“Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey With Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford” by Clint Hill & Lisa McCubbin

The pictures of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination that fateful November day in 1963 stayed imprinted in my mind ever since I first saw them as a boy of 12. I have read ever so many accounts of the assassination in the decades since then. In all of them I remembered the heroic figure of Secret Agent Clint Hill as he clambered upon the President’s Lincoln Continental in a vain bid to protect the President and Mrs Kennedy, the First Lady. All these memories rushed back to my head as I sat down to read, ” Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford” by Clint Hill and his co-author Lisa McCubbin. Ms McCubbin has collaborated with Mr Hill in several of his books.

This book, which is so appropriately titled, is indeed about an extraordinary journey. A journey that took Hill as a young, Secret Service Agent appointed to the prestigious White House detail when Eisenhower was the President to nearly two decades later when Gerald Ford became the fifth President he served.  Continue reading ““Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey With Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford” by Clint Hill & Lisa McCubbin”

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“Sam Giancana: The Rise and Fall of a Chicago Mobster” by Susan McNicoll

If the beginning of a book has to be good enough to grab your attention,  “Sam Giancana: The Rise and Fall of a Chicago Mobster” by Susan McNicoll has such a start. The six-year-old Sam is beaten periodically by his father, Antonio Giancana. He is tied to an oak tree in the backyard and whipped with a razor strap until he bled. McNicoll writes, ” the beatings at the oak tree were gruesomely regular, from then on but perversely, this abuse spawned in the boy a ferocious driving force. There was nothing he could not withstand, there was nothing he could not do. And the world paid heavily for the man that boy became.” Continue reading ““Sam Giancana: The Rise and Fall of a Chicago Mobster” by Susan McNicoll”

“JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA & The Sino-Indian War” by Bruce Riedel

Historians, writers and the American people, at large, have given more attention to the Bay of Pigs incident and the Cuban crisis during John F. Kennedy’s presidency than the happenings in  South East Asia, especially the Sino-Indian War of 1962. This was only to be expected as the Cuban crisis saw the two global super powers, the United States and the then USSR virtually on the brink of a nuclear war. However, as Bruce Riedel writes in his book, events in far away South Asia nearly dragged the US into another conflict, this time between the two most populous countries in the World, China and India. Riedel has therefore very aptly named his book, ” JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA  & The Sino-Indian War.” This will soon be published by the Brookings Institution Press.

Continue reading ““JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA & The Sino-Indian War” by Bruce Riedel”

The Kennedy Imperative: Leon Berger

Being an avid fan of both historical fiction and John F. Kennedy, I immediately reached out for Leon Berger’s “The Kennedy Imperative.” I find that this is the first of The Kennedy Trilogy and was published in September 2013 by Premier Digital Publishing. The other two are scheduled to be published later this year.

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“Case Closed” : Gerald Posner

“Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK” by Gerald Posner is by far the most comprehensive book I have read about that event that shocked the world way back in November 1963. First published in 1993 and now re-published in 2013 as an ebook, nearly 50 years after that fateful day in Dallas, Tx, Posner explains painstakingly why all the many conspiracy theories are just that, theories without substance. Continue reading ““Case Closed” : Gerald Posner”