Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. “Armies of the Night”

Firing Line Videos, Hoover Institution, taped on May 28, 1968, uploaded to YouTube on August 15, 2010.

Guest: Norman Mailer


This surprisingly genial conversation starts with the subject of Norman Mailer–as most conversations with Norman Mailer do–and goes on from there. Buckley: “Oh, sure, I’m very anxious to discuss [Mr. Mailer’s latest book, Armies of the Night] . . . [which] I think everyone should read, because I think it’s an extremely interesting and enjoyable book, if that’s the right word for it.” Mailer: “Well, I wish someone on the right wing would write a book that would be as good, because it would be a great help to us on the Left. I wanted to help the right wing understand–” Buckley: “You wouldn’t notice it if it were written.” Mailer: “No, I would notice it. You know I’m a lover of literature.” Buckley: “Yes.” Mailer: “I think Evelyn Waugh is a marvelous writer. . . . Unfortunately, he’s not an American.” Buckley: “Yeah. Unfortunately, he’s dead.” Mailer: “That too.”