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This new edition of the definitive history of the Secret Service lays bare the 2004 Bush campaign’s political uses of the agency and the new challenges it faces as a branch of the Homeland Security Department, in a post-9/11 world. Acclaimed scholar of political violence and governmental secrecy Philip Melanson explores the long-hidden workings of the Secret Service since its inception in 1865 and through rigorous research and extensive interviews with former White House staffers and retired agents, uncovers startling facts about the Agency’s role in such traumatic national events as the assassination of JFK and the shooting of President Reagan. Included, too, are revelations about presidential demands on the agency; the problems of alcoholism, divorce, and burnout among agents; and the Service’s inexplicable failure to develop profiles of potential assassins. Up-to-date and explosive, this book assails the public image of the Secret Service as a highly professional apolitical organization, exposing the often-detrimental influence that politics exerts on the Agency.
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