“Yes, Mrs. Kennedy, what do you need?”
She reaches out her hands, takes mine, and says, “What’s going to happen to you now, Mr. Hill?”
I clench my jaw and swallow hard.
“I’ll be okay, Mrs. Kennedy. I’ll be okay.”
It’s astonishing to me that she should be concerned about me at this time. She has just witnessed her husband being assassinated and now must be present for the swearing-in ceremony of his replacement; her clothes are stained with the president’s blood and brain matter; she is making no attempt to chance or clean up; and yet she is concerned about me, my future, and my well-being. She is a remarkable lady.”Clint Hill, Five Days in November
Title: Five Days in November
Author: Clint Hill (with Lisa McCubbin)
Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir, History, True Crime
Length: 3 hrs, 51 mins (Audiobook)
Published: November 19th, 2013
My Rating: ★★★★★
I’ve read a lot of books about JFK and his assassination but none have made me cry as much as this one. Clint Hill (a former secret service agent who is perhaps best known as the agent seen jumping on the back of the car after President Kennedy was shot) shares his memories step by step from the moment the Kennedy’s left the White House for Texas up to Kennedy’s burial. Though not a long-winded account, it’s very emotional to hear from someone who was so close to these people, never mind the fact he put his life on the line every day in service to them.
Likes & Dislikes
What I liked:
- The writing made me feel like I was there and it was current.
- Details weren’t drawn out. It was very matter of fact.
- The focus on Jacqueline Kennedy. Clint Hill was primarily her bodyguard therefore the two had a bond.
- The insight. I never thought about the fact the secret service agents (among other higher ups) weren’t supposed to show their own emotions during the crisis. I can’t imagine having to not only keep calm, but keep tears bottled up in the wake of such horror.
What I didn’t like:
- The only dislike I had was the push for the finality on the assassination and discounting what went on after, however, I don’t feel it’s my place to criticize this in his case given Clint Hill up and jumped on the back of the moving car and witnessing the horror firsthand of the aftermath of the shots fired. The book wasn’t about who did it, and that was fine.
I listened to this book on audio but quickly realized I was missing a lot of photos. My library had it so I checked it out. I’m contemplating purchasing this one for my ever-growing JFK collection. It’s a great addition.