Rawhide Down

  • by Del Quentin Wilber
  • Narrated by Jason Culp
  • 9 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On March 30, 1981, President Reagan walked out of a hotel in Washington, D.C. and was shot by a would-be assassin. For years, few people knew the truth about how close the president came to dying, and no one has ever written a detailed narrative of that harrowing day. Now, drawing on exclusive new interviews, Del Quentin Wilber tells the electrifying story of a moment when the nation teetered on the brink of chaos.
With cinematic clarity, we see the Secret Service agent whose fast reflexes saved the president’s life; the brilliant surgeon who operated on Reagan as he was losing half his blood; and the small group of White House officials frantically trying to determine whether the country was under attack. Most especially, we encounter the man code-named Rawhide, a leader of uncommon grace who inspired affection and awe in everyone who worked with him.
Reagan was the only serving U.S. president to survive being shot in an assassination attempt. In Rawhide Down, the story of that perilous day--a day of chaos, crisis, prayer, heroism and hope--is brought to life as never before.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Informative and Entertaining

Del Quentin Wilber spins quite a yarn with “Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan”. This is a detailed telling of the story and a page turner at that. Wilber has, in the process, done a great service to readers by revealing current information about the attack not readily available at the time. The chapters on the attack, the trip to the hospital, the surgeons’ work and surrounding circumstances is particularly exciting. The author, to me at least, seems to admire Reagan and some who did not care for him or his policies might be put off. However, if one will just read the story much can be learned. The reading of Jason Culp is very good.
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- Lynn

Fantastic Read - More Please?

First of all, let me say that this was a fantastic read. Very, very interesting stuff.

The background information on Hinckley was very interesting. I knew the guy was enamored with Jodi Foster, but I had no idea that he had actually left things for her at Yale and called her and spoke to her at her dorm numerous times. The story of him "stalking" Jimmy Carter was also news to me.

The details surrounding the assassination attempt were very thorough, and told from various points of view. Reagan's sense of humor during the whole ordeal was something else. The book brought out a wide range of emotions for me, from sadness at the unfortunate outcome for Jim Brady to chuckles at Reagan's comments to the medical staff throughout his stay.

I was glad they had so much information and detail regarding Reagan's surgery itself, as it is always interesting to learn how doctors/surgeons make the decisions that they do.

The other big surprise is to realize how far we've come, technology-wise, since 1981. The inability to reach George Bush during his flight and other "communication" issues are almost unbelievable in today's world of texting, cell phones and the internet.

The only criticism is that the book is too short. I almost did a double-take in my car when the readers said "Epilogue.....". I couldn't believe it was over. I was very surprised that there was nothing written from Jodi Foster's perspective. Apparently the author didn't (or couldn't) interview her. And although the author described the early parts of Hickley's interrogation, there was very little detail after the authorities identified the motive for the crime.

As I stated at the beginning - a very enthusiastic thumbs up from this reader! Trust me - you won't regret reading this one......
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- Tim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-15-2011
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio