Skip to Main Content

A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag

America Today

For the year following 9/11, Peggy Noonan—media personality, bestselling author, and national celebrity—was in a singular position to observe her country and give voice to the outrage, fear, grief, and determination of Americans everywhere through her Wall Street Journal articles—now in one powerful collection.

On the morning of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan sat down to write and produced at least one essay every week through September 11, 2002. The candid and sometimes heart-wrenching pieces collected here are full of insights and observations on how the events influenced our perceptions of what it means to be a New Yorker, an American, a patriot. By training our gaze on everyone from firemen, the President, and Catholic and Muslim mourners to news anchors, bus drivers, and school kids, these essays depict America in all its beauty, diversity, and strength. With a sharp but compassionate eye, Noonan balances the immediacy of the tragedy with its broader meaning for our world.

At once outraged and tender, street smart and down-home wise, A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag is a first draft of history and an apt tribute to everything we lost and learned.

The Weekly Standard A living record. Noonan's gifted narration...draws us into remembering what we ourselves were doing when the dreadful news came....The result is poignancy without sentimentality.

Booklist 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....An inspiring collection.

Publishers Weekly [Noonan's] 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.