The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

FIVE DAYS IN NOVEMBER By Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin

Five Days in November by Clint HillPublisher:  Gallery Books
Release Date:  November 19, 2013
Pages:  256

About the Book:  On November 22 , 1963, three shots were fired in Dallas, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and the world stopped for four days. For an entire generation, it was the end of an age of innocence. 

That evening, a photo ran on the front pages of newspapers across the world, showing a Secret Service agent jumping on the back of the presidential limousine in a desperate attempt to protect the President and Mrs. Kennedy. That agent was Clint Hill. 

Now Secret Service Agent Clint Hill commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the tragedy with this stunning book containing more than 150 photos, each accompanied by Hill& incomparable insider account of those terrible days. With poignant narration accompanying rarely seen images, we witness three-year-old John Kennedy Jr.’s pleas to come to Texas with his parents and the rapturous crowds of mixed ages and races that greeted the Kennedys at every stop in Texas. We stand beside a shaken Lyndon Johnson as he is hurriedly sworn in as the new president. We experience the first lady& steely courage when she insists on walking through the streets of Washington, D.C., in her husband's funeral procession. 

A story that has taken Clint Hill fifty years to tell, this is a work of personal and historical scope. Besides the unbearable grief of a nation and the monumental consequences of the event, the death of JFK was a personal blow to a man sworn to protect the first family, and who knew, from the moment the shots rang out in Dallas, that nothing would ever be the same.

Wanda's Thoughts - This is a well written and very informative book with its detailed descriptions of those "Five Days in November." It is a book filled with candidness and displayed by many iconic photographs. Clint Hill, Secret Service agent, reveals his vivid memories of those days surrounding the assassination of President John F Kennedy, who died at the early age of 46. 

Clint Hill has clearly lived through much pain, anger, and frustration, and has felt a sense of failure because of that tragic day in Dallas - "If only I had reacted quicker, run faster." He was there when those three shots were fired - a day that ended the age of innocence. 

November 21, 1963 - November 25, 1963 - It started with such high expectations, hope, and promise, as President and Mrs Kennedy, with their young son, John, awaited the presidential helicopter, to begin the trip to Texas. Nothing could appease the tearful little John as his Mummy and Daddy boarded Air Force One and he begs to go with them. There is a last hug for little John and the President asks Mr Foster "take care of John for me, won't you, Mr Foster?" - a very emotional good-bye. And the story unfolds through the events that led up to that tragic day in history - a day the world stopped for four days, and continues as the courageous widow leads the walking funeral procession of the slain President. Jacqueline Kennedy displayed model, grace and dignity, and was a pillar of strength to the nation during this time in history.

President Johnson had declared November 25, 1963, a national day of mourning in the United States. Mrs Kennedy was able to orchestrate and add her personal touches throughout that historic day from the music played for the funeral to the bagpipers, who marched ahead of the horse drawn caisson. 

I'm so glad I read this very touching book, which added so much dimension to the events as they unfolded through those five days. Completely absorbing and wonderfully written. 5 stars.

Clint Hill - Author    
Image of Clint Hill
       
Clint Hill was a Secret Service Agent assigned to the White House and served Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford. He was in the motorcade in Dallas on November 22, 1963, assigned to protect First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, when President Kennedy was assassinated. He is credited with saving Mrs. Kennedy's life. After rising through the ranks of the Secret Service, he retired in 1975 as Assistant Director, responsible for all protective forces. Hill remains in contact with the current U.S. Secret Service and is actively involved in training activities.

Lisa McCubbin - Co-Author - Lisa McCubbin is the coauthor of two New York Times Best Sellers, Mrs. Kennedy and Me (Simon & Schuster, 2012) and The Kennedy Detail: JFK's Secret Service Agents Break Their Silence (Simon & Schuster, 2010), and the upcoming FIVE DAYS IN NOVEMBER (Gallery, nov. 19, 2013)
An award winning journalist, she began her career as the host of her own call-in radio show before transferring to television news. Starting out as the early morning live reporter covering overnight breaking news and weather on the CBS-affiliate in Bakersfield, California, she moved through a series of assignments, ending up in the anchor chair as co-host of NBC's early morning news program "Sunrise" before the "Today" show. Later she spent six years in the Middle East, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Doha, Qatar as a freelance writer and foreign correspondent.