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Secrets of the Secret Service: The History and Uncertain Future of the U.S. Secret Service

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From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller CRISIS OF CHARACTER comes an explosive new exposé of the Secret Service. The United States Secret Service is tasked with protecting our Presidents, their families, and the complex in which they live and work. Given this important mission, world stability rests upon the shoulders of its agents. In his new book, former From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller CRISIS OF CHARACTER comes an explosive new exposé of the Secret Service. The United States Secret Service is tasked with protecting our Presidents, their families, and the complex in which they live and work. Given this important mission, world stability rests upon the shoulders of its agents. In his new book, former Secret Service officer Gary Byrne takes readers behind the scenes to understand the agency's history and today's security failings that he believes put Americans at risk The American public knows the stories of Secret Service heroism, but they don't know about the hidden legacy of problems that have plagued the agency ever since its creation. Gary Byrne says that decades of catastrophic public failures, near misses, and bureaucratic and cultural rot threaten to erode this critical organization from the inside out. Today, as it works to protect President Trump, the Secret Service stands at a crossroads, and the time needed to choose the right course is running out. Agents and officers are leaving the Secret Service in droves, or they're being overworked to the point where they lose focus on the job. Management makes decisions based on politics, not the welfare of their employees. Byrne believes that this means danger for the men and women of the Secret Service, danger for the President they protect, and danger for the nation. In this book, he shares what he has witnessed and learned about the Secret Service with the hope that the problems of this most important agency can be fixed before it's too late.


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From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller CRISIS OF CHARACTER comes an explosive new exposé of the Secret Service. The United States Secret Service is tasked with protecting our Presidents, their families, and the complex in which they live and work. Given this important mission, world stability rests upon the shoulders of its agents. In his new book, former From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller CRISIS OF CHARACTER comes an explosive new exposé of the Secret Service. The United States Secret Service is tasked with protecting our Presidents, their families, and the complex in which they live and work. Given this important mission, world stability rests upon the shoulders of its agents. In his new book, former Secret Service officer Gary Byrne takes readers behind the scenes to understand the agency's history and today's security failings that he believes put Americans at risk The American public knows the stories of Secret Service heroism, but they don't know about the hidden legacy of problems that have plagued the agency ever since its creation. Gary Byrne says that decades of catastrophic public failures, near misses, and bureaucratic and cultural rot threaten to erode this critical organization from the inside out. Today, as it works to protect President Trump, the Secret Service stands at a crossroads, and the time needed to choose the right course is running out. Agents and officers are leaving the Secret Service in droves, or they're being overworked to the point where they lose focus on the job. Management makes decisions based on politics, not the welfare of their employees. Byrne believes that this means danger for the men and women of the Secret Service, danger for the President they protect, and danger for the nation. In this book, he shares what he has witnessed and learned about the Secret Service with the hope that the problems of this most important agency can be fixed before it's too late.

30 review for Secrets of the Secret Service: The History and Uncertain Future of the U.S. Secret Service

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    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. 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    First and foremost, I appreciate that author Byrne isn't just 'talking through his hat' (is that phrase even used anymore?) with his book - this is a man who served as an officer in the title agency and other federal law enforcement organizations for 25+ years. While we're all entitled to our individual opinions about careers - politician, athlete, game show host, whatever - we've never held, sometimes the most informed criticism can be from the person who actually worked it and still remains ob First and foremost, I appreciate that author Byrne isn't just 'talking through his hat' (is that phrase even used anymore?) with his book - this is a man who served as an officer in the title agency and other federal law enforcement organizations for 25+ years. While we're all entitled to our individual opinions about careers - politician, athlete, game show host, whatever - we've never held, sometimes the most informed criticism can be from the person who actually worked it and still remains objective. While the successes and failures of the agency are discussed, the failures are the things that remain vivid by the ending. Byrne documents some of the recent problems and fairly sheds light on various issues (from strong-willed or pushy protectees and their questionable staff to the agency's cronyism and lack of moral character), and then offers suggestions to save what now seems like a sinking ship.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    Essential Reading But Not Well Written If 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 Written If 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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Randal White

