Book list It's impossible to think of the day President Kennedy was assassinated without remembering the footage of Jackie Kennedy crawling on the back of the open car and a Secret Service agent pushing her back in. That man was Clint Hill, who guarded Mrs. Kennedy while she was in the White House. Hill has kept silent about those years until now. This is an odd book in some ways. Hill was with Jackie most of the time and either has a remarkable memory or kept copious notes (perhaps his cowriter was just good at research). But for all the details about what Mrs. Kennedy wore and who she traveled with, there is precious little about her relationship with the president and nothing about whether she knew of his indiscretions. (If she chose not to know, it was clear why. As Hill tells it, she hated the White House and was almost never there, preferring to travel or spend time at one of her other homes.) Then there is the question of Hill and Jackie's obviously close relationship, which comes through loud and clear. This may raise more questions than it answers, but it brings history alive.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publishers Weekly In November 1960, Hill, who had been on President Eisenhower's Secret Service detail, wasn't looking forward to his new assignment-which he viewed as a demotion-of protecting Jacqueline Kennedy. But a disappointed Hill soon realized he was actually serving the president "by protecting the things that were most important to him, personally-his wife and his children." Hill was completely won over by the first lady's spontaneity, curiosity, sincerity, and joie de vivre. He accompanied her to Greece twice; on the first trip, in 1961, he was under strict if baffling instructions from JFK to keep his wife away from Aristotle Onassis. Hill was with Mrs. Kennedy on a Virginia hunt where she flew headfirst over her horse and a rail fence, through the death of infant Patrick and in Dallas when the president was assassinated. Hill is close-mouthed about JFK's infidelities. His book is most valuable for his perceptive recall of the daily routine and problems faced by the Secret Ser-vice detail. This is a worshipful, competent insider's glimpse of a matchless first lady whose diplomatic skills and glamour enabled her to do the unthinkable: briefly wrest the Mona Lisa from France. Photos. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Library Journal Hill, with journalist McCubbin, has written a warm, revealing account of his years as a Secret Service agent assigned to protect Jacqueline Kennedy during her time in the White House and after. He relives this period of his long career from first meeting Kennedy on through the tragedy in Dallas and beyond. Kennedy picked Hill to remain in charge of her security after the assassination of her husband. Hill adeptly manages the difficult task of providing the reader intimate glimpses into the Kennedy family's life, as well as Kennedy's glamorous international travels, while evoking a sense of the tremendous personal sacrifices made by Secret Service agents on the job. He recalls the horror at Dealey Plaza in stark, terrifying detail, recounting the frantic seconds that claimed President Kennedy's life and left Hill wracked with pain and guilt that has never fully subsided. Verdict This is a worthy addition to the body of literature on the Kennedy "Camelot" years as well as the assassination. Readers may also wish to seek out Gerald Blaine's (also with McCubbin) The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence. Sincere and honorable, Hill's book is also recommended for memoir enthusiasts generally.-Dennis J. Seese, American Univ. Lib., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.