Bremer, L. Paul 1941- (Jerry Bremer, Lewis Paul Bremer, III)
Bremer, L. Paul 1941- (Jerry Bremer, Lewis Paul Bremer, III)
Born September 30, 1941, in Hartford, CT; son of Paul, Jr. (a businessman and teacher) and Nina (an art historian and photographer) Bremer; married Frances Winfield (an author and artist), June 11, 1966; children: L. Paul IV and Leila Ames. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1963; University of Paris, C.E.P., 1964; Harvard University, M.B.A., 1966. Politics: Republican. Religion: Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: "Biking, skiing, running, painting, cooking, gardening."
Diplomat. U.S. Department of State, diplomat, 1966-89, executive assistant to the Secretary of State, 1973-76, U.S. Embassy, Oslo, Norway, deputy chief of mission, 1976-79, executive secretary and special assistant to the Secretary of State, 1981-83, U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, 1983-86, ambassador-at-large for counterterrorism, 1986-89; Kissinger Associates, New York, NY, managing director, 1989-2000; March Crisis Consulting, New York, NY, chairman and chief executive officer, 2000-03; presidential envoy to Iraq and administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Baghdad, Iraq, 2003-04. Also served as a director of the Air Products and Chemicals Corporation, the Harvard Business School Club of New York, the Netherland-America Foundation, 1990-2003, and Connor Peripherals, 1990-97; served as a trustee of the Economic Club of New York; member of the international advisory board of Komatsu and Chugai Pharmaceuticals; chairman of the Bipartisan National Commission on Terrorism, 1999-2000; President's Homeland Security Advisory Board member, 2001-03; Lincoln-Douglas Scholarship Foundation, founder and president, 1995—; director of the Catholic Charities of Washington, DC; member of the board of directors of the National Fibromyalgia Association, 2007—.
Council on Foreign Relations, International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Superior Honor Award, U.S. State Department; Distinguished Honor Award, Office of the U.S. Secretary of State; Presidential Medal of Freedom, Office of the U.S. President, 2004, for public service; Distinguished Service Award, U.S. Department of Defense, 2004, for public service; Victory of Freedom Award, President Nixon Library, 2005, for working towards peace and freedom; Ave Maria University, 2005, honorary doctor of law.
(Cochair of the task force, with Edwin Meese III) Heritage Foundation Homeland Security Task Force, Defending the American Homeland: A Report of the Heritage Foundation Homeland Security Task Force, Heritage Foundation (Washington, DC), 2002.
(With Malcolm McConnell) My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.
L. Paul Bremer is a career American diplomat. Educated at Yale University, the University of Paris, and Harvard University, Bremer entered government in 1966, working in various positions at the U.S. Department of State. He worked as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's executive assistant from 1974 to 1976, and by the 1980s was serving as the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands and as President Ronald Reagan's ambassador-at-large for counterterrorism. After serving as managing director for Kiss- inger Associates and director of a number of private enterprises, Bremer was chosen by President George W. Bush in 2003 to serve a fourteen-month term in Baghdad as the presidential envoy to Iraq and administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
Bremer entered Iraq with a vast array of problems, and left a little over a year later with violence still gripping the country. Though praised by the Bush administration and widely criticized by the media and regional experts, Bremer wrote his version of the story with the assistance of Malcolm McConnell in a memoir. Published in 2006, My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope outlines his difficulties in dealing with administration officials, conflicts of interests, and matters of priorities, as well as the successes he achieved while in Iraq.
Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing in the National Review, noted that the memoir "details the treacherous, sweltering days, the obstacles (including Pentagon ‘harassment’), and the historic achievements" of Bremer and his staff's year in Iraq." Michael J. Bonafield, writing for the Minnesota Star Tribune, called the book "candid, precise, lucid and honest" and stated that Bremer "pulls no punches." Thomas W. Collier, writing in the Michigan War Studies Review, wrote that although the "folksy style" and use of first names to refer to administration officials results in a book that is difficult to read, it "is important to anyone looking to understand the transition of Iraq to an Interim Government after the U.S. invasion."
Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, writing in America, observed that "My Year in Iraq tells an important historical tale—selectively. Bremer's ideological perspective prohibits him from examining the contradictions—hypocrisies—of U.S. policy." New Statesman contributor Stephen Grey reminisced that "as Britain's colonial experience shows, the creation of democracy by diktat is a tough job, even if its architects are among the most benevolent, idealistic, and experienced hands around. Bremer's hands were big on ambition but short on other qualities, and above all on wisdom. They had come not to America, nor to the Netherlands, but to a very foreign place, about which they knew little."
Harry Levine concluded in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the memoir "offers keen insights into the cleavages in Iraqi society. Readers will come away from the book with a new understanding of the phrase ‘trying to herd cats.’"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Bremer, L. Paul, III, and Malcolm McConnell, My Year in Iraq: The Struggle to Build a Future of Hope, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.
Newsmakers, Issue 2, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2004.
America, May 15, 2006, Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, review of My Year in Iraq, p. 25.
Army, March, 2006, James Jay Carafano, review of My Year in Iraq, p. 91.
Asian Affairs, March, 2007, Christopher Segar, review of My Year in Iraq, p. 86.
Books in Canada, September, 2006, Hugh Graham, review of My Year in Iraq, p. 18.
Book World, January 22, 2006, George Packer, review of My Year in Iraq, p. 3.
Christian Century, June 13, 2006, Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, review of My Year in Iraq, p. 34.
Foreign Affairs, May 1, 2006, L. Carl Brown, review of My Year in Iraq, p. 168.
Harvard Business Review, April, 2002, Gardiner Morse, "Doing Business in a Dangerous World," p. 22.
International Affairs, March, 2006, Andrew Rathmell, review of My Year in Iraq, p. 377.
International Wire, February 9, 2006, "Interview with Paul Bremer."
Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2006, Evan Wright, review of My Year in Iraq.
Michigan War Studies Review, April 1, 2006, Thomas W. Collier, review of My Year in Iraq.
Middle East Policy, spring, 2006, Robert Dreyfuss, review of My Year in Iraq.
Middle East Quarterly, summer, 2007, Michael Rubin, review of My Year in Iraq.
Minnesota Star Tribune, February 13, 2006, Michael J. Bonafield, review of My Year in Iraq.
National Review, January 10, 2006, Kathryn Jean Lopez, author interview.
New Statesman, February 27, 2006, Stephen Grey, review of My Year in Iraq, p. 54.
New York Review of Books, March 9, 2006, Peter Galbraith, "The Mess," p. 27.
New York Times Book Review, January 12, 2006, Michiko Kakutani, review of My Year in Iraq; February 26, 2006, Dexter Filkins, review of My Year in Iraq, p. 8.
New Zealand International Review, September 1, 2007, Bruce Harding, review of My Year in Iraq, p. 28.
San Antonio Express-News, Rebeca Chapa, February 5, 2006, review of My Year in Iraq.
St. Louis Post Dispatch, Harry Levins, January 29, 2006, review of My Year in Iraq.
USA Today, June 17, 2004, Steven Komarow, author interview.
Coalition Provisional Authority Iraq Web site,http://www.iraqcoalition.org/ (December 7, 2007), author profile.
Presidential Medal of Freedom Web site,http://www.medaloffreedom.com/ (December 2, 2004), author profile.
Public Broadcasting Service Web site,http://www.pbs.org/ (December 7, 2007), author interviews.
U.S. Department of Defense Web site,http://www.defenselink.mil/ (July 20, 2003), Tony Snow, author interview.