    Byrne honorably served our government as a member of the Secret Service. In this book, he tells of his experiences, and of experiences of other agents throughout the history of the Secret Service. It seems Byrne's main goal in writing this book was not to expound on any "secrets", but rather to expound on the problems facing the Service today. His point is that certain factions within the Service, plus overworked and disgruntled agents, could lead to another disaster, similar to the assassinatio Byrne honorably served our government as a member of the Secret Service. In this book, he tells of his experiences, and of experiences of other agents throughout the history of the Secret Service. It seems Byrne's main goal in writing this book was not to expound on any "secrets", but rather to expound on the problems facing the Service today. His point is that certain factions within the Service, plus overworked and disgruntled agents, could lead to another disaster, similar to the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy. He describes how the "culture of corruption has allowed agents to blackmail the agency into further corruption, while its mad men drive whistle-blowers so far as to suicide". All in all, this was an interesting read. The author tends to rant quite a bit. Especially about the Clinton's, whom he seems to have a great deal of animosity towards. But, I guess I can understand his frustration. He swore to protect the President, and served that cause admirably for many years, and wants to see things improve in that regard. I thank him for his service.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Scull17

    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.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    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. 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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Johnson

    Interesting read I’d like to see Americans demand PlanA but knowing governmental bureaucrats it won’t happen! Just saying

  8. 5 out of 5

    Book Him Danno

    Gary Byrne starts off the book with delicious details anyone who enjoys gossip will love when it comes to political world but soon readers will find it is nothing more than the authors repetitive rant that he can't seem to stop himself from delivering over and over and over again. The rant is the Secret Service is broken and needs to be fixed but never offers a solution or at least one I cared about. Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of the books Gary Byrne starts off the book with delicious details anyone who enjoys gossip will love when it comes to political world but soon readers will find it is nothing more than the authors repetitive rant that he can't seem to stop himself from delivering over and over and over again. The rant is the Secret Service is broken and needs to be fixed but never offers a solution or at least one I cared about. Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of the books

  9. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    I have to say for a book that should have been interesting, this book was boring as all get out. First, it came off as whining. Second, I felt like I was reading a National Enquirer newspaper. Finally, the writing style was discombobulated and horrible. I ended up doing a quick read of the book enough to do a review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mprudom

    Book was not well written, told all the same stories we know happened, nothing new. This book was impossibly difficult to finish.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jim Brown

    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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    That's YOUR tax money being wasted on inefficiency and coverups! This book begins with a rant on a particular administration which was very difficult to protect and was a harbinger of the problems resulting in a serious morale problem. It then segues into a history of the service and the lousy follow up after each assassination or attempt. Next under fire is the ongoing departmental administration issue referred to as Plantation Mentality/secret service culture which includes factors such as no That's YOUR tax money being wasted on inefficiency and coverups! This book begins with a rant on a particular administration which was very difficult to protect and was a harbinger of the problems resulting in a serious morale problem. It then segues into a history of the service and the lousy follow up after each assassination or attempt. Next under fire is the ongoing departmental administration issue referred to as Plantation Mentality/secret service culture which includes factors such as no real fiscal responsibility, and the preferences for coverup over employee accountability. Employee job satisfaction which began as pride of service rendered but became buried under management misconduct and poor accountability and seriously insufficient staffing as well as the problems directly related to far too much mandatory overtime resulted in high rates of suicide, divorce, and the problems inherent in testosterone poisoning. Because there is no real fiscal responsibility, there is excessive overtime and the director just keeps demanding more funds rather than improving departmental performance. I was appalled to read of how few hours of training and range time requirements which are lower than that for Concealed Carry citizenry. Now I understand why local law enforcement disdains this group which has no ability or authority to even issue a traffic ticket! So why did I begin with a rant about taxpayer dollars? It seems that in interest of secrecy of internal misconduct, untold employees are pensioned off with full benefits ad infinitum instead of being prosecuted as a civilian would be. The issue of continued secret service protection ad infinitum for past presidents and their families instead of allowing the protectee to contribute to the cost of a cleared private sector provider is another way that the taxpayers are being fleeced. Is this book factual? The evidence is there, and checking out the references cited was even more appalling. Is it well written? Tough call, the grouping of ideas seems a bit odd, but on the whole it does reflect a very unpleasant reality. The final segment is focused on the need to scrap the current business model and replace it with one that is more honest and fiscally responsible which will please taxpayers and return dignity to the women and men whose purpose it is to protect the POTUS. Disclaimers: I am predisposed toward law enforcement as I worked alongside accountable sworn staff for some years. I requested and received a free review copy via NetGalley.

