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May 06

William F. Buckley Jr.: The Maker of a Movement

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The polysyllabic vocabulary, the wit, the charm, the sailing adventures, the spy novels – all are part of the William F. Buckley Jr. legend. But to consider only Buckley’s charisma and ceaseless energy is to miss that, above all, he was committed to advancing ideas. Amazingly, there is only one full biography of William F. Buckley Jr. – and it’s over twenty years old … and written by a liberal. Conservative historian Lee Edwards, who knew Bill Buckley for more than forty years, solves that problem with his newest book. He reveals how Buckley did more than any other individual to build a political force that transformed America.

Edwards introduces readers to the four most important intellectual influences on this great molder of American conservatism: libertarian author and social critic Albert Jay Nock, conservative political scientist Willmoore Kendall, ex-Soviet spy Whittaker Chambers, and realpolitik apostle James Burnham. Having dug deep into the voluminous Buckley papers, he also illuminates the profound influence of Buckley’s close-knit family and his unwavering Catholic faith. Edwards not only captures the free spirit and unbounded energy of the conservative polymath, but also shows that Buckley’s achievements were the result of a long series of quite deliberate political acts – many of them overlooked today.

Lee Edwards is a leading historian of the conservative movement, having written The Conservative Revolution, The Essential Ronald Reagan, and Goldwater: The Man Who Made a Revolution, among many other books. He is the Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought at The Heritage Foundation and an Adjunct Professor of Politics at the Catholic University of America.

More About the Speakers

Lee Edwards, Ph.D.

With Special Introductory Remarks by:

Kathryn Jean Lopez
National Review Online