Bill Buckley’s Lesson for Today’s Conservatives

– Neal B. Freeman, Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2016.
Excerpt: What did “Firing Line” add to the culture of its day? It became, first, a national megaphone for conservative values. It wasn’t one of dozens of right-leaning talk shows. It was one of one. Second, it became a foundation stone for the emerging… More

Missing WFB

– An NRO symposium, National Review, November 23, 2013.
Excerpt: This weekend would have marked William F. Buckley Jr.’s 88th birthday. What do you miss most about NR’s founder? We asked some friends.

William F. Buckley Jr.: Conservative Icon

– Lee Edwards, Makers of American Political Thought Series #4, Heritage Foundation, December 18, 2012.
Excerpt: William F. Buckley Jr. was the renaissance man of modern American conservatism. He was the founder and editor in chief of National Review, a syndicated columnist, the host of Firing Line (TV’s longest-running weekly public-affairs program), the… More

God and Man at Yale Turns 60

– Peter Berkowitz, Real Clear Politics, November 5, 2011.
Excerpt: Buckley’s critique of academic orthodoxy at Yale was all the more powerful—and all the more baffling to the zealous guardians of Yale’s academic orthodoxy—for his defense of freedom. How could one who condemned the relentless atheism of the… More

Conservatism’s Indispensable Man

– George H. Nash, Claremont Review of Books, April 2011.
Excerpt: William F. Buckley, Jr.’s death in February 2008 set off an avalanche of deeply felt tributes. He deserved them all. Editor, debater, columnist, lecturer, novelist, television host, sailor, and musician, for nearly six decades he had been an… More

Foreword to The Fall of the Berlin Wall

– Henry A. Kissinger, in William F. Buckley, The Fall of the Berlin Wall, Wiley, John & Sons, 2004. Posted to, October 5, 2009.
Excerpt: Bill Buckley was one of the most remarkable men of our time. Over fifty years ago, barely out of college, he rejected conventional wisdom and founded a magazine, National Review, dedicated to standing athwart the prevalent intellectual currents. It… More

Growing Up Buckley

– Christopher Buckley, New York Times, April 22, 2009.
Excerpt: To the extent that this story has a dimension beyond the purely personal, I suppose it’s an account of becoming an orphan. My mother and father died within 11 months of each other in 2007 and 2008. I do realize that “orphan” sounds like an… More

Mr. and Mrs. Right

– Bob Colacello, Vanity Fair, January 2009.
Excerpt: They called each other “Ducky.” And they died within months of each other, in April 2007 and February 2008, as if William F. Buckley Jr., the famously polysyllabic founder of the modern conservative movement (and of its literary flagship, the… More

A Born Teacher

– Daniel Oliver, Claremont Review of Books, April 2008.
Excerpt: George Will called National Review the most consequential journal of opinion ever. It remade America by reinvigorating its spirit of enterprise and renewing its courage to resist and overcome Communism. Every fortnight, NR published good copy by… More

A Eulogy for My Father

– Christopher Buckley, National Review, April 11, 2008.
Excerpt: He was — inarguably — a great man. This is, from a son’s perspective, a mixed blessing, because it means having to share him with the wide world. It was often a very mixed blessing when you were out sailing with him. Great men always have too… More

The Gift of Friendship

– Terry Eastland, The Weekly Standard, March 10, 2008.
Excerpt: I once wrote a letter to my hero, hoping to get one back. This was early in 1976, and I’d recently taken my first newspaper job. William F. Buckley Jr., who was willing to challenge liberal orthodoxy and defend traditional norms like no one… More

On the ‘Firing Line’

– Andrew Ferguson, The Weekly Standard, March 10, 2008.
Excerpt: I came to him when I was still a teenager, through television. You might be surprised at how many people found him this way. He published millions of words of commentary and rumination, on a startling range of subjects, in high-circulation newspapers… More

