In the fall of September 2019, Clint Hill was standing in the garage of the Alexandria, Virginia, house he had owned since 1967. He hadn’t lived in the home for over a decade, and he was preparing to put it on the market. On a shelf next to some old gardening tools, he noticed a larger steamer trunk. When he finally worked up the nerve to open it the next morning, armed with rubber gloves, he realized the trunk was filled with mementos from his time protecting the most famous woman in the world.
“My Travels with Mrs. Kennedy” (Gallery Books) is a fond, deeply affectionate look at his travels with the First Lady, from India and Pakistan to Paris, Greece, Morocco and Italy’s Amalfi Coast. (Of the famous summit in Vienna, he remembers that Soviet premier Nikita Krushchev was “completely beguiled” by her even though she didn’t speak Russian: “She spoke so softly that you had to sort of lean in to hear her, but it made you feel like she didn’t want anyone else to be part of this intimate conversation.”
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Whether he is describing official White House business or leisurely time at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, Hill provides an insider’s look at a fascinating period in history. (One of the book’s funnier anecdotes involves the President making a bet with friends that they could not complete a 50-mile hike; Hill had to go along as protection, but was wearing Florsheim dress shoes.)
In an age where privacy is rare and secrets are spilled, Hill does not dish any dirt. This book is a charming travelogue about Jackie, who Hill clearly held in great esteem.