Secrets of the Secret Service
SECRETS OF THE SECRET SERVICE is a unique, behind-the-scenes look at what makes the Secret Service tick and the increasingly reactive strategies and tactics that place presidential security at risk. The United States Secret Service is tasked with one of the world's most important missions: protecting the President of the United States. World stability rests upon their shoulders. When they sign up to lay down their lives for the leader of the free world, they pledge to ensure America's continuity of government and continued leadership on the world stage. But unbeknownst to most Americans, that legacy faces a great risk today. The agency today is fraught with management problems thanks to years of increased politicization. The Secret Services' strategy and tactics have become increasingly reactive, placing presidential security at risk.New York Times bestselling author GARY BYRNE, a former Secret Service officer, reveals the agency's evolution, studying the major attacks it has thwarted and bringing to life the key players, forces and dramatic shifts that have made it what it is today - an elite but troubled protection force.SECRETS OF THE SECRET SERVICE shares action-packed stories from the agency's past, covering key moments of American history you only think you know about, and how the Secret Service's untenable downward spiral is set to repeat some of American history's darkest days including the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, and John and Robert Kennedy - as well as the foiled attempts on the lives of Jackson, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Ford, Reagan, both Presidents Bush, Clinton, Obama, and Trump. SECRETS OF THE SECRET SERVICE is a unique behind-the-scenes look at what makes the Secret Service tick. It gives the reader an appreciation for the challenges they face every day, from internal and external threats. And it shows the way forward for an agency at a crossroads.

Secrets of the Secret Service Details

TitleSecrets of the Secret Service
Author
ReleaseJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherCenter Street
ISBN-139781546082477
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Politics, Presidents