A Christian Gentleman

– Joseph Bottum, The Weekly Standard, March 10, 2008.
Excerpt: In photographs from those days, the young William F. Buckley Jr. of the 1950s always seemed to have his legs stretched out–his feet up on a nearby chair, or a pile of books, or an open desk drawer. Slumped down, the phone squeezed to his ear by… More

William F. Buckley Jr., 1925-2008

– William Kristol, The Weekly Standard, March 10, 2008.
Excerpt: Here’s one measure of the man and the scope of his achievement: No serious historian will be able to write about 20th-century America without discussing Bill Buckley. Before Buckley, there was no conservative movement. After Buckley, there was… More

A Man of Incessant Labor

– Christopher Hitchens, The Weekly Standard, March 10, 2008.
Excerpt: “At his desk,” wrote Christopher Buckley in his email to friends, “in Stamford this morning.” Well, one had somehow known that it would have to be at his desk. The late William F. Buckley Jr. was a man of incessant labor and… More

A Life Athwart History

– George F. Will, Washington Post, February 29, 2008.
Excerpt: Those who think Jack Nicholson’s neon smile is the last word in smiles never saw William F. Buckley’s. It could light up an auditorium; it did light up half a century of elegant advocacy that made him an engaging public intellectual and… More

Remembering the Mentor

– David Brooks, New York Times, February 29, 2008.
Excerpt: Buckley was not only a giant celebrity, he lived in a manner of the haut monde. To enter Buckley’s world was to enter the world of yachts, limousines, finger bowls at dinner, celebrities like David Niven and tales of skiing at Gstaad. Buckley’s… More

Where Does One Start?

– An NRO symposium, National Review, February 29, 2008.
Excerpt: National Review Online surveyed a random sampling of William F. Buckley Jr. readers — some of them friends, all of them fans — for their favorite Buckley readers, and, specifically, what they might recommend to a newcomer to WFB’s writings.… More

The Buckley Effect

The Economist, February 28, 2008.
Excerpt: Few intellectuals change the political weather. Even the most successful—an Arthur Schlesinger, say, or a J.K. Galbraith—usually tilt into the prevailing wind and enjoy the sail. William F. Buckley, who died in his study this week, aged 82, was a… More

Erudite Voice of the Conservative Movement

– Bart Barnes, The Washington Post, February 28, 2008.
Excerpt: William F. Buckley Jr., 82, the intellectual father of the modern American conservative movement, who helped define its doctrines of anti-communism, military strength, social order and a capitalist economy, died yesterday at his desk in his Stamford,… More

William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead at 82

– Douglas Martin, New York Times, February 27, 2008.
Excerpt: William F. Buckley Jr., who marshaled polysyllabic exuberance, famously arched eyebrows and a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse, died Wednesday at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 82.

William F. Buckley, Jr., R.I.P.

– The Editors, National Review, February 27, 2008.
Excerpt: Our revered founder, William F. Buckley Jr., died in his study this morning. If ever an institution were the lengthened shadow of one man, this publication is his. So we hope it will not be thought immodest for us to say that Buckley has had more of… More

“We’re On Our Way Home Now, Duckie!”

– Ross Douthat, The Atlantic, February 2008.
Excerpt: There was one great perk to [being a National Review intern], which was the chance to meet William F. Buckley, Jr., the great man, the right’s godfather, the urbane and wicked prince of the conservatives. He no longer edited in any official… More

Athwart History

– Sam Tanenhaus, The New Republic, March 19, 2007.
Excerpt: Although he remains the most eminent conservative in the United States, his face and voice recognized by millions, William F. Buckley, Jr. has all but retired from public life. At the apex of his influence, when Richard Nixon and, later, Ronald… More

Buckley The Birthday Boy

– An NRO symposium, National Review, November 17, 2005.
Excerpt: This week National Review celebrates 80 years of William F. Buckley Jr. (we’re cheating a little–his birthday is on November 24, but the party’s today). As part of the festivities, National Review Online collected a small but representative… More

