Tuesday, May 10, 2011
[Book Review] IN THE PRESIDENT'S SECRET SERVICE by Ronald Kessler
Hollye of the Parkway Village Book Club reviews IN THE PRESIDENT'S SECRET SERVICE by Ronald Kessler (Crown Publishers, 2009)
The Parkway Village Book Club read this book for our April meeting. The ladies in the book club liked learning about all of the U.S. Presidents and their "true" personalities when they were not in the spotlight. Ronald Kessler talked to several current and ex-Secret Service men and women to find out how the Secret Service works and what they really thought about each president, vice-president, and their families. It was pretty fascinating stuff and we had a lively discussion about how surprised we were, learning about some of the presidents’ secret lives.
The book told us that Jimmy Carter was the least-liked President of the Secret Service agents. He tried to micromanage everyone and carried empty luggage when boarding Air Force One, to make it look like he was carrying his own luggage. Afterwards, he would try to demand that his Secret Service guys get his real luggage. They told him they would not do this, and one time, when he got to his destination, he had no clothes.
Ronald Reagan was the most loved President of the agents. He always asked about the guys’ families and remembered birthdays. Nancy Reagan was the one who really ran the White House, but she loved her husband and wanted him to look good. She did things to keep him from having fun, like during a ballgame when the crowd cheered after Reagan put on a baseball cap. She told him to take it off because he looked ridiculous. Ronald Reagan often wrote personal checks in response to sad stories written to him by the public.
There is much more written about the presidents by Ronald Kessler. My book club had fun talking about all the presidents, reminiscing about what they remembered about each one. We were all shocked by some stories, laughed at others, and became fans of some of the presidents and their families.
Hollye Ferguson, Parkway Village Library