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A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag: America Today (Wall Street Journal Book) Hardcover – June 3, 2003

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Product Details

  • Series: Wall Street Journal Book
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (June 3, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743250052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743250054
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,950,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Noonan is the kind of whimsical romantic who likes to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at five in the morning simply because "it is fun." Her take on life and world events is refreshingly different from the usual political commentary. She writes as if she were conversing with her readers; unpretentious and warm, she lays out her soul for the world to see. The former Reagan speechwriter offers a collection of her weekly columns from the Wall Street Journal spanning the year from September 11, 2001, to September 11, 2002. Many of the essays address the tragedy that changed our world. Sometimes Noonan plays the role of the daunting pessimist, warning we are not safe; "we are all soldiers now." And yet, she tells us, life is wonderful, we are lucky. She shares her passion for the small and grand details that make life worth living: her "darling subway," watching Kevin Costner eat Raisa Gorbachev's dessert, meeting the pope. Beware: Noonan (When Character Was King) does not hide her political conservatism. At times her warm persona takes on a rough urgency. Many of her opinions on such sensitive issues as profiling men of Middle Eastern descent and the invasion of Iraq may rankle some readers. But Noonan's book stands out because it is more than an exercise in right-wing political discourse. It's a testimony: a record of history as it was actually lived by real people. It is a celebration of America, a reminder that life is meant to be embraced.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

To say the year between September 11, 2001, and September 11, 2002, was one of tremendous upheaval is a massive understatement. Noonan, a former Reagan assistant, has collected the columns she wrote during that period of time. From the column she wrote just two days after 9/11, full of shock and raw emotion, to the reserved but determined piece she wrote on the one-year anniversary, Noonan's essays are thoughtful, introspective, and deeply patriotic. Although she is devastated by the horror of 9/11, her spirits are lifted by the heroism and kindness she sees in her fellow New Yorkers, from the firemen who bravely raced into the doomed towers to the people who turned out to cheer on the rescue workers and firemen who toiled in the wreckage. She sees Bush as a president who has risen to meet the challenge he and the country face; he is not unlike Harry Truman, she states in "The President Within," an unlikely leader who is steering a course with determination and resolve. Most of the essays address the effects of 9/11 on the world, but she also tackles a few other timely topics, such as the Enron scandal, the sex-abuse charges against the Catholic Church, and even movie stars. Noonan's columns are often extremely optimistic--she sees the best in the people and the leaders of the U.S., which makes this an inspiring collection. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Miglino on August 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book was given to me by a very good friend of mine, MaryAnn. On 9/11/01 we sat next to each other in work in New Jersey. We watched and listened in horror as the events of 9/11/01 unfolded and realized from that moment on the world as we know it will never be the same. The following year, we actually picked that specific day to fly on a business trip, 9/11/02, to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 and to show the terrorists we are not afraid of them. Ms. Noonan actually discusses how people are afraid to fly today in the last chapter. For some people this book will not be politically correct, so be aware of this. Ms. Noonan can not heap enough praise on the firefighters who responded on 9/11 (MaryAnn's brother was one of the brave firefighters who responded on 9/11, a real hero). I enjoyed and re-read over several times the chapters that referred to the 9/11 events. I agree with Ms. Noonan that we are in a war with terrorists, even though there may not be people who realize this. I enjoyed how other subjects were interwoven into the book, the Pope, how life went on after 9/11. Ms. Noonan described how she walked across the Brooklyn Bridge the morning of 9/11/02. Her descriptions and how she captures her feelings are written beautifully, each of us should have tried to capture our own moments. I know some people picking up the book may not want to read about President Bush or the Pope but the descriptions on the weather, how people continued to live their lives after 9/11 were great. If anyone feels as though their civil rights are being violated, just read Chapter 18, "Everybody's Been Shot", even if you are in a bookstore just read it.Read more ›
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Riggs on October 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Peggy Noonan's columns that appeared in the pages of the Wall Street Journal during the year that followed the attacks on September 11th were not only some of the best writing of her career, but served as a source of weekly comfort during those early months.
Her first piece, "What I Saw At The Devastation" still stands out as the finest account of what it felt like to be there. The descriptions are vivid, the feelings are real, and as the weeks continued, as we routed the Taliban out of Afghanistan, as we came together as a nation, only to see divisiveness pull us apart, Peggy's words captured the moments.
The oddity that became an FBI invesigation, the declarations by the left wing media declaring our failure in Afghanistan as smoke still rose from lower Manhattan, and perhaps the most poignant tale, of a subway ride to the World Series a month after the attacks. . .
Peggy's columns were wonderfully written, and this collection captures it perfectly.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By "rotjrotk" on June 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Is there anything more comforting, more appealing, and more illuminating than Peggy Noonan's words. If you've heard her speak the experience is increased ten fold as you can actually 'hear' her soft tone express the desires we all felt after that day in September 2001. Anger, resentment, pride, hope, a feeling of loss, and feeling of's all here. I was so amazed that I had to share it with my wife and family.
You'll want to too.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Piety Hill Booksellers on September 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Having been a Peggy Noonan fan for some time, I was excited to read her collection of essays in the aftermath of 9/11. I was not dissapointed in the least.

Ms. Noonan offers readers her particularly personal and charming perspective on everything from firefighter admiration, to anger, to faith, to the politics of terrorism. In doing so she reminds us why she should be considered among the best essayists of our generation.

In the interest of fairness, there were times when I wished the book was more cohesive. The lack of cohesion is a natural consequence of these writings being stand-alone essays. Still, at times this distracted from her otherwise brilliant writing.

When A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag shines (as it so often does), it is a therpautic and prosaic look at our country's most challenging moment. An excellent choice for like-minded conservatives as well as reasonable patriots of the left.
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23 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Todd Hague on June 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This Book is a collection of Ms. Noonans essays from 9-11-01 to 9-11-02. It is not a geo-political interpretation of events, but a cultural & an almost spiritual one. It will be wonderful reading for those not yet born, or too young to remember that horrible day of 2001.
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