A Bookprint is the list of five books that leave an indelible mark on our lives, shaping who we are and who we become.
You are what you read.
Peggy shares why she chose the following books for her Bookprint:
1. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
“The greatest story of immigrants to America, with an added side bonus of showing how immigrant groups in turn- of-the-century Brooklyn quietly helped each other and relied on each other. The Irish and the Eastern European Jews and Italians and Poles of Brooklyn learned survival tips from each other. A really beautiful book. It was about how everyone can rise, and because this is America, everyone will.”
2. Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
“It showed in beautiful blunt language that the passion to tear things down must be re-thought, reconsidered, and thought through again. It taught me something simple: every political revolution that is shaped and animated by love (for freedom, for a greater share of liberty for each person) can produce beautiful and constructive things, such as America. But political revolutions born of hate (for the rich, the titled, the secure) will produce something ugly and misshapen, such as The Terror.”
3. Samuel Johnson by Walter Jackson Bate
“A biography of the genius of the dictionary, who was a genius of human suffering, too. Johnson lived one of the most moving lives in the history of the West.”
4. The Once and Future King by T. H. White
“There is magic in life.”
5. Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
“Bravery is possible in political life and changes everything once it shows up, even when it loses.”
Peggy Noonan is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the best selling author of seven books on American politics, history and culture. Her essays have appeared in Forbes, Time, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the New York Times and other publications. She is a frequent guest on political talk shows. She has also been nominated for Emmy® Awards for the writing of a post-9/11 television special and for her work on the television drama “The West Wing.” Noonan is a member of the board of the Manhattan Institute.
Her most recent book, John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father, was published by Viking in November, 2005. Her collection of post-9/11 columns, A Heart, a Cross and a Flag: America Today, was published by Free Press in June, 2003. When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan, published by Viking in November, 2001, was a New York Times bestseller. In 2008, she also published Patriot Grace, a view on 9/11.
Noonan is also the author of the best selling The Case Against Hillary Clinton (HarperCollins, March, 2000). Her first book, What I Saw at the Revolution, was called “A love letter to the American political process, by Time Magazine. Her second book, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, was called “the voice of our times by USA Today. Noonan’s third book, Simply Speaking, was published in paperback as On Speaking Well, in 1999; Forbes magazine said, “Peggy Noonan packs a wallop of practical wisdom and insightful tips for rookie and veteran speechmakers alike…this wee volume, written by one of this century’s premier presidential speechwriters, will guide you correctly.
In 1996, Noonan was one of ten historians and writers who contributed essays on the American presidency for the book, Character Above All. In 1995 she wrote and hosted a PBS series on the debate over American values. Noonan was a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan from 1984 to 1986. In 1988 she was chief speechwriter for George Bush when he ran for the presidency.
She holds honorary doctorates from Adelphi University, St. John Fisher College, Miami University, and her alma mater, Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Before entering the Reagan White House, Noonan was a producer at CBS News in New York, where she wrote and produced Dan Rather’s daily radio commentary. She also wrote television news specials for CBS News. As editorial and public affairs director at WEEI-AM, the CBS owned station in Boston, she won the Tom Phillips Award for broadcast commentary. In 1978 and 1979 she was an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. Today, she lives in New York City.