“We’re On Our Way Home Now, Duckie!”

Ross Douthat, The Atlantic, February 2008.


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 capacity, having retired in the late 1980s, but his influence endured. The magazine reprinted his syndicated columns in every issue, and he also kept up a “Notes and Asides,” where he corresponded faithfully with readers on obscure lexical and grammatical points. Occasionally he would drop a longer article into the magazine—a remembrance of Whittaker Chambers in one issue, a breezy tour through Abercrombie & Fitch’s soft-core porn in another. He still kept an office, too, and an assistant, in the Lexington Avenue building, halfway between the editorial and business departments. Everywhere were the shelves of his books, a march of familiar titles (God and Man at Yale, McCarthy and His Enemies, Up From Liberalism) that evoked the right’s long half-century rise from ash to power.

The Atlantic