BOOK REVIEW: Five Presidents by Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin

Title: Five Presidents
Author: Clint Hill & Lisa McCubbin
Publication: May 3, 2016
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Genre: Biographies
Pages: 465

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

Secret Service agent Clint Hill brings history intimately and vividly to life as he reflects on his seventeen years protecting the most powerful office in the nation. Hill walked alongside Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford, seeing them through a long, tumultuous era—the Cold War; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy; the Vietnam War; Watergate; and the resignations of Spiro Agnew and Richard M. Nixon.

Some of his stunning, never-before-revealed anecdotes include:
-Eisenhower’s reaction at Russian Prime Minister Khrushchev’s refusal to talk following the U-2 incident
-The torture of watching himself in the Zapruder film in a Secret Service training
-Johnson’s virtual imprisonment in the White House during violent anti-Vietnam protests
-His decision to place White House files under protection after a midnight phone call about Watergate
-The challenges of protecting Ford after he pardoned Nixon

With a unique insider’s perspective, Hill sheds new light on the character and personality of these five presidents, revealing their humanity in the face of grave decisions.


When my “in-person” book club picked this book as my March book (now postponed to April) I wasn’t honesty too thrilled.  While I do like non-fiction, this wasn’t something that I would have normally read.  I am not a huge fan of political based books. So I did go into the book with much trepidation.  I tried to go into the book with an open mind. 

Clinton Hill started out in the Army.  He was in the “secret service” of the  Army.  When he got out he saw a job posting for the Secret Service and applied. Much to his surprise, his application was accepted.  From there his time in the Secret Service was amazing.  He protected 5 Presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford)  in total before his retirement.  First off, this book was really good.  I was really surprised that I liked it as much as I did.  I found the book so interesting that I, in fact, bought it for my quarantined father in law as some reading material.  He has started it and has found it as fascinating as I did.  I thought that the most interesting part was the difference between each of the Presidents. How they went about their presidency and how they treated the staff.  

The other thing that amazed me was all the work that went into Presidential trips. I mean I am somewhat aware that it will take a lot of work but the actual amount of work and coordinator with other agencies to keep the President safe is enormous. The other thing that made me realize the book was really good was the fact that Clint was the Secret Service agent that jumped on the back of the car the moment after Kennedy got shot and threw himself over the top of Jackie Kennedy.  That is a true act of courage to protect the President.  The book is also filled with photos of all the Presidents usually with Clint somewhere in the background.  With all this being said I will certainly be looking into the other two books that he has co-written.  Hopefully, they will all be just as good as this one.  


Pick up your copy of Five Presidents by Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or check your local bookstores. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more from Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin HERE.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *