William F. Buckley, Jr.

William F. Buckley, Jr.

Infobox Celebrity
name = William F. Buckley Jr.

image_size =
caption = William F. Buckley Jr. in 1985
birth_date = birth date|1925|11|24
birth_place = New York City,
New York,
United States
death_date = 27 February 2008 (aged 82)
death_place = Stamford, Connecticut,
United States
occupation = Author Commentator Television Personality
nationality = USA,
spouse = Patricia Taylor Buckley (d. 2007)
children = Christopher Buckley (b.1952)

William Frank Buckley Jr. ["William Francis" in the editorial obituary "Up From Liberalism" "The Wall Street Journal" 28 February 2008, p. A16; Martin, Douglas, "William F. Buckley Jr., 82, Dies; Sesquipedalian Spark of Right", obituary, "New York Times", 28 February 2008, which reported that his parents preferred "Frank", which would make him a "Jr.", but at his christening, the priest "insisted on a saint's name, so Francis was chosen. When the younger William Buckley was 5, he asked to change his middle name to Frank and his parents agreed. At that point, he became William F. Buckley Jr."] (November 24 1925February 27 2008) was an American author and conservative commentator. He founded the political magazine "National Review" in 1955, hosted 1429 episodes"The Wall Street Journal" 28 February 2008, p. A16] of the television show "Firing Line" from 1966 until 1999, and was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist. His writing style was famed for its erudition, wit, and use of uncommon words. [For complete, searchable texts see [http://cumulus.hillsdale.edu/buckley/Standard/index.html Buckley Online] .]

Buckley was "arguably the most important public intellectual in the United States in the past half century," according to George H. Nash, a historian of the modern American conservative movement. "For an entire generation he was the preeminent voice of American conservatism and its first great ecumenical figure." [cite web | url=http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=YmZkMTRmN2MyZjcwYWVhYWI4YjhkNjE5YTA5NmY3ODg | author=George H. Nash | date=2008-02-28 | title="Simply Superlative: Words for Buckley"|accessdate=2008-02-29 | publisher=National Review Online] Buckley's primary intellectual achievement was to fuse traditional American political conservatism with laissez-faire and anti-communism, laying the groundwork for the modern American conservatism of U.S. presidential candidate Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan.

Buckley came on the public scene with his critical book "God and Man at Yale" (1951); among over fifty further books on writing, speaking, history, politics and sailing, were a series of novels featuring CIA agent Blackford Oakes. Buckley referred to himself "on and off" as either libertarian or conservative. [C-SPAN Booknotes 10/23/1993] [Buckley, William F., Jr. "Happy Days Were Here Again: Reflections of a Libertarian Journalist", Random House, ISBN 0-679-40398-1, 1993.] He resided in New York City and Stamford, Connecticut, and often signed his name as "WFB." He was a practicing Catholic, regularly attending the traditional Latin Mass in Connecticut. [cite news|last=Ponte|first=Lowell|title=Memories of William F. Buckley, Jr.|url= http://www.newsmax.com/lowell_ponte/William_Buckley_/2008/02/28/76344.html|work=Newsmax| date=2008-02-28|accessdate=2008-02-28]

Early life

Buckley was born in New York City to lawyer and oil baron William Frank Buckley, Sr., of English and Irish descent, and Aloise Josephine Antonia Steiner, a native of New Orleans and of Swiss-German descent. The sixth of ten children, as a boy Buckley moved with his family from Mexico to Sharon, Connecticut before beginning his first formal schooling in Paris, where he attended first grade. By age seven, he received his first formal training in English at a day school in London; his first and second languages were Spanish and French, respectively.cite book | author=William F. Buckley Jr. | title="Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography" |publisher=Regnery Publishing | date=2004 Early chapters recount his early education and mastery of languages.] As a boy, Buckley developed a love for music, sailing, horses, hunting, skiing, and story-telling. All of these interests would be reflected in his later writings. Just before World War II, at age 13, he attended high school at the Catholic Beaumont College in England. During the war, his family took in the future British historian Alistair Horne as a child war evacuee. Buckley and Horne remained life-long friends. Buckley and Horne both attended the Millbrook School, in Millbrook, New York, and graduated as members of the Class of 1943. At Millbrook, Buckley founded and edited the school's yearbook, "The Tamarack", his first experience in publishing. When Buckley was a young man, his father was an acquaintance of libertarian author Albert Jay Nock. William F. Buckley, Sr., encouraged his son to read Nock's works.

