2003 . Political Science, Law Enforcement . Philip H. Melanson
Now in paperback, the first definitive history to probe the long-shrouded U.S. government agency recently merged into the Homeland Security Department Explosive and revealing, this history of a highly visible yet traditionally tight-lipped federal agency by Philip Melanson, acclaimed scholar of political violence and governmental secrecy, explores the long-hidden workings of the Secret Service since its inception in 1865. Rigorous research and extensive interviews with former White House staffers, retired agents, Service training dropouts, and the first female agent on presidential detail uncover little-known, frequently astonishing facts about the Service's role in traumatic national events of the past century, notably among them the assassination of JFK and the shooting of President Reagan. Included, too, are revelations about presidential demands on the agency; alcoholism, divorce, and burnout among agents; the Service's inexplicable failure to develop profiles of potential assassins; and its institutionalization of the gender gap. Assailing the public image of the Secret Service as a highly professional apolitical organization, Melanson examines the often-detrimental influence that politics privately exerts on the agency, epitomized by Kenneth Starr's efforts to use agents' testimony against President Clinton in the impeachment hearings. Nor does Melanson overlook the profound new challenge facing the Secret Service, now a branch of the Homeland Security Department, in a post-9/11 world where brazen new assassination methods and terrorist plots proliferate.
Publishing Group West
0786712511 (ISBN13: 9780786712519)
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