Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Review: The First Family Detail by Ronald Kessler

Disclosure: Special thanks to Blogging for Books for sending me a review copy to facilitate this blog post. All opinions, as always, are my own. 

Long ago, in my early 20's, I worked as an intern with the Department of State. I was luckily assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Rome - truly a dream come true. On an even luckier note, President Clinton came on two official visits to Italy during my summer internship at the embassy.

I was always fascinated by the security detail that surrounded the president and the first lady at the time. The Secret Service agents truly do have front row seats to both the challenges and joys that the U.S. president faces on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis.

So I was happy to have the chance to review THE FIRST FAMILY DETAIL: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents by Ronald Kessler, an uncensored look into the lives of the presidents, as seen through the eyes of Secret Service agents.

Investigative reporter Ronald Kessler manages to break through the wall of secrecy that surrounds the U.S. Secret Service. Some of the stories are a bit salacious, and I read them with a grain of salt: i.e. Clinton's mistress escapades and Nixon's stripper delivery. I also just can't believe that former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Clinton is as nasty as depicted: I saw her interacting with her security detail in person, and she was nothing short of polite and respectful. To summarize, many of the stories in this book are a tad sensationalistic to say the least.

But if you're a presidential history buff, you'll want to take a look at this super quick read. Just remember to question everything and keep an open mind. No doubt our Secret Service agents are among the bravest members of our national security team - it's the author who comes across as a bit over the top with the stories that allegedly took place behind the scenes.

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