“In the President’s Secret Service” : An audiobook review

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“In the President’s Secret Service” : An audiobook review

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Written by Ronald Kessler, “In the President’s Secret Service” provides history nerds and exposé fans with a great read (or listen in this case) and keeps the reader interested in wanting to know more! If you are an SMSU student, chances are you have a bit of a drive across the prairie to get to Marshall. I had to do a bit of that the last couple weeks and this audiobook provided me with an enjoyable ride compared to the sometimes below average radio.

Kessler did extensive research and provides a look into the lives of U.S. Presidents. Written in 2009, Kessler also had “gossip” on then newly inaugurated President Barack Obama. He gave a brief history of the Secret Service, pointing out that they ironically were formed by President Abraham Lincoln as a police agency for counterfeit money. He also gives a look through the Presidential assassinations, which gave Congress the idea to provide the President with protection.

What stood out to me was the detail Kessler was able to give on former Presidents. He tracked down the agents who worked on the Presidential details going back to President John F. Kennedy. It’s no secret that President Kennedy liked his women, and he would enlist the help of his agents to have a discreet “meeting” with his special friends. It is also worth noting the Kessler gathered from agents that Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon may have had some mental issues. Or so the agents thought.

President Gerald Ford’s presidency was short lived as he took over from President Nixon after his resignation in August of 1974 and was defeated in 1976 by Jimmy Carter. Kessler spent very little time on Ford, and instead shows a side of Jimmy Carter that was not seen in public. Carter prided himself as a man of the people and a down to earth friendly man. However, the agents on his detail saw a very different man.

Carter always was proud of the fact that he carried his own bags when traveling. The agents said he only did that if a camera was in sight, and then the bag was empty. The minute he was out of site of the cameras, he would throw his bag at his agents. He also told agents they were never to look at him or speak to him, and the driver of his limo proved this when he said that he drove Carter around for two years and Carter never once spoke to him.

The agents who worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush all said that the men and their families were the same both in public and in private. Agents even reported a nice friendship with the Presidents!

Whether you like history, gossip, or just a good book, Kessler provides that for you!

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