In his younger years, Buckley developed many musical talents; he played the harpsichord very well — later calling it "the instrument I love beyond all others." He was an accomplished pianist and appeared once on Marian McPartland's National Public Radio show "Piano Jazz". [ [http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=10676 Tanglewood Jazz Festival, September 1-3, 2006 in Lenox, Massachusetts] Aug. 2, 2006] A great fan of Johann Sebastian Bach, [http://www.nytimes.com/books/00/07/16/specials/buckley-bach.html Once Again, Buckley Takes On Bach ] . "The New York Times". Published October 25, 1992.] Buckley said that he wanted Bach's music played at his funeral. [cite episode|title=Charlie Rose|url= http://www.charlierose.com/shows/2006/03/24/1/an-hour-with-editor-william-f-buckleyjr |series=Charlie Rose|network=PBS|airdate=2006-03-24|minutes=50:43]

Marriage and family

In 1950, Buckley married Patricia Aldyen Austin "Pat" Taylor (1926 –2007), daughter of industrialist Austin C. Taylor. He met Pat, a Protestant from Vancouver, British Columbia, while she was a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She later became a prominent charity fundraiser for such organizations as the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at New York University Medical Center and the Hospital for Special Surgery. She also raised money for Vietnam War veterans and AIDS patients. On April 15 2007, she died of an infection after a long illness at age 80. [ [http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/27/buckley.obit/index.html William F. Buckley Jr. dies at 82] Feb. 27, 2008] After her death, Buckley's friend, Christopher Little, said Buckley "seemed dejected and rudderless."Buck, Rinker, [http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-buckleyobit0228.artfeb28,0,6920688,print.story "William F. Buckley Jr.  l  1925-2008: Icon Of The Right: Entertaining, Erudite Voice Of Conservatism"] , obituary, "The Hartford Courant", February 28, 2007. "Material from the Associated Press was also used." Retrieved February 29, 2007]

The couple had one son, author Christopher Buckley. Buckley took great pride in the success of his son, and in his final years would frequently call friends late at night to read them passages from "Christo's" latest book.Fact|date=March 2008

Buckley had nine siblings, including sister Maureen Buckley-O'Reilly, who married Gerald O'Reilly and had several children before suddenly dying of a brain aneurysm in 1966; sister Priscilla L. Buckley, author of "Living It Up With National Review: A Memoir" for which William wrote the foreword; sister Patricia Lee Buckley Bozell, who was Patricia Taylor's roommate at Vassar before each married; brother Fergus Reid Buckley, an author, debate-master, and founder of the Buckley School of Public Speaking; and brother James L. Buckley, a former senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and a former U.S. Senator from New York. William and James appeared together on "Firing Line". Buckley co-authored a book, "McCarthy and His Enemies", with his brother-in-law attorney L. Brent Bozell Jr. (Patricia's husband).

Education, military service and the CIA

Buckley attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico (or UNAM) in 1943. The following year upon his graduation from the U.S. Army Officer Candidate School, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In his book, "Miles Gone By", he briefly recounts being a member of Franklin Roosevelt's honor guard when the president died.

With the end of World War II in 1945, he enrolled in Yale University, where he became a member of the secret Skull and Bones society, [cite book | author=Robbins, Alexandra | title=Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power | publisher=Little, Brown | location=Boston | year=2002 | id=ISBN 0-316-72091-7, 41] cite web | url=http://www.biography.com/search/article.do?id=9230494&page=print | title='Buckley, William F(rank), Jr (1925–2008) Biography'|accessdate=2008-02-27] was a debater, an active member of the Conservative Party and of the Yale Political Union, and served as Editor-in-Chief of the "Yale Daily News".

Buckley studied political science, history and economics at Yale, graduating with honors in 1950. He excelled as the captain of the Yale Debate Team, and under the tutelage of Yale professor Rollin G. Osterweis, Buckley honed his acerbic style. Osterweis recalled that Buckley showed up at the annual Harvard-Yale debate in a jacket and tie and shorts. When quizzed about his outfit, Buckley responded that he "thought it would be a sporting contest."Fact|date=March 2008

In 1951, like some of his classmates in the Ivy League, Buckley was recruited into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), yet he served for less than a year. Little has been published regarding Buckley's work with the CIA, but in a 2001 letter to author W. Thomas Smith, Jr., Buckley wrote, “I did training in Washington as a secret agent and was sent to Mexico City. There I served under the direct supervision of Howard Hunt, about whom of course a great deal is known.”Fact|date=March 2008

