Service agents had witnessed while on duty. This book holds quite a few of those stories as well as accounts of the ways the Secret Service is putting our leaders in dangerous situations due to budget cuts and issues in upper level management. I went into this book expected an inside look at some of our leaders and their families, but I was also made aware to problems that exist within the Secret Service and the culture these problems create. The book is easy to read and very informative, but not quite what I expected. The last chapter of this book, as well as the epilogue, come across as a scathing review of the way the Secret Service operates. It's not something I was expecting to stumble upon as I finished the book. That being said, I did enjoy getting a small peek into the private lives of some of this nation's leaders. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although his earlier work on the secret service was interesting, this work is poorly organized and jumps from president to random events with little logic. Prepare to read the same information again and again throughout the book. Although the information in the book might make a great editorial or letter to the editor, it reads like it is written by a student who was required to write five pages, but only had enough information to write two.
PHB More than 1 year ago
This should have been an essay and not a book. Mr. Kessler repeats a few facts over and over and over and over again.
Dr_James_Scott More than 1 year ago
I’ve always had an interest in politics, so when I had the opportunity to review the new book, “The First Family Detail,” by Ronald Kessler (published by Crown Forum), I took it. And I’m regretting it. This book is a terrible waste of time! In fact, I thought the book was so bad that I stopped reading it halfway through, something I never do when reviewing a book. Usually, no matter how “bad” a book may be, if I’m reviewing it, then I read it cover-to-cover. I just couldn’t do that with this book. Let me give you just two reasons why I think this book is so bad. First, it’s a very poorly done, cheap “gotcha” book. This book is about the Secret Service detail that is assigned to protect the President of the United States, the Vice President, their families, and other select persons. It is clear the writer was straining to find something salacious, inflammatory, and unflattering about as many of the presidents or others protected by the Secret Service that he possibly could. He did occasionally point out people, like Ronald Reagan, who treated the agents with respect and kindness, but that isn’t the obvious primary purpose of this writer. This book reads like a cheap, sleazy tabloid, lobbing unflattering quotes from disgruntled agents about their protectees. That leads to the second reason why this book is so bad, which is the quality of writing itself is poor. The writing is often choppy and I found it to be needlessly repetitious and poorly edited. The back cover of the book claims Kessler has won 18 “journalism awards” — I can’t imagine a single one of them was for quality of writing or integrity of purpose. I found no redeeming value in a poorly written book focused on publicly slandering people for their sometimes terrible behavior, and attempting to accomplish nothing more than that. This book wasn’t worth finishing reading, and I’m glad I didn’t pay for the book, it’s not worth my money, and it isn’t worth any of you, my readers, wasting your money on it, either. I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OVERVIEW: The First Family Detail reveals: *Vice President Joe Biden regularly orders the Secret Service to keep his military aide with the nuclear football a mile behind his motorcade, potentially leaving the country unable to retaliate in the event of a nuclear attack. *Secret Service agents discovered that former president Bill Clinton has a blond mistress—code named Energizer by the agents—who lives near the Clintons' home in Chappaqua, New York *The Secret Service covered up; the fact that President Ronald Reagan's White House staff overruled the agency to let unscreened spectators get close to Reagan as he left the Washington Hilton, allowing John W. Hinckley Jr. to shoot the president.* Because Hillary Clinton is so nasty to agents, being assigned to her protective detail is considered a form of punishment and the worst assignment in the Secret Service. (From the back of the book.) AUTHOR: RONALD KESSLER is the New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets of the FBI, In the President's Secret Service, and The CIA at War. A former Wall Street Journal and Washington Post investigative reporter, Kessler has won eighteen journalism awards. MY REVIEW: We all love stories. We all love storytellers. Ronald Kessler is a skilled storyteller. The stories he tells in this book are not fiction. This is dead-serious nonfiction. This book is crammed with headline-making revelations. It's about what goes on in the private lives of presidents, presidential candidates and their wives and children. This is a book about what these people are really like. Secret Service agents have a front-row seat where they look on the private lives of those who lead our country. In this book Secret Service agents reveal the hidden lives of the presidents. If you are among the many interested in these behind the scene stories, you will love this book. If not, you will find Kessler's book a waster of time. Only you can make the decision. One of the most interesting chapters, for me, was chapter eleven: White House Collar. This chapter tells the interesting story about how many people try to get into the White House to see the President and how the Secret Service protects him from these people and all those who might do him harm. The book has twenty-six chapters or stories and an epilogue. The stories are brief and the book is small. It's an easy, fun read. And very informative.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kessler did a very good job of telling this story. That is hard to do as most of the details of the Secret Service are classified. Good story and well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great read. Really gives insight as to what goes on in the Secret Service.
CPPC45 More than 1 year ago
Every voting American should read this book. Better understanding of what goes on.
cdjeff More than 1 year ago
Excellent book on the interworking's of the Secret Service and there problems with some of the families they guard.
reader75LL More than 1 year ago
I have read quite a few of Mr. Kessler's books on the CIA and the FBI. His truthful and insight writings about both fascinate me because of our so called smart nation-wide elected officials that are so egotistical that they bend the rules of safety for millions of people. Everyone should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was very interesting. Some of the information I had read about before, but some things were new and I found this book very interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good read; however, the beginning was poorly written and the whole book was somewhat repetitive. Having lived through all the events discussed in the book, I still enjoyed hearing the relationship between the secret service and the presidential families..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very interesting details
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kind of boring