Finishing a book and turning in the final manuscript to the publisher is kind of like turning in a term paper and waiting for the grade from your professor. For Secret Service agent Clint Hill and me, writing Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford was an enormous undertaking. We visited several presidential libraries; sorted through thousands of photographs; reviewed daily reports and contacted colleagues to confirm dates, places, and other memories—all before we even sat down to write. When we turned in the final manuscript, after several rounds of cutting—it was originally 600 pages!—we knew we had done our best. Now it was up to the readers and reviewers to give their opinion.
We were thrilled to learn that in today’s edition of the New York Times, Five Presidents is #9 on the bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction and #6 for Ebook nonfiction. But even better, and more fulfilling to us, are the heartfelt reviews and emails we are receiving from readers. Here are just a few:
“I just wanted to thank Mr. Hill for his bravery in his service to our country and in telling his stories. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of his books. His latest book was especially meaningful to me as I was born in 1965 shortly before my father, a 22-year veteran of the US Army, was deployed to Vietnam for his first term. Mr. Hill’s book gave me insight into that war that I’d never heard before. Though my dad was awarded a Bronze Star with a “V” device for his service in that war, he would never talk about his experiences there. Reading Mr. Hill’s words brought me to a new understanding of my dad, who passed away in August 2014. This book brought me closer to his spirit. Thank you again, Mr. Hill. I admire you so much, sir. Keep doing what you’re doing!” — S. Sanchez
“I have shelves of presidential histories and biographies in my house, but this book gave wonderful details through a very different lens! I hated to come to the end of it!! You and Mr. Hill did a wonderful job.”
— J.P. Hess
“I loved it. Being born in The 80’s, I missed this entire era. Clint Hill captured the essence of each time period he discussed and I felt transported back in time. I felt like I lived it through him. I have enormous respect for how Hill discussed his time with these presidents. While showing candor regarding each president’s particular style of leadership and overall personality, Hill did not sling mud…rather he emitted the respect he held for the position they each held by not discussing personal, private matters. I feel like I’ve learned so much, and I could not put this book down. Thanks Mr. Hill. For your service and for sharing your experiences!” — Keishah
“Definitely a page turner of the nth degree! Books like this are rare, informative and incredibly enjoyable to read.” — V. Gardino
So, thank you all! We continue our book tour tomorrow with a swing through Los Angeles for a private event. Catch Clint Hill on Good Day L.A. Tuesday morning (May 24), and then we are head to La Jolla for a presentation and book signing at Warwick’s Books. 7:00 pm Wednesday, May 25. Hope to see you there!