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William F. Buckley Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism

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"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.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 12, 2011 – This thoughtful blend of biography and intellectual history harks back to a time when conservatism was dominated by proud and profound intellectualism. When William F. Buckley (1925 2008) launched the National Review in 1955, mainstream conservatism was not merely out of favor, but denigrated by Democrats and many Republicans as well. With Ronald Reagan s election in 1980 and the country s fundamental shift to the right, the modern conservative movement finally reached the political mountaintop, in large part thanks to Buckley s re-articulation of the conservative agenda. 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, for example, he was instrumental in marginalizing such fringe elements as the John Birch Society. (Bogus is markedly less admiring of Buckley s early and strenuous opposition to the civil rights movement.) The final third of the book wobbles a bit, with summations of the cold war and the Vietnam War and a focus on lesser lights at the National Review. But despite disagreements with much of his subject s political philosophy, Bogus vividly encapsulates how radically Buckley changed America s political realities... a feat so great that it is almost impossible to overstate.
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Nov 01, 2011
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Seller: INscribe Digital
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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