Almost everyone knows of the assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan, but few know of the man who saved the President’s life. In the Secret Service by Jerry Parr is the story of the man who went from arresting counterfeiters to the head of the Presidential protective detail. Parr takes the reader from his childhood through his missionary journey to Central America, but the majority of the book details his career in law enforcement. It is a behind-the-scenes at life in the Secret Service as it protects the famous and the infamous.
This book was fascinating because it gives an intimate look into the lives of the most powerful people in the world from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. Learning of personalities from LBJ to Yassar Arafat was a historical thrill ride of its own, but knowing what measures are taken to protect these luminaries was amazing in itself. Being allowed to see so much of the country’s history through the eyes of one on the front lines was amazing. Riots, elections, assassination attempts, and everything in between make this account well worth the time. And it is not without warmth. Parr’s personal relationships within the Secret Service and with his family also made the book effective. It is a fast read, and I would recommend it for anyone interested in history or law enforcement. I appreciate In the Secret Service immensely, but am even more grateful to Mr. Parr for saving President Ronald Reagan’s life.