John H. Manhold
The Kennedy Detail ISBN 9781439192962, Gallery Books Division of Simon & Schuster, Soft Cover, 404 pages by Gerald Blaine with Lisa McCubbin.
For the first time, a member of the Secret Service assigned to guard President Kennedy, provides details “to set the record straight.”
The book begins with a Forward by the author, and another by Clint Hill, the security agent assigned to protect Mrs. Kennedy, who was so prominent in his efforts to protect the president on that fateful day. From this beginning, a reader is introduced to the extensive planning and details required to protect the President of the United States as well as other Members of State and their families. Details are provided of the precautionary measures taken for every trip, every motorcade, every personal appearance, and even during the night hours.
It details how every police report of ‘persons of interest,’ whether actual criminals, known agitators, or just ‘some nut’ is scrutinized and the precautionary measures that are taken, the manner in which motorcade routes are examined and programmed and even the specific automobiles and drivers that are required – all of the host of details one does not realize are necessary to reduce the state of vulnerability of the President of the United States.
Vignettes of the agents’ home life, their wives and children, also are presented in a simple manner that bring clearly to mind the dedication that this group of men must have to provide the efficient force they have become.
Actual description of the assassination of the President is presented graphically, with all details of the shots fired. The journey to the hospital, activities within the hospital and subsequent handling of the president’s body, also are described in detail, so as to make all theories of conspiracy seem untenable. Descriptions of the funeral and family actions also are faithfully described in all of their heart-wrenching detail.
The authors further have provided a look at the after-assassination life of Clint Hill that provides a description of the horrendous effect an action of this magnitude could have on persons as dedicated as these men.
In summary, as a person who lived through this horrendous period of history, and remembers following each and every detail as presented by the media, I am fascinated to read the descriptions of factors not presented at the time. The Kennedy Detail is a book that everyone should read. It provides essential details about a particularly prominent, albeit traumatic, incident in history in a most readable form.