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Cheap Blue Blood (Book) (Edward Conlon) Price

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As a Harvard graduate and regular writer for the New Yorker, Edward Conlon is a little different from most of his fellow New York City cops. And the stories he tells in his compelling memoir Blue Blood are miles away from the commonly told Hollywood-style police tales that are always action packed but rarely tethered to reality. While there is action here, there's also political hassle, the rich and often troubling history of a department not unfamiliar with corruption, and the day to day life of people charged with preserving order in America's largest city. Conlon's book is, in part, a memoir as he progresses from being a rookie cop working the beat at troubled housing projects to assignments in the narcotics division to eventually becoming a detective. But it's also the story of his family history within the enormous NYPD as well as the evolving role of the police force within the city. Conlon relates the controversies surrounding the somewhat familiar shoo! ting of Amadou Diallou and the abuse, at the hands of New York cops, of Abner Louima. But being a cop himself, Conlon lends insight and nuance to these issues that could not possibly be found in the newspapers. And as an outstanding writer, he draws the reader into that world. In the book's most remarkable passage, Conlon tells of the grim but necessary work done at the Fresh Kills landfill, sifting through the rubble and remains left in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 (a section originally published in The New Yorker). In many ways, Blue Blood comes to resemble the world of New York City law enforcement that Conlon describes: both are expansive, sprawling, multi-dimensional, and endlessly fascinating. And Conlon's writing is perfectly matched to his subject, always lively, keenly observant, and possessing a streetwise energy. --John Moe

AUTHOR: Edward Conlon
CATEGORY: Book
MANUFACTURER: Riverhead Books
ISBN: 1573222666
TYPE: 1965-, Biography, Biography & Autobiography, Biography / Autobiography, Biography/Autobiography, Conlon, Edward,, New York, New York (State), Personal Memoirs, Police, Political Freedom & Security - Law Enforcement, Specific Groups - General
MEDIA: Hardcover
# OF MEDIA: 1

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Customer Review of Blue Blood
Expected More...I think....
Blue Blood is a police memoir written by a cop who is a Harvard graduate. Ok...have we said that for the thousanth time? good. I am also a NYC Police Officer, so here is my review from that perspective... This book says nothing that has not been already been said by countless other "less educated" cops turned authors. Conlons Harvard degree not withstanding, the book falls into the same trap that most other police-written books do, non-intentional self aggrandizement and the implication that the author is more suited to "tell it like it is" than any other cop on the job. Conlon may disagree, but I found that the book had a condescending feel, in that Conlons perceived self-importance, however well hidden most of the time, couldn't help but show itself. What we expected was a book about the NYPD,it's good and bad aspects, albeit one written from within Conlons worldview. Instead of the former, what we got was another hero detective story complete with all the informants, domestic disputes, and colloquialisms, gritty yes, but without any real criticism of the NYPD or police work in general. Blue Blood has more literary references and assimilations than most other non-fiction cop stories, an aspect that will make it more palatable (and purchaseable) for the lower Manhattan literatary crowd, however for the people who really want to hear their story told, the officers and their families, it does not do that, at least not without making us feel less impportant than the author. For those of you not well versed in the criminal justice / law enforcement world, Conlon's career, while exemplary, is far from uncommon. So he made a few collars, got into a specialized unit, made Detective, great, it happens all the time. As for realism, outside of what a previous reviewer called a "Damon Runyonesque" description of street patrol, I dare question some of the stories legitimacy, an example, the "gun raid" search warrant that a rookie cop Conlon initiated (I am not the first reviewer to mention this passage, so I assume there is some relevant criticism there). First off, let me say that it is entirely possible that an assertive, astute rookie cop could initiate, and obtain, with proper supervision, a search warrant for an apartment purported to contain numerous firearms. What sounds unlikely to me, and I am not saying this didn't happen...that the same rookie cop would be on the ititial entry team for such a location, especially when the search warrant stated the possibilty of "numerous semi-automatic weapons and two fully automatic weapons" being in the apartment. A high risk warrant such as this is almost always conducted by the NYPD's tactical team, the ESU. A commanding officer who allows such an operation as depicted to occur within his purvue is risking liabilty. So, I infer, was there some embellishment of the young Conlons involvement there? possibly. Was there similar embellishment through the rest of the book? who knows? In summary, not every cop can write as well as Conlon, (including me) however, as for the subject matter, for a million bucks, I could sure tell you some stories myself...


Long, but worth slogging through
The author is a Harvard-educated NYPD cop, son of an FBI agent, writing his memoirs seven years into his career on the force. Over the course of the book's 560 pages, he begins in Housing (drug busts in the projects), works with Narcotics, gets a feel for the midnight shift, sifts though the awful wreckage of 9/11 on Fresh Kills, and finally becomes a detective. Every so often, he interrupts his own story to tell some other facet of police or New York life, such as that of the real Serpico or the tale of the French Connection, stories of crooked and heroic cops and politicos of the past, the Black Panther cop-murder spree, and so forth. It's a very interesting book, with plenty of very funny bits (his descriptions of and banter with informants provide much humor) as well as food for thought. Certainly, though, it's no masterpiece. For someone who clearly bristles when talked to about police corruption, Conlon breezes over Abner Louima, and takes a very Blue Wall-ish view of the Amadou Diallo case. The book is also overlong; it could use some editing, especially given that there are no spectacular cases here (lots of gritty interrogation and stakeout stuff, but it is everyday police work). On the whole, though, the great writing, the eye for a relevant story, Conlon's intense devotion to the NYPD, and a real flair for characterization make this a memoir worth reading through.


Solid Read
Great insight into the wold of the NYPD!

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