Zero Fail: The Rise And Fall Of The Secret Service 

Thornical Press Review

May 28, 2021  

Carol Leonnig tells the history, scandals, highs, and lows of the United States Secret Service which is responsible for the safety of United States Presidents, government officials, and high-profile political candidates.

The origin of the Secret Service began after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln but would become fully responsible for protecting presidents in 1902, one year after the assignation of President William McKinley.  The failure to protect President Kennedy in 1963 ushered in an era of reforms that created an elite corps of agents willing to take a bullet for those under their protection.  The highest point of the Secret Service since 1963 was the thwarting of the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.  As it is said, with the highs comes the lows, and by the 2000s the Secret Service would be plagued by prostitution scandals, connections with drug cartels, and security breeches threatening the lives of the ones they serve to protect.

Loennings meticulous interviewing of current and former agents sheds light on the Secret Service’s moral corruption, low morale, and ineptitude in carrying out its duty.  Just as in 1963, there have been calls to usher in reforms to re-establish a positive esprit de corps. 

Carol Leonnig has been an investigative journalist for The Washington Post since 2000.  Loennig has covered city corruption in Washington D. C., political officials, and federal agencies.  In 2014, Loennig was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for covering the NSA’s growing effort to spy on United States citizens.

Author: Carol Loennig

Publication Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-399-58901-0

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Random House


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