Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Kennedy Detail

The Kennedy Detail by Gerald Blaine is an insider’s look at the Secret Service agents responsible for the protection of President John F. Kennedy. This is a fascinating story of the lives of the men who protected JFK and how they interacted personally with the First Family. For these men, protecting the president was the most important responsibility one could have. When they failed to do that, all of them became traumatized.

It is interesting to see how the Secret Service performed their responsibilities with what we would today consider primitive resources. There were no computers or databases, no cell phones or smart phones, no wireless communication except for the cumbersome walkie-talkie that was carried by one agent. Information was kept in personal notebooks, written in the field by the agents who did the legwork.

I gained a new respect for the Secret Service from Blaine’s account. He likewise managed to portray this iconic president and his family in very compassionate and human terms. This is refreshing in a day when there has been so much ink devoted to the less than sterling moral character of the family of Joe Kennedy. For whatever JFK was, he was still a father, a husband, a brother, a son, and a president.

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