Breitweiser, Kristen 1971(?)-
Breitweiser, Kristen 1971(?)-
Born c. 1971, in NJ; married Ronald Michael Breitweiser, c. 1997 (banker; died September 11, 2001); children: Caroline. Education: Law degree.
Lawyer, political activist, and writer.
Ron Ridenhour Truth-Telling Award, 2005, for advocacy work.
Wake-Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow (memoir), Warner Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to the The Huffington Post blog.
Wake-Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow was adapted as a sound recording, Hachette Audio (New York, NY), 2006.
Kristen Breitweiser was a practicing attorney when her husband, Ronald Michael Breitweiser, as killed during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack in New York. Breitweiser and three other women from New Jersey who were widowed in the attack became activists known as the "Jersey Girls" and helped convince the U.S. Congress to form the 9/11 Commission to investigate both the attacks and the government's response. In her memoir, Wake-Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow, Breitweiser recounts the days surrounding the terrorist attacks that killed her husband and transformed her life. She also writes about her life in the years following her husband's death, focusing largely on her political awakening and activism, including her campaigning for John Kerry against presidential incumbent George W. Bush in the 2004 election. In an interview on CampusProgress.org, Breitweiser commented: "I wrote the book because after spending four and a half years in Washington, I found it to be a very eye-opening experience. It was not the Washington I expected to find. It was not the Washington from eighth grade social studies." Referring to the memoir itself as "eye-opening," a Kirkus Reviews contributor went on to call Wake-Up Call a "valiant and heartbreaking" book. Margaret Flanagan, writing in Booklist, noted: "This heartfelt memoir will resonate with most Americans regardless of their political affiliations." A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the author "has produced a touching account of her history and ongoing mission."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Breitweiser, Kristen, Wake-Up Call: The Political Education of a 9/11 Widow, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Booklist, July 1, 2006, Margaret Flanagan, review of Wake-Up Call, p. 4.
California Bookwatch, December, 2006, review of Wake-Up Call.
Entertainment Weekly, September 8, 2006, Jeff Labrecque, review of Wake-Up Call, p. 164.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2006, review of Wake-Up Call, p. 659.
Publishers Weekly, June 26, 2006, review of Wake-Up Call, p. 43.
Redbook, September, 2006, "Q and A: A 9/11 Widow Transforms Her Tragedy," p. 32.
Time, September 8, 2006, Kathleen Kingsbury, "From Housewife to Outspoken ‘Jersey Girl,’" interview with author.
Washington Post, September 29, 2004, Matthew Mosk, "Sept. 11 Widow Joins Campaign," p. A20.
Campus Progress,http://campusprogress.org/ (October 3, 2006), "Five Minutes With: Kristen Breitweiser."
Kristen Breitweiser Home Page,http://www.kristenbreitweiser.com (February 19, 2007).
Legacy.com,http://www.legacy.com/ (February 18, 2007) Paula Saha, "Ronald Michael Breitweiser: A Ring from a Sweetheart."