The author of the book is a former member of the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service who was assigned to the White House and given the job of protecting those who lived and worked within those walls. He worked for the agency in one capacity or another for three decades before retiring and believed he had “no dog or pony” in the show, however, he had an 800 pound gorilla in the room with him, and that gorilla was himself. The book masqueraded as one thing and it presented another. It was no more an exposé of the Clinton’s than it was an exposé of the Secret Service. It was the author’s memoir, plain and simple, and it seemed like the larger crisis in character was his for presenting a false narrative about the material in his book.
From his narrative, I gathered that Gary J. Byrne is a man who believes he is the brightest bulb in the box. His hubris is death defying! The book concentrates on criticizing so many of the people with whom he worked, for and with, like White House Personnel, First Families, the FBI and actual Secret Service Agents, that I was left with the conclusion that he was probably unfit for the jobs he had and never should have been hired. He seemed like a chronic kind of know-it-all, constantly complaining about work conditions and being under appreciated. Whatever message he hoped to impart in the book seemed overshadowed by the story of his life and demeaned by his use crude of language in a book that I thought would have a more professional presentation.
A book that is hyped as an exposé on the character of a very well-known figure in the government, now running to be the first woman President, should do just that and not be an autobiography of the author. This was indeed an exposé, but on the life and times of the Byrne! If I had wanted to read a book on his life, I would have bought that one. While Byrne insists that he wrote this book to inform the public because it was his duty, as it moved along, he seemed to became more obsessed with letting the world know how wonderful he was, how hard he worked, and how inept most others were who walked in his shadow. To me, the picture I got of the author was of a very dissatisfied man who didn’t really have the temperament or character for the job he undertook. Perhaps the book should have been called the “Byrne Crisis in Character”.
I didn’t buy the book to learn about his opinions or complaints; I bought it to learn more about the behavior of the Clinton’s, the past Clinton White House, and what to expect if there is to be another Clinton White House. The book covered Bill Clinton’s behavior far more than that of Hillary’s, but the major portion of the book was about Gary and the fact that he loved his wife, appreciated her advice and was grateful for the children she gave him that he also adored. I also learned that he was dyslexic, something which truly meant nothing to me, since it had nothing at all to do with the Clinton’s or how well he performed his White House and future duties.
I feel the description of this book was nothing more than a device of “bait and switch”, to encourage someone to buy a book about a subject that is then ignored for the most part, for the major portion of the book, as the author used his bully pulpit to glorify himself. I had hoped to find out if there was any new information out there that I needed to know about, because I want to be an informed voter, not a lemming. I thought it might be the narrator who made the author sound so arrogant and disgruntled, but it turned out that the author was the narrator! The book added very little, if any, new information or facts on the former First Family. As a matter of fact, I suspect what was written in the book could be easily found on public websites about the Clinton’s.
Some of the information described in the book, like the resentment that exists among the different levels of the Secret Service employees, I found reprehensible. That kind of behavior has to interfere with the ability to do a proper job, which may be why the Secret Service has come under so much scrutiny of late for their less than stellar behavior at home and abroad. In conclusion, if you want to learn more about Gary J. Byrne, buy the book. If you want to learn more about the Clinton’s, skip it!