  13. 4 out of 5

    John

    This book is mostly a tell-all about how the agency in charge of protecting the President works, from Byrne's experiences of how it didn't work, and now, as an alumnus, why it's not working. There's tabloid-style sensationalism: "In one instance the Uniformed Division officer at the White House northwest gate had told Lewinsky something to the effect of 'You'll have to wait. He's with his other piece of ass.'" Clearly Byrne didn't (and doesn't) like the Clintons. He scourges what he perceives as This book is mostly a tell-all about how the agency in charge of protecting the President works, from Byrne's experiences of how it didn't work, and now, as an alumnus, why it's not working. There's tabloid-style sensationalism: "In one instance the Uniformed Division officer at the White House northwest gate had told Lewinsky something to the effect of 'You'll have to wait. He's with his other piece of ass.'" Clearly Byrne didn't (and doesn't) like the Clintons. He scourges what he perceives as their reckless behavior as epitomizing with what's wrong even today with the Secret Service. Bureaucracy and organizational problems abound, agents overworked, protective coverage spread thin, supervisors treat employees like machines, general disgruntlement, etc . Yet in the midst of reading about all this dark side personnel stuff, I found some interesting historical substance, particularly his recounts of previous assassinations and attempts (Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley, Kennedy, Reagan) where Secret Service protection slipped up. Also flukes and near misses where a President miraculously survived. Last chapter offers suggestions for "Making the Secret Service Great Again." Congress take heed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    This is an extended rant by a former uniformed division Secret Service guy about how horrible the Secret Service is. 1) Fairly negative view of the Clinton (especially) and Obama administrations, with respect to how they handled the secret service -- putting themselves and agents at risk for no good reasons 2) Bad management culture within USSS, and top-heavy management structure, lack of staffing for actual field agents, etc. 3) Uniformed Division vs. Agent fundamental problems, with UD being subo This is an extended rant by a former uniformed division Secret Service guy about how horrible the Secret Service is. 1) Fairly negative view of the Clinton (especially) and Obama administrations, with respect to how they handled the secret service -- putting themselves and agents at risk for no good reasons 2) Bad management culture within USSS, and top-heavy management structure, lack of staffing for actual field agents, etc. 3) Uniformed Division vs. Agent fundamental problems, with UD being subordinate to agents 4) Hard drinking, fraud, adultery, etc. pervasive within USSS, including on overseas missions in ways which put mission at risk. 5) Secret Service leadership metastasized to take over TSA and Federal Air Marshal programs post-9/11 causing those organizations to be bad as well. 6) Many incidents badly handled and then covered up, leading to a long-term risk of successful assassination of a protectee (including the President) His arguments do seem pretty valid in a lot of ways, but the political and personal axe-grinding aspects take away some credibility.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jen Lee-Olmstead

    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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sheri S.

    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.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zhang Tao

    4 sitting US Presidents have been assassinated (10%) and on average there were 3-4 attempts at least for each President. According to this book, those Presidents lived because of "pure luck". The book talked about the history of Secret Service, and why it is impossible to keep some Presidents safe. For the agency, just like many governments agencies, they are poorly managed, lacking morale, trying to cover up scandals (they are many) etc. For those Presidents, many of them are their own worst en 4 sitting US Presidents have been assassinated (10%) and on average there were 3-4 attempts at least for each President. According to this book, those Presidents lived because of "pure luck". The book talked about the history of Secret Service, and why it is impossible to keep some Presidents safe. For the agency, just like many governments agencies, they are poorly managed, lacking morale, trying to cover up scandals (they are many) etc. For those Presidents, many of them are their own worst enemies. They prioritize marketing over security, putting their own lives and those trying to protect them at great risks. JFK is one of those, as well as Bill Clinton (it prove again that he can get away from anything). Clearly, the author is not a big fan of Clinton couple, some of the stuff said about those two are quite repetitive/redundant. Overall a great read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    EMMANUEL

