Although we sold out — on the first day! — of the release of Ronald Kessler’s behind-the-scenes book “In the President’s Secret Service”, we’ve managed to keep it in stock since. And it’s still a pretty brisk seller — by an informal survey I conducted, most of the buyers are actually USSS agents — there’s an office catty-corner to the Bookstore.
I’ve read the book — not from beginning to end, just flipping through it while slow, and reading it before work in the break room — and I thought it was very interesting. Obviously, I am no expert on the Secret Service: most of what I know comes from movies like In The Line of Fire or The Sentinel — and, so, to me, the book was just interesting: lots of tidbits from former agents (Jimmy Carter was awful to them, the Obamas, and both of the Bushes and Reagans are great). But there’s a lot in the book that’s critical of the operation of the Secret Service — from management policies, to choices regarding weaponry.
This morning, a Secret Service agent came into the Bookstore. Sometimes they’re really easy to identify, because a bunch of the agents in the office building are dressed in pure black: black cargo pants, black shirt, and a large handgun strapped to their thigh. I started talking with him, “Hey, how ya’ doing?” and asked if he’d read the book. He hadn’t, and when I told him Kessler was doing a signing in our store, his eyes sort of lit up.
He was regretful, because he was working that night and wouldn’t be able to make it, but he told me that the book didn’t actually represent what went on in the Secret Service, and he hoped some of his fellow agents would make an appearance and call him out on some aspects of the book.
I’m working tomorrow night. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be in an area where I can listen to the event and the question and answer period, but it’s sure to be interesting!