In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect

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After conducting exclusive interviews with more than one hundred current and former Secret Service agents, bestselling author and award-winning reporter Ronald Kessler reveals their secrets for the first time.

Never before has a journalist penetrated the wall of secrecy that surrounds the U.S. Secret Service, that elite corps of agents who pledge to take a bullet to protect the president and his family. Kessler portrays the dangers that agents face and how they carry out their missions--from how they are trained to how they spot and assess potential threats. With fly-on-the-wall perspective, he captures the drama and tension that characterize agents’ lives and reveals what they have seen, providing startling, previously untold stories about the presidents, from John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as about their families, Cabinet officers, and White House aides.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  • “Ron Kessler appears to get everything first.”—Slate

As in a play, presidents, vice presidents, and presidential candidates perform onstage for the public and the media. What the nation’s leaders are really like and what goes on behind the scenes remain hidden. Secret Service agents have a front-row seat on their private lives and those of their wives and children. Crammed with new headline-making revelations, The First Family Detail by New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler tells that eye-opening, uncensored story.

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 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.

“Kessler’s such a skilled storyteller, you almost forget this is dead-serious nonfiction.”—Newsweek 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Crown Forum
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Published on
Aug 4, 2009
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780307461377
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / 21st Century
Political Science / Intelligence & Espionage
Political Science / Terrorism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The shocking first-draft history of the Trump regime, and its clear authoritarian impulses, based on the viral Internet phenom "The Weekly List".

In the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump's election as president, Amy Siskind, a former Wall Street executive and the founder of The New Agenda, began compiling a list of actions taken by the Trump regime that pose a threat to our democratic norms. Under the headline: "Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you'll remember", Siskind's "Weekly List" began as a project she shared with friends, but it soon went viral and now has more than half a million viewers every week.

Compiled in one volume for the first time, The List is a first draft history and a comprehensive accounting of Donald Trump's first year. Beginning with Trump's acceptance of white supremacists the week after the election and concluding a year to the day later, we watch as Trump and his regime chips away at the rights and protections of marginalized communities, of women, of us all, via Twitter storms, unchecked executive action, and shifting rules and standards. The List chronicles not only the scandals that made headlines but just as important, the myriad smaller but still consequential unprecedented acts that otherwise fall through cracks. It is this granular detail that makes The List such a powerful and important book.

For everyone hoping to #resistTrump, The List is a must-have guide to what we as a country have lost in the wake of Trump's election. #Thisisnotnormal
“What did the president know and when did he know it?” takes on a whole new meaning in Presidents and Political Thought. Though political philosophy is sometimes considered to be dry and abstract, many of our presidents have found usable ideas embedded within it. In this first comparative study of presidents and political theory, David Siemers examines how some of them have applied this specialized knowledge to their job. Presidents and Political Thought explores the connection between philosophy and practical politics through a study of six American chief executives: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Bill Clinton. Writing at the intersection of politics, history, and philosophy, Siemers combines his extensive understanding of political philosophy with careful research and analysis of individual presidents to produce provocative and astute judgments about how their understanding of political theory affected their performance. Each chapter examines a particular president’s attitude about political theory, the political theorists he read and admired, and the ways in which he applied theory in his activities as president. Viewing presidents through the lens of political theory enables Siemers to conclude that Madison and Adams have been significantly underrated. Wilson is thought to have abandoned his theoretical viewpoint as president, but actually, he just possessed an unorthodox interpretation of his favorite thinker, Edmund Burke. Often thought to be so pragmatic or opportunistic that they lacked any convictions, FDR and Clinton gained their orientations to politics from political theory. These and other insights suggest that we cannot understand these presidencies without being more aware of the ideas the presidents brought to the office. Siemers’s study takes on special relevance as the United States experiences regime change and a possible party realignment because, as he notes, Barack Obama has read and learned from political theory, too. Avoiding much of the jargon that often accompanies political theory, this book demonstrates the relevance of political theory in the real world, chronicling both the challenges and potentially rich payoffs when presidents conceive of politics not just as a way to reward friends and punish enemies, but as a means to realize principles.
Readers of The New York Times know David Sanger as one of the most trusted correspondents in Washington, one to whom presidents, secretaries of state, and foreign leaders talk with unusual candor. Now, with a historian’s sweep and an insider’s eye for telling detail, Sanger delivers an urgent intelligence briefing on the world America faces.

In a riveting narrative, The Inheritance describes the huge costs of distraction and lost opportunities at home and abroad as Iraq soaked up manpower, money, and intelligence capabilities. The 2008 market collapse further undermined American leadership, leaving the new president with a set of challenges unparalleled since Franklin D. Roosevelt entered the Oval Office.