The Buckley Effect

– Sam Tanenhaus, New York Times, October 2, 2005.
Excerpt: Forty years after it was decided, the mayoral race of 1965 remains one of the most memorable elections in New York history. It was also one of the strangest, thanks in large part to the candidacy of William F. Buckley Jr. It was odd enough that… More

The Right Stuff

– Michael M. Uhlmann, Claremont Review of Books, Summer 2005.
Excerpt: Can it be that National Review, flagship of the modern conservative movement, is turning 50 years old? And can it be that William F. Buckley, eminence of both magazine and movement, will soon celebrate his 80th birthday? To conservatives who came of… More

‘Miles Gone By’: Bill and God’s Excellent Adventure

– Jon Meacham, New York Times, October 17, 2004.
Excerpt: Then came Bill Buckley. Witty, deft in argument, willing to assert that the secular left had no monopoly on truth, he helped change the way the country thought of the right, beginning with his first book, “God and Man at Yale.” Published… More

How ‘Firing Line’ Transformed the Battleground

– Laurence Zuckerman, New York Times, December 18, 1999.
Excerpt: Even many of the guests who turned out at the Museum of Broadcasting on Tuesday to pay tribute to William F. Buckley Jr. on the occasion of the taping of the final broadcast of ”Firing Line,” his weekly program, might be forgiven for… More

William F. Buckley Jr., The Art of Fiction No. 146

– Sam Vaughn, The Paris Review, Summer 1996.
Excerpt: INTERVIEWER One of the questions about your novels is how much is true, and how much is invented. BUCKLEY Well, I poach on history to the extent that I can. For instance, when I was in the CIA it was reported to me that the evidence was overwhelming… More

What Is Anti-Semitism? An Open Letter to William F. Buckley, Jr.

– Norman Podhoretz, Commentary, February 1992.
Excerpt: All in all, with this essay you have burnished your record as a warrior against anti-Semitism, and most especially by your willingness to call Pat Buchanan’s descent into anti-Semitism by its true and proper name. In so doing, you have taken… More

National Review Losing Buckley As Chief Editor

– Eric Pace, New York Times, October 6, 1990.
Excerpt: William F. Buckley Jr., the founder and ranking editor of National Review for 35 years, said last night that he would soon step down from his position and become the editor at large of the conservative biweekly magazine. Mr. Buckley, who is 64 years… More

William F. Buckley, Jr. and American Conservatism

– James A. Nuechterlein, Commentary, June 1988.
Excerpt: In 1955, when William F. Buckley, Jr. published the first issue of National Review, the conservatism that he and his journal represented stood, isolated and forlorn, at the very outer margins of intellectual and political respectability. A… More

The Enmity Within

– Nathan Glazer, New York Times, September 27, 1992.
Excerpt: Mr. Buckley’s article was not a consideration of anti-Semitism in general, or in the United States. It was, rather, a consideration of charges of anti-Semitism against some writers and commentators on the right (and at least one on the left).… More

The Politics of William Buckley

– Joseph Epstein, Dissent, Fall 1972.
Excerpt: William F. Buckley, Jr.—author and editor, lecturer and columnist, one-time mayoral candidate for New York City, and leading publicist for the body of thought that goes by the name of conservatism in America—is an intellectual of a very special… More

God, Man, and William F. Buckley

– Larry L. King, Harper's Magazine, March 1967.
Excerpt: We sized each other up like two fighters in mid-ring, Buckley hooking me with a couple of jokes and scoring with an anecdotal right-cross: “When I sent Norman Mailer a copy of my latest book I turned over to the index in the back and wrote… More

Conservatism Under the Elms

– Peter Viereck, New York Times, November 4, 1951.
Excerpt: William Buckley, Yale ’50 and as a senior the able editor of The Yale Daily News, has written a book that challenges political, religious and educational liberalism. Nominally his book is about education at Yale. Actually, it is about American… More