The Reagan I Knew by William F. Buckley Jr.

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No two people were more important to American conservatism in the postwar era than William F. Buckley Jr. and Ronald Reagan. Buckley’s writings provided the intellectual underpinnings, while Reagan brought the conservative movement into the White House.

They met in 1961 when Reagan introduced a speech by Buckley. When nobody could turn on the microphone, Reagan climbed out a window, walked along a ledge to the locked control room, broke in, and flipped the correct switch. Buckley later described this moment as “a nifty allegory of Reagan’s approach to foreign policy: the calm appraisal of a situation, the willingness to take risks, and then the decisive moment leading to lights and sound.”

For over thirty years, the two men shared jokes and vacations, advised each other on politics, and counseled each other’s children. The Reagan I Knew traces the evolution of an extraordinary friendship between two American political giants.


About William F. Buckley Jr.

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Editor and writer William F. Buckley, Jr. was born in New York City on November 24, 1925. While at Yale University, he studied political science, history and economics and graduated with honors. In 1955, he founded the weekly journal National Review where he was editor in chief. He began his syndicated newspaper column in 1962 and his weekly television discussion program, Firing Line was syndicated in 1966. Buckley wrote "God and Man at Yale" (1951) which was an indictment of liberal education in the United States, "Up from Liberalism" (1959), "The Unmaking of a Mayor" (1966), which tells of his unsuccessful mayoral campaign as the Conservative Party candidate for New York City in 1965, and "Quotations from Chairman Bill" (1970). Buckley also wrote best selling stories of international intrigue whose titles include "Saving the Queen" (1976), "Stained Glass" (1978), "Who's on First" (1980), "Marco Polo, If You Can" (1981), and "See You Later, Alligator" (1985). He died on February 27, 2008.
Published October 14, 2008 by Basic Books. 312 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Reagan I Knew

Publishers Weekly

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Buckley worked on this book—commemorating his 30-relationship with Ronald Reagan—up to his final days. He struggles to paint a picture of a more private Reagan, but the book sheds littl

Mar 30 2009 | Read Full Review of The Reagan I Knew

The New York Times

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In 1961, the intellectual famous for describing the world met the future president eager to change it.

Jan 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Reagan I Knew

Bookmarks Magazine

By jonMon, 12/29/2008 - 15:25.

Dec 29 2008 | Read Full Review of The Reagan I Knew

The American Spectator

Though I have been a longtime fan of both Buckley and President Reagan, I had no idea the relationship between Nancy Reagan and Bill Buckley was so substantial.

Jul 09 2001 | Read Full Review of The Reagan I Knew

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