The Secret Service by Ph.D. Philip H. Melanson Ph.D.
The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency

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Pulling the veil off a highly visible yet tight-lipped federal agency, acclaimed scholar Philip Melanson has created the first definitive history of the Secret Service. With 8 pages of photographs, rigorous research and interviews with former White House staffers, retired agents, Service training dropouts, and the first female agent on the presidential detail, Melanson presents the agency's hidden history and examines its role in the headlines of our times. Here are revelations about the assassination of JFK and the shooting of President Reagan, along with threats against other presidents; presidential demands on agents and agency funds (by JFK, LBJ, Nixon, the Bushes, and Clinton); alcoholism, divorce, and burnout among agents; the Service's inexplicable failure to develop a profile of assassins that would facilitate effective prevention; and how the gender gap within the Service has been institutionalized. Assailing the image of a highly professional and apolitical organization, the book examines the pervasive, often detrimental influence that politics exerts on the Service, typified by Kenneth Starr's efforts to use agents' testimony against President Clinton. Melanson also discusses the profound new challenge facing the Secret Service: How to respond in a post–September 11 world, as brazen new assassination methods proliferate. With this provocative study, one federal agency still veiled in secrecy is exposed for all to see. Explosive and revealing, this is the first comprehensive history of one of our government's most shrouded agencies.

About Ph.D. Philip H. Melanson Ph.D.

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Melanson is Chancellor Professor of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts. Peter Stevens earned his Bachelor of Arts in journalism and history from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is the news and features editor of The Boston Irish Reporter and has authored two additional books on Irish history--The Voyage of the Catalpa: A Perilous Journey and Six Irish Rebels' Escape to Freedom, which was chosen as Read Ireland's book of the month, and The Rogue's March: John Riley and the St. Patrick's Battalion in the Mexican-American War, 1846-48. He is also a syndicated columnist for American Irish Media Network. Stevens has contributed numerous articles to newspapers throughout New England and to such regional magazines as Yankee, Down East, Vermont Life.
Published October 15, 2002 by Basic Books. 352 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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