Secrets of the Secret Service Review

  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not sure who I have to be to enjoy this... someone who doesn't care about facts being true? Or some dude obviously pissed off about his past job? Or an asshole? Or a...Republican???? Yep, it must be that one.
  • Jacqueline
    January 1, 1970
    Essential Reading But Not Well WrittenIf you do not remember the early 1970’s then there is vital information in this book that you should know. If you aspire to write tell-all non-fiction you should study this book, especially the sections you do not like.The two authors voices do not blend well. One author has a polished, smooth style of embedding opinion inside selected facts - many of which are from obscure sources. The other, abruptly interposing first person memories, speaks from a viewpoi Essential Reading But Not Well WrittenIf you do not remember the early 1970’s then there is vital information in this book that you should know. If you aspire to write tell-all non-fiction you should study this book, especially the sections you do not like.The two authors voices do not blend well. One author has a polished, smooth style of embedding opinion inside selected facts - many of which are from obscure sources. The other, abruptly interposing first person memories, speaks from a viewpoint that seems to lack an understanding of the situation from other views. This lack of empathy for the motives of others makes the first person narrative seem to be petty ax-grinding, or sometimes self centered belly-aching when it is actually an unvarnished account of the truth. The difference in impression is all in the writing. The polished, smooth narrator shows strength and mastery of the writing craft that disposes the reader to believe him. The first person commentator shows a weakness that disposes the reader to disbelief. If you can analyze the source of that effect for yourself, you should be able to avoid injecting it into your own non-Fiction thus create a disposition in readers to believe you. The facts presented here should be taken seriously. The book is worth its price to researchers for the bibliography at the end which is many pages long. An arduous and admirable compilation of great historic value. I will probably mention this book in a blog entry on Security Protectors but meanwhile read C.J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series which describes these issues perfectly.
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  • Ginger
    January 1, 1970
    The book started out as a delicious tell-all, transitioned into a history of the secret service, and ended as a disgruntled worker's rant. The latter part of the book was written for either Congress or assassins. He may have meant well but his rant was repetitive and he didn't consider the unintended consequences of some of his more than recommended changes.
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  • Jim Brown
    January 1, 1970
    If the title had not already been used, this book could have been titled, “The Secret Service! The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!”If history repeats itself and for anyone over the age of 30, we all know that it does, then we could very well expect that a future president will be assassinated or injured by an attack on the president, or a member of the president’s family and/or inner circle or a dignitary being protected by the Secret Service. The same rule that applies to combating terrorism attemp If the title had not already been used, this book could have been titled, “The Secret Service! The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!”If history repeats itself and for anyone over the age of 30, we all know that it does, then we could very well expect that a future president will be assassinated or injured by an attack on the president, or a member of the president’s family and/or inner circle or a dignitary being protected by the Secret Service. The same rule that applies to combating terrorism attempts applies to protecting our president and those around him – those in the various protection details MUST be right 100% of the time; an attacker only once!Gary Byrne, retired member of The Secret Service has written a very compelling read regarding the Secret Service. It is NOT just about the service’s secrets, it is about its history both good, bad and outright ugly but mostly the bad and more specifically why it was and remains BAD! I found the book hard to put down even though I have lived long enough to remember quite a few of the details in the book and knew how they turned out. It could be equivalent to reading Titantic. Everyone knows how it ends but few know how it got to the point where the ship was in jeopardy and why so many lost their lives when none of it should have happened in the first place.Byrne not only identifies where the problems exist and have existed for decades, at the end of the book he outlines his recommendations to improve the service, make it far more efficient, hopefully create a service that actually does protect those they are sworn to protect all while making it far more economical do all of these things and more. While I personally agree with his recommendations for a “fix”, being a retired military person, I can’t help but feel the people they are expected to protect and the country would be better served if the protection detail(s) were formed out of the best of the best the MILITARY has to offer. Instead of trying to make a civilian organization operate more like a highly trained military unit, why not take a highly trained military unit and make them appear to the public as though they were civilians by having them wear something other than their military uniforms. As Byrne so aptly points out, there are three very different issues to be considered, the problems of the “rank and file”, the problems of mid level manage to upper management and proper financial accountability of taxpayer funds being spent.I read the book with both interest and personal disgust. It proves that things are never quite as they first appear. But in this case, appearances will NOT protect our president of today or of tomorrow if changes are not forthcoming and forthcoming fast before America loses another of its leaders to a mentally deranged assassin. In this case, “time is a wasting!” Will Congress ever take any action on Byrne’s recommendations? That would first depend on whether members of Congress actually read it. If they do it would be a difficult argument to make as to why THEY WOULDN’T TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION. If I were Byrne, I would send each active member of Congress and the White House a signed copy of the book if he hasn’t already and ask that they read and study it at least the last chapter where the recommendations appear. Sadly, you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make it drink and that describes our Congress in a nutshell. For those readers looking for the inner dealings with various First Families including Presidents, (or in other words the dirt) the book is very interesting. For anyone that has either lived through the history covered in the book or have “heard” of infractions of some of our presidents, the book has enough meat in it to hold your interest. A lot of your expectations and/or assumptions will be verified by the book.Who should read this book? EVERY AMERICAN! AND THAT INCLUDES EVERY ELECTED OFFICIAL. (This is not a partisan issue – it is an issue that if not immediately addressed could adversely affect the safety of elected officials from all political parties.) Would I but the book as a gift? Not sure. It is an easy to read book on a complex issue that I fear a lot of people would have no interest in reading about but should, so the answer is probably not. Would I read it again? I would definitely read portions of it again but not cover to cover.
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  • Jen Lee-Olmstead
    January 1, 1970
    President Kennedy made work difficult for his Secret Service agents: he refused to dial back on his (unscreened) mistresses, participation in extreme sports, and high profile social life. He was known to say: "If anyone is crazy enough to kill a President of the United States, he can do it. All a man needs is a willingness to trade his life for mine." And so this book dissects the many mistakes made in past administrations, highlighting how woefully understaffed and underfunded the Secret Servic President Kennedy made work difficult for his Secret Service agents: he refused to dial back on his (unscreened) mistresses, participation in extreme sports, and high profile social life. He was known to say: "If anyone is crazy enough to kill a President of the United States, he can do it. All a man needs is a willingness to trade his life for mine." And so this book dissects the many mistakes made in past administrations, highlighting how woefully understaffed and underfunded the Secret Service is. Don't get me wrong, the stories are very interesting.However, I was seriously nervous reading this book, and can't help but think Byrne has done a great disservice to the agency by airing so much laundry. He doesn't hold back on his disdain for the Clintons. And while he does offer many suggestions on how to improve the agency, readers aren't the ones to make that happen directly.
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  • Sheri S.
    January 1, 1970
    It seems the Secret Service experiences the same kinds of problems that plague big businesses...except that the services rendered by the secret service are arguably more far reaching and impacting than many big businesses. I agree with the author that changes need to be made to protect the president (no matter who fills that office) and that workers should have better training and adequate time off between shifts. It seems that the Secret Service would benefit from having an outside agency look It seems the Secret Service experiences the same kinds of problems that plague big businesses...except that the services rendered by the secret service are arguably more far reaching and impacting than many big businesses. I agree with the author that changes need to be made to protect the president (no matter who fills that office) and that workers should have better training and adequate time off between shifts. It seems that the Secret Service would benefit from having an outside agency look into its practices and propose (dare I say, mandate) changes for the protection of all involved. The book discusses some of the history of the Secret Service, including why and how it started. It records challenges the agency has experienced, particularly during the Clinton presidency, and goes over some of the major negative incidents discussed in the press.
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  • Scull17
    January 1, 1970
    Part history, part memoir, part manifesto, former Secret Service officer and author Gary J. Byrne rants his way through this 300-page book. But who can blame him? If the Service is as broken as he says it is (and of course it is, congressional hearings and the House oversight committee have proven that without a doubt), then as taxpayers and law-abiding citizens we should all be indignant indeed.There is a lot to be learned here. I am especially touched by the description of the heroism of the S Part history, part memoir, part manifesto, former Secret Service officer and author Gary J. Byrne rants his way through this 300-page book. But who can blame him? If the Service is as broken as he says it is (and of course it is, congressional hearings and the House oversight committee have proven that without a doubt), then as taxpayers and law-abiding citizens we should all be indignant indeed.There is a lot to be learned here. I am especially touched by the description of the heroism of the Secret Service detail protecting President Truman at Blair House; the tragedy reads like the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.Thank you Goodreads Giveaways for this book.
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  • Lorraine Meissner
    January 1, 1970
    OverboardI don't know if the author threw the secret service under the bus or if the secret service was so mismanaged for so many years that they deserved this scathing report. Gary Byrnes took a lot of chances here and I doubt the secret service will be very happy with him. If what he wrote is true our presidents are not safe and many of the authors ideas do not seem to be sensible. I would recommend this book to political wonks looking to take issue with our governmental agencies.
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  • Onceinabluemoon
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 scary and revealing, two stories, two voices, one is quite angry... we listened in the car, each of us screaming did you hear that, is that true, did you know that?! Although I felt ones anger can almost discount the info, it didn't, everyone should read this and watch your jaw drop.
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  • Mprudom
    January 1, 1970
    Book was not well written, told all the same stories we know happened, nothing new. This book was impossibly difficult to finish.
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