The Secret Service are an elite team of men who share a single mission: to protect the president of the United States. On November 22, 1963, these men failed, and a country would never be the same. Now, for the first time, a member of JFK's Secret Service detail reveals the inside story of the assassination, the weeks and days that led to it and its heartrending aftermath. This book is a portrait of dedication, courage, and loss. Drawing on the memories of his fellow agents, the author captures the energetic, crowd-loving young president, who banned agents from his car and often plunged into raucous crowds with little warning. He describes the careful planning that went into JFK's Texas swing, the worries and concerns that agents, working long hours with little food or rest, had during the trip. And he describes the intensely private first lady making her first ever political appearance with her husband, just months after losing a newborn baby. 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. This book is a portrait of camaraderie and heartbreak, a true story of heroism in its most complex and human form; the true story of the assassination of JFK, told by Secret Service agents who were there and who have lived with the guilt and grief from that day.
When time stood still -- The men. On the detail ; The President-elect detail ; The threats ; The advance ; The risks ; The First Lady's detail -- The job. The summer of '63 ; The reelection campaign ; Rising tensions ; Texas -- That day. The final hours ; Six seconds in Dallas ; Breakdown ; The unimaginable ; Darkness falls ; No time for tears ; Burial -- Our lives. The end of Camelot ; The Johnson detail ; The pendulum falls ; The verdict ; Confronting conspiracies ; Clint Hill : witness to history ; Clint Hill : don't call me hero.