The controversial New York City police commissioner and New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Son shares the story of his fall from grace and the effects of his incarceration on his views of the American justice system.
Bernard Kerik was New York City’s police commissioner during the 9/11 attacks, and became an American hero as he led the NYPD through rescue and recovery efforts of the World Trade Center. His résumé as a public servant is long and storied, and includes receiving a Medal of Honor. In 2004, Kerik was nominated by George W. Bush to head the Department of Homeland Security.
Now, he is a former Federal Prison Inmate known as #84888-054.
Convicted of tax fraud and false statements in 2007, Kerik was sentenced to four years in federal prison. Now, for the first time, he talks candidly about what it was like on the inside: the torture of solitary confinement, the abuse of power, the mental and physical torment of being locked up in a cage, the powerlessness. With newfound perspective, Kerik makes a plea for change and illuminates why our punishment system doesn’t always fit the crime.
In this extraordinary memoir, Kerik reveals his unprecedented view of the American penal system from both sides: as the jailer and the jailed. With astonishing candor, bravery, and insider’s intelligence, Bernard Kerik shares his fall from grace to incarceration, and turns it into a genuine and uniquely insightful argument for criminal justice reform.
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About the Author
Bernard Kerik was appointed the fortieth police commissioner of New York City by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani on August 21, 2000. Prior to his appointment, Kerik was commissioner of the Department of Correction. He served with the New York Police Department on both uniformed and plainclothes duty for eight years and was awarded the prestigious Medal of Valor, among many other awards for meritorious and heroic services. His stewardship of the department in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center brought him to national attention.
Table of Contents
Part I The Other Side of the Bars
1 Despair 3
2 Cumberland 7
3 Eyes Open 25
4 Time Stands Still 33
5 Taming Rikers 41
6 The Box and the Angel 53
7 A Supermax for the King 63
8 Terror 75
9 Life Lessons 93
Part II How It Happened
10 A Few Good Men 103
11 The Rise before the Fall 139
12 Gifts, Nannies, and Renovations 149
13 In Jordan 163
14 The Feds Close In 191
15 Losing Rudy 205
16 Kerik Needs Help 215
17 Ties That Bind 231
Part III Reform
18 From the Inside 249
19 Return 269
20 A New Direction 275
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Who would have thought Bernard Kerik would turn out to be a captivating, sympathetic, and relatable storyteller? I stayed up all night reading this engrossing and sobering memoir. I never voted for Guiliani and didn't connect with Kerik when they were in office, but he can count me as a big fan and supporter now. Kerik tells his story with courageous honesty and humility, and takes readers right to the very spot of his fall from grace and his rise from the ashes. This is a disturbing, eye-opening, provocative, and thoroughly satisfying memoir. So glad I picked it up.
It is fascinating to read about Kerik's experience. And especially interesting to see how the former head of the largest correctional institution in the US came to the realization that the US criminal justice system is broken. Kerik's story is engaging, compelling, and speaks volumes about today's politics.
Very well written book. Gives much insight into what it is like inside prison life. Attitude goes a long way when it comes to respect for others inside and outside of prison life. This book hit close to home as I have a very dear family member that is in an institution with a mental illness. I plan to read the other books by Bernard Kerik. I was saddened by all the dishonesty of the judge and jury. Unfortunately that happens too much. Mr. Kerik tells it like it is. It is a very good read.