Bernard B. Kerik
[September 4, 1955 - ]
Profile created November 14, 2007
War Stories: Behind the Silver and Gold Shields (2002) by Bernard B. Kerik and
Thomas J. Ward
Belly up, kick back and let the choir practice
begin! Tom Ward made the impressive yet rocky climb from bright-eyed
rookie street cop to seasoned DOC Asst. Commissioner. Along the way he
saw-and learned-a lot! Raw, uproarious, insightful and profound, this
highly entertaining, often gripping page-turner is hard to put down.
Whether you're a rookie, retiree or just thinking about joining the ranks,
this is a sure bet for a good read!
In The Line Of Duty (2001)
On September 11, 2001, with the terrorist attack on the
twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City, the United States
entered one of the greatest trials in its history. There were thousands of
deaths in the wake of that tragedy -- and thousands of heroes. Led by
Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik and Fire Commissioner Thomas Von
Essen, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the New York Fire
Department (FDNY) banded together in courage and hope during the rescue
and recovery effort. In the Line of Duty salutes the brave men and women
of those two departments, who proved to the nation and the world the
strength and heroism of the American people.
Through over 100 pages of black and white photographs (and 16 pages of
full colour), this memorial volume documents the heroism of New York's
Finest and Bravest in the hours and days following the disaster. With a
Foreword in tribute to the search and rescue teams -- and their fallen
comrades -- by Commissioner Kerik, and filled with the inspirational words
of national and spiritual leaders, In the Line of Duty bears
witness to the indomitable spirit of the American people.
The Lost Son: A Life in Pursuit of Justice
One man's quest -- against incredible odds -- to pursue justice . . . and to
uncover the painful truths of his own background.
From the sagging row houses of Paterson, New Jersey, to the cocaine fields
of Colombia, from the razor wire of Rikers Island to the streets of New York
City, Bernard Kerik has dedicated his life to a single goal: to fight the
injustice he sees around him. A jail warden with a black belt and a
background in international security and anti-terrorism, he took a
substantial pay cut to become a beat cop on the streets of Times Square in
1986. A fearless narcotics detective, he went undercover to buy drugs in
Harlem, seized millions of dollars of cocaine from the drug lords of the
Cali cartel, and was awarded the Police Department's Medal of Valor for
saving the life of a fellow officer. In the 1990s, as the city's
Commissioner of Correction, he ended the hellish violence at Rikers Island
and transformed it into a model of its kind. Today, as Kerik directs a
police force of 55,000 -- the largest municipal force in the world -- his
And yet Bernard Kerik's greatest battle was not pitched on tough city
streets, but within himself. For, even as he was driven to seek justice in
every corner of the world, this extraordinary man never looked back until he
reached the top. And when he did, he faced the greatest unsolved case of his
life -- the tragic mystery of his own mother, who abandoned her young son
forty-one years ago.
The odyssey of Bernard B. Kerik is a poignant tale with lessons for all
about what it means to be a good and brave man, and just how each of us
should aspire to those ideals. A testament to courage in the service of
honor, The Lost Son is a harrowing, inspirational, and uniquely
Imperial Life in the Emerald City
(2006) by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
An unprecedented account of life in Baghdad’s Green Zone, a walled-off
enclave of towering plants, posh villas, and sparkling swimming pools that
was the headquarters for the American occupation of Iraq.
The Washington Post’s former Baghdad bureau chief Rajiv
Chandrasekaran takes us with him into the Zone: into a bubble, cut off
from wartime realities, where the task of reconstructing a devastated
nation competed with the distractions of a Little America—a half-dozen
bars stocked with cold beer, a disco where women showed up in hot pants, a
movie theater that screened shoot-’em-up films, an all-you-could-eat
buffet piled high with pork, a shopping mall that sold pornographic
movies, a parking lot filled with shiny new SUVs, and a snappy
dry-cleaning service—much of it run by Halliburton. Most Iraqis were
barred from entering the Emerald City for fear they would blow it up.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews and internal documents,
Chandrasekaran tells the story of the people and ideas that inhabited the
Green Zone during the occupation, from the imperial viceroy L. Paul Bremer
III to the fleet of twentysomethings hired to implement the idea that
Americans could build a Jeffersonian democracy in an embattled Middle
In the vacuum of postwar planning, Bremer ignores what
Iraqis tell him they want or need and instead pursues irrelevant
neoconservative solutions—a flat tax, a sell-off of Iraqi government
assets, and an end to food rationing. His underlings spend their days
drawing up pie-in-the-sky policies, among them a new traffic code and a
law protecting microchip designs, instead of rebuilding looted buildings
and restoring electricity production. His almost comic initiatives anger
the locals and help fuel the insurgency.
Chandrasekaran details Bernard Kerik’s
ludicrous attempt to train the Iraqi police and brings to light lesser
known but typical travesties: the case of the twenty-four-year-old who had
never worked in finance put in charge of reestablishing Baghdad’s stock
exchange; a contractor with no previous experience paid millions to guard
a closed airport; a State Department employee forced to bribe Americans to
enlist their help in preventing Iraqi weapons scientists from defecting to
Iran; Americans willing to serve in Iraq screened by White House officials
for their views on Roe v. Wade; people with prior expertise in the Middle
East excluded in favor of lesser-qualified Republican Party loyalists.
Finally, he describes Bremer’s ignominious departure in 2004, fleeing
secretly in a helicopter two days ahead of schedule.
This is a startling portrait of an Oz-like
place where a vital aspect of our government’s folly in Iraq played out.
It is a book certain to be talked about for years to come.
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