    It took me a very long to read this book. What I did like about this book, is that the context of the book does provide insight of the reality of how the Secret Service is a flawed system. And. A system to abuse those whom are of the employees of the system. But. Most importantly. To be utilize as a means to terrorize the nation's people. There are many contexts in regards as to how the Government utilizes the Secret Service to terrorize the people of their domestic country and countries of inte It took me a very long to read this book. What I did like about this book, is that the context of the book does provide insight of the reality of how the Secret Service is a flawed system. And. A system to abuse those whom are of the employees of the system. But. Most importantly. To be utilize as a means to terrorize the nation's people. There are many contexts in regards as to how the Government utilizes the Secret Service to terrorize the people of their domestic country and countries of international entities. The concept of spying and surveillance is extremely a violation of human privacy and respect. There's so much more flaws in which this security system of the USA instates terrorism as their default political focus. And. This book is very clear on how that is. You just have to really focus and read. And. Make sense to what you're reading.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    One thing becomes clear from the first part of the book and that is Gary Byrne has a big axe to grind against the US Secret Service. This book shows he almost hates the organization. It hurts his credibility tremendously that he portray the agency on the brink of collapse and being so for years and years. Every thing he criticizes the USSS for happens in every law enforcement agency in the country. No doubt their role is completely different but law enforcement ultimately law enforcement. By bei One thing becomes clear from the first part of the book and that is Gary Byrne has a big axe to grind against the US Secret Service. This book shows he almost hates the organization. It hurts his credibility tremendously that he portray the agency on the brink of collapse and being so for years and years. Every thing he criticizes the USSS for happens in every law enforcement agency in the country. No doubt their role is completely different but law enforcement ultimately law enforcement. By being completely blind to any accomplishments of the agency one wonders why any president is still alive. The history of the agency and what they learned from attempts is the only interesting part. You can pass on this one.

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Meyer

    This is a pretty embarrassing attempt at a book. Whatever your political affiliation, it's hard to believe anyone would see this book as anything more than a drunk rant from a very angry man. The obvious and overwhelming bias makes it impossible to believe a word in the book. A quick google search will bring up a multitude of Secret Service workers stating that the author's stories are not true, and couldn't be true based on the job he actually held. The author did succeed in one area. He clearl This is a pretty embarrassing attempt at a book. Whatever your political affiliation, it's hard to believe anyone would see this book as anything more than a drunk rant from a very angry man. The obvious and overwhelming bias makes it impossible to believe a word in the book. A quick google search will bring up a multitude of Secret Service workers stating that the author's stories are not true, and couldn't be true based on the job he actually held. The author did succeed in one area. He clearly wants the reader to believe that the Secret Service is a poorly ran mess. Aside from the fact that most organizations seem to be ran poorly once you're working on the inside, the idea that this man was ever a part of the Secret Service in any way is definitely cause for concern.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I received this book in a goodreads giveaway. I must say, I was very interested in this book. I enjoyed reading stories of our past presidents and security measures from then and now. I did like how it wasn't fluff and depicted both democrat and Republican presidents in positive and negative lights, with regards to how they interacted with and respected (or didn't) the servicemen that worked to protect them. with that being said, I agree with alot of the other reviewers that the content isn't pr I received this book in a goodreads giveaway. I must say, I was very interested in this book. I enjoyed reading stories of our past presidents and security measures from then and now. I did like how it wasn't fluff and depicted both democrat and Republican presidents in positive and negative lights, with regards to how they interacted with and respected (or didn't) the servicemen that worked to protect them. with that being said, I agree with alot of the other reviewers that the content isn't presented in the nicest manner, and many ideas or stories are repeated throughout. I started to lose interest towards the end, but overall found this to be an interesting read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Schmidt

    An interesting and disturbing look into the history of the Secret Service and its many incarnations. Particular attention should be paid to Chapter 2 and the Clintons' abuse of office. Mr. Byrne has some recommendations which are common sense: why would you pay millions in overtime to overtired, overstressed employees who cannot do an adequate job when it would be more expedient to train and hire more people? Why would you have employees self-report; after all, how many are going to rat themselv An interesting and disturbing look into the history of the Secret Service and its many incarnations. Particular attention should be paid to Chapter 2 and the Clintons' abuse of office. Mr. Byrne has some recommendations which are common sense: why would you pay millions in overtime to overtired, overstressed employees who cannot do an adequate job when it would be more expedient to train and hire more people? Why would you have employees self-report; after all, how many are going to rat themselves out to be disciplined or docked? And why oh why would you continue to pay someone after they leave one job to take another? A must read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Meissner

