Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan

Del Quentin Wilber, Holt, $27 (286p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9346-9
Wilber's gripping minute-by-minute account of the day that president Reagan (codename Rawhide) was shot reveals the major players in the drama, including the president's doctors, his would-be assassin, Secret Service agents, White House staffers, Vice President George H.W. Bush, and Nancy Reagan. The first time author, a reporter for The Washington Post, writes with particular empathy for the stunned, shaken doctors and nurses who made a massive effort to overcome the challenges of locating the bullet, repairing the lung, and fighting debilitating blood loss as the 70-year-old president's life hung in the balance. Wilber explains what it's like to be in the Secret Service, the characteristics of the presidential limousine and its "foam bladder-style fuel tank that was designed to reduce the risk of an explosion," and the great urgency surrounding the attempted assassination: "they sped toward the FBI's field office, the agents knew there was only one way to find out quickly whether their suspect had acted alone. They would have to get him to crack." At the same time, advisors and staff engaged in power skirmishes and grandstanding. The author draws from a multitude of notes and sources, offering a fascinating glimpse of a pivotal moment in history. Photos. (Mar. 15)
Reviewed on: 03/07/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4272-1630-4
Compact Disc - 8 pages - 978-1-4272-1183-5
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4299-1931-9
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-250-00254-9
Hardcover - 509 pages - 978-1-61173-042-5
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