Buckley by Carl T. Bogus
William F. Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism

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Synopsis

“This is an insightful book that will please anyone interested in midcentury American history and politics. Anyone serious about political philosophy will learn from it. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred review)

William F. Buckley Jr. was the foremost architect of the conservative movement that transformed American politics between the 1960s and the end of the century. When Buckley launched National Review in 1955, conservatism was a beleaguered, fringe segment of the Republican Party. Three decades later Ronald Reagan—who credited National Review with shaping his beliefs—was in the White House. Buckley and his allies devised a new-model conservatism that replaced traditional ideals of Edmund Burke with a passionate belief in the free market; religious faith; and an aggressive stance on foreign policy.

Buckley’s TV show, Firing Line, and his campaign for mayor of New York City made him a celebrity; his wit and zest for combat made conservatism fun. But Buckley was far more than a controversialist. Deploying his uncommon charm, shrewdly recruiting allies, quashing ideological competitors, and refusing to compromise on core principles, he almost single-handedly transformed conservatism from a set of retrograde attitudes into a revolutionary force.
 

About Carl T. Bogus

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Carl T. Bogus is professor of law at Roger Williams University and a nationally recognized expert on politics, law, and the Constitution. His previous books include Why Lawsuits are Good for America and The Second Amendment in Law and History (co-editor).
 
Published November 1, 2011 by Bloomsbury Press. 417 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, History, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Buckley

Kirkus Reviews

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Nonetheless, he recognizes that Buckley changed American history, “a feat so great that it is almost impossible to overstate.” Bogus writes about Buckley’s influence on Ronald Reagan, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and numerous others, and he shows how Buckley assembled a team that propelled National R...

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The New York Times

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In flatly identifying Buckley as a libertarian and dismissing National Review’s “fusionism,” Bogus underestimates Buckley’s masterly ability to hold together a movement that was riven by internal contradictions.

Dec 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Buckley: William F. Buckley J...

The New York Times

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Bogus declares that “without Buckley and National Review, Reagan’s election would not have been possible.” But this was a hollow victory, according to Bogus, since the right-wing ideology that Buckley brought to power betrayed what was best in the American conservative tradition as embod...

Dec 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Buckley: William F. Buckley J...

Publishers Weekly

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Bogus (Why Lawsuits Are Good for America) charts Buckley’s ascent—the moneyed outsider who couched his blistering critique of the Eastern liberal establishment in peerless prose (“a sharp sword in a velvet scabbard”)—and his critical interventions in bringing the GOP back from the brink...

Sep 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Buckley: William F. Buckley J...

Star Tribune

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Bogus reveals not just the power and influence that Buckley wielded with his magazine, but he also shines a light on some of the darker aspects of Buckley's life -- notably, his views of segregation.

Nov 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Buckley: William F. Buckley J...

The Washington Times

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and the rise of American conservatism is not only interesting but also relevant to our present moment.” And indeed, Mr. Bogus rises to the occasion, crafting a formative biography and history that is not only interesting and relevant, but an essential study of Buckley and the post-World War II co...

Dec 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Buckley: William F. Buckley J...

The Washington Post

It makes no sense for Bogus to tell us that Buckley’s relevance peaked in 1968, that if in that year Buckley “had been struck down by a bolt of lightning, the conservative movement would have continued unabated,” only to saddle the subject, seven pages later, with ultimate responsibility for the ...

Dec 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Buckley: William F. Buckley J...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

and the winners of 202 Eyewitness 1863: Culture still finds its way to Pittsburgh during war Super Bowl Showdown: The Brothers Harbaugh take the defini...

Nov 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Buckley: William F. Buckley J...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Buckley Jr., and the Conservative Movement (2009), a sympathetic, at times startlingly candid memoir that describes him more vividly than anything other than Buckley's own autobiographical volumes, of which Cruising Speed: A Documentary (1971) is the first and best.

Oct 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Buckley: William F. Buckley J...

National Review Online

Mr. Buckley was the founder of the conservative periodical, The National Review, author of numerous books, including, God and Man at Yale, and the host of the television program, “Firing Line.” The author examined Mr. Buckley’s efforts to reshape the conservative movement in the 1960s and his las...

Sep 03 2012 | Read Full Review of Buckley: William F. Buckley J...

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