    Overboard I 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. Overboard I 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.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roger

    The writing was fairly simplistic but it told the story of a law enforcement agency in serious trouble. In fact, it exposed weaknesses in the Secret Service that were both preventable and simultaneously being covered up by USSS management. It is scary to think that our President’s protection is so haphazard and full of near misses that they really aren’t protected hardly at all. Much of the book sounded like a disgruntled employee complaining about his former employer; but at least he ends the b The writing was fairly simplistic but it told the story of a law enforcement agency in serious trouble. In fact, it exposed weaknesses in the Secret Service that were both preventable and simultaneously being covered up by USSS management. It is scary to think that our President’s protection is so haphazard and full of near misses that they really aren’t protected hardly at all. Much of the book sounded like a disgruntled employee complaining about his former employer; but at least he ends the book with common sense recommendations that wouldn’t be rocket science to implement.

  25. 4 out of 5

    James Richardson

    I just finished reading Secrets of the Secret Service: The History and Uncertain Future of the U.S. Secret Service by Gary J. Byrne. Very good and informative book as to how the Secret Service operates. In brief, they are way overworked and underpaid. This book deals with that as well as some of the major mistakes that have been made by them and those made by presidents who they are to protect. The Clintons in particular made the secret service much weaker. Again, in brief, it is truly lucky tha I just finished reading Secrets of the Secret Service: The History and Uncertain Future of the U.S. Secret Service by Gary J. Byrne. Very good and informative book as to how the Secret Service operates. In brief, they are way overworked and underpaid. This book deals with that as well as some of the major mistakes that have been made by them and those made by presidents who they are to protect. The Clintons in particular made the secret service much weaker. Again, in brief, it is truly lucky that more presidents haven't been assassinated.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    This book was recommended to me. It isn't normally my cup of tea. In reading it, it is clear that the thoughts of the author regarding what should be done are prevalent. It goes into the issues of the Secret Service and the corruption as well as a brief history of the secret service. I found it interesting and I liked it. It was informational but I feel as if I would have to read another book regarding the issues in order to get a better picture. This book was recommended to me. It isn't normally my cup of tea. In reading it, it is clear that the thoughts of the author regarding what should be done are prevalent. It goes into the issues of the Secret Service and the corruption as well as a brief history of the secret service. I found it interesting and I liked it. It was informational but I feel as if I would have to read another book regarding the issues in order to get a better picture.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Connor Farrell

    This book was really astounding and quite eye opening. This book really exposed the shortcomings of one of our nations most under-appreciated protective branches. As someone who has seriously considered pursuing a career in the Secret Service, I was literally shocked because I had no idea. I still consider the Secret Service as an amazing career option, but have I rethinked it a bit? Maybe a little.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    So apparently working in the Secret Service is both stressful and physically demanding. AND you have to know a lot about computers and cell phones and what not. Man, this book really spills the tea. I read about half of it, so maybe it turns around in the end. I feel for the guy, it's undoubtedly a difficult job and I commend him for his service. I guess I was looking for more history and personal accounts and not just the one guy's grievances. So apparently working in the Secret Service is both stressful and physically demanding. AND you have to know a lot about computers and cell phones and what not. Man, this book really spills the tea. I read about half of it, so maybe it turns around in the end. I feel for the guy, it's undoubtedly a difficult job and I commend him for his service. I guess I was looking for more history and personal accounts and not just the one guy's grievances.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Delores

    Very interesting look at the Secret Service from an insider (now retired). I thank Gary Byrne for having the courage to tell this story and hope that it will bring attention to rebuilding the Secret Service - so many are depending on its success. I listened to the audible version and highly recommend it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christine D

    a little repetitive at times and the narrative was odd (starts with the miscues of the Clinton administration and how it affected the USSS, then dives into a complete history lesson of the USSS, then goes back to the decline of the USSS during the duration of the author's career). That being said, this was informative and interesting. Also, worrisome. a little repetitive at times and the narrative was odd (starts with the miscues of the Clinton administration and how it affected the USSS, then dives into a complete history lesson of the USSS, then goes back to the decline of the USSS during the duration of the author's career). That being said, this was informative and interesting. Also, worrisome.

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