Sanger takes readers into the White House Situation Room to reveal how Washington penetrated Tehran’s nuclear secrets, leading President Bush, in his last year, to secretly step up covert actions in a desperate effort to delay an Iranian bomb. Meanwhile, his intelligence chiefs made repeated secret missions to Pakistan as they tried to stem a growing insurgency and cope with an ally who was also aiding the enemy–while receiving billions in American military aid. Now the new president faces critical choices: Is it better to learn to live with a nuclear Iran or risk overt or covert confrontation? Is it worth sending U.S. forces deep into Pakistani territory at the risk of undermining an unstable Pakistani government sitting on a nuclear arsenal? It is a race against time and against a new effort by Islamic extremists–never before disclosed–to quietly infiltrate Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.

“Bush wrote a lot of checks,” one senior intelligence official told Sanger, “that the next president is going to have to cash.”

The Inheritance takes readers to Afghanistan, where Bush never delivered on his promises for a Marshall Plan to rebuild the country, paving the way for the Taliban’s return. It examines the chilling calculus of North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il, who built actual weapons of mass destruction in the same months that the Bush administration pursued phantoms in Iraq, then sold his nuclear technology in the Middle East in an operation the American intelligence apparatus missed. And it explores how China became one of the real winners of the Iraq war, using the past eight years to expand its influence in Asia, and lock up oil supplies in Africa while Washington was bogged down in the Middle East. Yet Sanger, a former foreign correspondent in Asia, sees enormous potential for the next administration to forge a partnership with Beijing on energy and the environment.

At once a secret history of our foreign policy misadventures and a lucid explanation of the opportunities they create, The Inheritance is vital reading for anyone trying to understand the extraordinary challenges that lie ahead.
A rare inside look at the Secret Service from an agent who provided protection worldwide for President George H. W. Bush, President William Clinton, and President George W. Bush

Dan Emmett was just eight years old when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The events surrounding the President's death shaped the course of young Emmett's life as he set a goal of becoming a US Secret Service agent—one of a special group of people willing to trade their lives for that of the President, if necessary.

Within Arm's Length is a revealing and compelling inside look at the Secret Service and the elite Presidential Protective Division (PPD). With stories from some of the author's more high-profile assignments in his twenty-one years of service, where he provided arm's length protection worldwide for Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, and George W. Bush, both as a member of the PPD and the Counter Assault Team, Dan Emmett describes the professional, physical and emotional challenges faced by Secret Service agents. Included are never before discussed topics such as the complicated relationship between presidents, first ladies and their agents, the inner workings of Secret Service protective operations as well as the seldom-mentioned challenges of the complex Secret Service cultural issues faced by an agent's family. Within Arm's Length also shares firsthand details about conducting presidential advances, dealing with the media, driving the President in a bullet-proof limousine, running alongside him through the streets of Washington, and flying with him on Air Force One.

Within Arm's Length is the essential book on the United States Secret Service. This revealing and compelling inside look at the Presidential Protective Division, along with spellbinding stories from the author's career, gives the reader an unprecedented look in to the life and career of an agent in America's most elite law enforcement agency.

Enhanced with stunning videos and photographs throughout, illustrating the impact of Kennedy’s presidency and death, the true story of the critical events leading up to and following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, in full for the first time by the Secret Service agents who were firsthand witnesses to one of America’s greatest tragedies, and have lived for forty-seven years with unresolved guilt and grief.

Drawing on the memories of his fellow agents, Jerry Blaine captures the energetic, crowd-loving young president, who banned agents from his car and often plunged into raucous crowds with little warning. Here are vivid scenes that could come only from inside the Kennedy detail: JFK’s last words to his tearful son when he left Washington for the last time; how a sudden change of weather led to the choice of the open-air convertible limousine that day; Mrs. Kennedy standing blood-soaked outside a Dallas hospital room; the sudden interruption of six-year-old Caroline’s long-anticipated sleepover with a friend at home; the exhausted team of agents immediately reacting to the president’s death with a shift to LBJ and other key governmental figures; the agents’ dismay at Jackie’s decision to walk openly from the White House to St. Matthew’s Cathedral at the state funeral.

Most of all, this is a look into the lives of men who devoted their entire beings to protecting the presidential family: the stress of the secrecy they kept, the emotional bonds that developed, the terrible impact on agents’ psyches and families, and their astonishment at the country’s obsession with far-fetched conspiracy theories and finger-pointing. A book fifty years in coming, The Kennedy Detail is a portrait of incredible camaraderie and incredible heartbreak—a true, must-read story of heroism in its most complex and human form.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  • “Ron Kessler appears to get everything first.”—Slate

As in a play, presidents, vice presidents, and presidential candidates perform onstage for the public and the media. What the nation’s leaders are really like and what goes on behind the scenes remain hidden. Secret Service agents have a front-row seat on their private lives and those of their wives and children. Crammed with new headline-making revelations, The First Family Detail by New York Times bestselling author Ronald Kessler tells that eye-opening, uncensored story.

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 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.

“Kessler’s such a skilled storyteller, you almost forget this is dead-serious nonfiction.”—Newsweek 
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