One Family's Response to Terrorism
A Daughter's Memoir
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Syracuse University Press
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This book is an odyssey of grief, a relentless search for truth, and finally a reconciliation. It starts for its author, Susan Kerr, with the nightmarish shock of the assassination of a loving father, leaving an aftermath of bewilderment and loss. ...
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Back in the good old days, when terrorism was still at a nuisance level, my father used to supplement the family income by writing disaster scenarios for Middle East watchers in the U.S. government. ...
1. Breaking Apart
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The newspaper photograph of the space shuttle Columbia breaking up and splintering down through the clear blue sky above Texas struck me at once as a matching image of our family’s splintering after Dad’s assassination. ...
2. First Reactions
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For the next several years, wearing the mouth guard at night and losing the memory of his father, Andrew dreamed about the pleasure of killing Dad’s assassins.
After hearing the news on the radio at the school café, he had taken off and run all over the AUB campus, looking for our mother. ...
3. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
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On April 24, 1996, twenty-seven-year-old Andrew Kerr, now an employee of the National Security Council, sat side-by-side with former Beirut hostage Joseph Cicippio in the sunshine of the White House garden. They had been invited along with other “victims of terrorism” to witness...
4. The Decision to Take Legal Action
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One wintry day at the end of 2002, nearly seven years after Clinton’s signature to the Antiterrorism Act and just three weeks before our trial against the government of Iran, I paid a visit to Terry Waite in his beautiful, ancient cottage near the East Anglian town of Bury St. Edmunds. ...
5. Knock, and the Door Shall Be Opened
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Where were you when the first and second planes hit the World Trade Center?
I was sitting in the September sunshine at home in England, talking on the telephone with John in Michigan about the virtues of punitive damages. ...
6. Words Remembered
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In 1956, the year he married my mother, twenty-six-year-old Malcolm Kerr embarked on a Ph.D. dissertation that addressed the dilemma of how, in the secular age of the early twentieth century, two Egyptian intellectuals had sought a meaningful application of Islam. ...
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Dad would have enjoyed making a joke about the fact that the defendant in the case before ours in the upstairs courtroom of the U.S. District Court building in Washington, D.C., was one of the world’s biggest multinational hamburger chains. Reading the notice pinned to the courtroom...
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Page Count: 202
Illustrations: 17 black and white illustrations
Publication Year: 2010