Friday, October 16, 2015
http://images.randomhouse.com/cover/9780804139618?width=125&alt=no_cover_b4b.gif http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/234655/the-first-family-detail-by-ronald-kessler/ The First Family Detail by Ronald Kessler Subtitled, “Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents”, this book half fulfilled its promise. Included are anecdotes about virtually every president since Kennedy with a few vice presidents thrown in for good measure. Few of the accounts will leave you thinking more highly of the subject. It would be well to note that half the book is dedicated to the premise that the Secret Service cuts corners and is mismanaged, a repeated point made in so belabored a way that one wonders if this was not the author’s main goal in writing this book. A typical point is made on page 231, “Much like a car that never gets regular maintenance and oil changes, the seven-thousand-employee Secret Service lurches along until a tragdy like the Kennedy assaination forces it to rectify deficiencies.” Page 248 incudes this statement: “The fact that Secret Service management has a lackadaisical attitude about securtiy and routinely orders agents to cut corners no doubt contributed to the fact that a uniformed officer with a dog thought he could get away with sitting in his van talking on his personal cell phone.” Be forewarned that The First Family Detail seesaws between anecdotes about First Families and haranguing on the deficits of the Secret Service. In my opinion, both subjects would have been better served had they been addressed in different books. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.