The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency

The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency

by Philip H. Melanson, Peter F. Stevens
2.5 6

Hardcover

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The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As someone that enjoys history I enjoyed the book, however, the editing was didtracting. It appears as if someone used, and relied totally on, spell check. I found that distracting, but if you can ignore the editing it is an easy read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book provides some interesting insights into the Secret Service, an agency that has little written about it. What takes away from the book though, and causes you question its accuracy, are the typos and laughable mistakes. The most glaring to me were a couple of references to events in the 1860s on the Penn-Central Railroad. The Penn-Central wasn't created until the 1960s.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The typos got extremely annoying. I kept a running list and sent it to the publisher. It was almost 4 pages long! Very poor editing and proofreading, but otherwise, very interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In addition to the typos and repetitive sections, the author also has what appears to be a disdain for an agency created to help protect innocent people. From what I've read and seen, the agents of the Secret Service are characterized by selflessness and bravery, rare qualities. I don't think anyone, especially this author, should make light of that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From its creation by Abraham Lincoln as an anti-counterfeiting agency on the day he was assassinated to the impact on the Secret Service of the Sep't. 11 terrorist attacks, this comprehensive historical analysis will be of interest to both scholars and lay readers. Prof. Melanson traces the agency's almost accidental accretion of its protective function and details the strains the dual missions of protecting the currency and protecting political figures imposes on the Secret Service. Of particular interest is the discussion of the agency's greatest failure, the assassination of President Kennedy, and its subsequent efforts both to cover up and learn from its weaknesses. This analysis is particularly pertinent to the ongoing conversation about the performance of our intelligence agencies prior to and after the events of 9/11. The demands on the Secret Service have grown exponentially in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Not only has the number of political figures being given Secret Service protection exploded, but the agency has also been assigned to provide security for the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. As a result agency resources have been strained to the breaking point. It is in that context that Prof. Melanson offers some well-reasoned recommendations for restructuring the agency so that it will be better able to meet these new demands. In short, this is a timely, readable, and comprehensive book that will be of interest to a wide audience.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Overall, this book was fair. I had been anxiously awaiting its release, but sadly, I was disappointed with the book when it finally arrived. It is obvious that no one proofread it, as there are multiple typos, run-on sentences, punctuation errors, etc. throughout the entire text--things that should never get past an editor and were highly annoying. Also, because there were 2 authors, it seemed as if they took turns writing alternate chapters but never checked with each other to see if certain information had been covered already. There is little or no organization to the way the information is presented, and at times, the book just seems to go on and on and dances around without ever getting to the point. The book gave me little new knowledge that I didn't already have. Definitely wait until it comes out in trade paperback; save your money.