Monday, April 25, 2011

RAWHIDE DOWN: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan

For the first time, a minute-by-minute account of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan


The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan

By Del Quentin Wilber

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was just seventy days into his first term of office when John Hinckley, Jr. opened fire outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, wounding the president, the press secretary, a Secret Service agent, and a D.C. police officer. Few people know the truth about how close the president came to dying; and the full story of that day of chaos, terror, and great heroism has been incomplete for thirty years.

Now, for the first time, Del Quentin Wilber, an award-winning reporter for The Washington Post, provides a minute-by-minute account of this day in RAWHIDE DOWN: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan. Drawing on exclusive new sources and extensive interviews, Wilber tells the electrifying story of the Secret Service agent whose fast reflexes saved the president’s life, the brilliant surgeons who operated on Reagan as he was losing half his blood, and the inner circle of White House officials in charge of managing the crisis.

Most especially, Wilber unveils a portrait of the man code-named "Rawhide," a leader of uncommon grace who inspired affection and awe in everyone who encountered him at this defining moment. Reagan's presidency was famously well choreographed, but March 30, 1981, was the most unscripted day of Reagan's life, and his poise and humor in the face of chaos sealed his image in the modern American political firmament.

With cinematic clarity, Wilber brings to life this dramatic and historic day of heroism, prayer, and hope. RAWHIDE DOWN fills in gaps in history and finally tells the complete record of the day the only serving U.S. president survived being shot in an assassination attempt.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Del Quentin Wilber is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Post. He has spent most of his career covering law enforcement and sensitive security issues, and his work has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Visit the official Web site: for exclusive interviews, videos, photos, FBI reports, Secret Service reports, medical forms, court transcripts, and more.

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