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My Father's Gun: One Family, Three Badges, One Hundred Years in the NYPD

McDonald, Brian

89 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 075675397X / ISBN 13: 9780756753979
Published by Diane Pub Co, 1999
Used Condition: Good
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Bibliographic Details

Title: My Father's Gun: One Family, Three Badges, ...

Publisher: Diane Pub Co

Publication Date: 1999

Book Condition:Good

Edition: 1ST..

About this title


In this powerful memoir about three generations of New York City policemen, McDonald chronicles 100 years of dedication, disillusion, heroism, and tragedy behind the blue wall of silence that separates a cop from the rest of the world.


The day-to-day reality of life as a police officer comes through with unglamorous clarity in this scrupulously honest memoir. Yes, the author recounts some exciting stories of cases cracked and perpetrators nailed. But in recounting three relatives' careers in the New York City Police Department, Brian McDonald spends considerable time delineating personal relationships (particularly with their strong-minded wives) and their progress (or lack of it) within a bureaucracy as hidebound as any other branch of the civil service. McDonald's grandfather refused to participate in Tammany Hall corruption, and as punishment was constantly reassigned for the next 14 years; his father burned out as commander of the toughest precinct in the South Bronx. And his brother's troubled trajectory reflected the turbulent atmosphere of the post-Knapp Commission department, held in low repute by law-abiding citizens as it grappled with an increasingly brazen criminal population. The author is candid about his ambivalent feelings toward his tight-lipped father and the ethos that sees a world "made up of only two camps--cops and bad guys," but grateful for Dad's gift of an Underwood typewriter, which led him to journalism. McDonald's gift in return is a book that portrays policemen neither as heroes nor villains, but as recognizable human beings. --Wendy Smith

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