In a November 1 2005, editorial for "National Review", Buckley recounted that:

When in 1951 I was inducted into the CIA as a deep cover agent, the procedures for disguising my affiliation and my work were unsmilingly comprehensive. It was three months before I was formally permitted to inform my wife what the real reason was for going to Mexico City to live. If, a year later, I had been apprehended, dosed with sodium pentothal, and forced to give out the names of everyone I knew in the CIA, I could have come up with exactly one name, that of my immediate boss (E. Howard Hunt, as it happened). In the passage of time one can indulge in idle talk on spook life. In 1980 I found myself seated next to the former president of Mexico at a ski-area restaurant. What, he asked amiably, had I done when I lived in Mexico? "I tried to undermine your regime, Mr. President." He thought this amusing, and that is all that it was, under the aspect of the heavens.

While in Mexico, Buckley edited "The Road to Yenan", a book by Peruvian author Eudocio Ravines addressing the communist quest for global domination.


First books

In 1951, the same year he was recruited into the CIA, Buckley's first book, "God and Man at Yale", was published. The book was written in Hamden, Connecticut, where William and Pat Buckley had settled as newlyweds. A critique of Yale University, the work argues that the school had strayed from its original educational mission. The next year, he made some telling concessions in an article for "Commonweal."

We have got to accept Big Government for the duration—for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged, given our present government skills, except through the instrument of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores. … And if they deem Soviet power a menace to our freedom (as I happen to), they will have to support large armies and air forces, atomic energy, central intelligence, war production boards, and the attendant centralization of power in Washington—even with Truman at the reins of it all. [cite web|url= http://www.amconmag.com/11_17_03/cover.html |title= Conservative Crack-Up |accessdate=2007-07-27]

In 1954, Buckley co-wrote a book "McCarthy and His Enemies" with his brother-in-law, L. Brent Bozell Jr., strongly defending Senator Joseph McCarthy as a patriotic crusader against communism.

"National Review", Young Americans for Freedom, Barry Goldwater

Buckley worked as an editor for "The American Mercury" in 1951 and 1952, but left after spotting anti-Semitic tendencies in the magazine.cite web
url= http://www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=10482667 |title= William F. Buckley Jr. is dead at 82 |accessdate= 2008-02-27 |last= Martin |first= Douglas |date= February 27, 2008 |work= Obituary |publisher= International Herald Tribune
] He then founded "National Review" in 1955, serving as editor-in-chief until 1990. [http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-1151505.html Buckley Retires As Editor; National Review Founder Steps Down After 35 Years] June 10, 1990] [http://www.nationalreview.com/flashback/flashback200511170846.asp A Personal Retrospective] November 17, 2005] During that time, "National Review" became the standard-bearer of American conservatism, promoting the fusion of traditional conservatives and libertarians. Buckley was a defender of McCarthyism. In "McCarthy and his Enemies" he asserted that "McCarthyism ... is a movement around which men of good will and stern morality can close ranks." [cite book
last = Buckley
first = William F.
authorlink = William F. Buckley, Jr.
year = 1954
title = McCarthy and His Enemies: The Record and Its Meaning
pages = pg.335
publisher = Regnery Publishing
id = ISBN 0-89526-472-2

In 1957, Buckley published [http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTFlYjgxMjgzYzkyYjI0NDI4YzM3YzAzYTcyMWQxNGU= a review] of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" by Whittaker Chambers, ostensibly "reading her out of the conservative movement." [cite web|url= http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles2/ChambersAynRand.htm |title=Big Sister is Watching You|accessdate=2007-07-27] Objectivists have accused Chambers of merely skimming the novel. [cite web|url=http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?id=4081 |title=A Half-Century-Old Attack on Ayn Rand Reminds Us of the Dark Side of Conservatism| accessdate=2007-07-27] Buckley said that Rand never forgave him for publishing the review and that "for the rest of her life, she would walk theatrically out of any room I entered!"p. 309]

Also in 1957, Buckley came out in support of the segregationist South, famously writing that "the central question that emerges… is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race." [cite journal |last=Buckley, Jr. |first=William F. |title=Editorial|year=1957 |month=August |journal=National Review] Buckley changed his views and by the mid-1960s renounced racism. This change was caused in part because of his reaction to the tactics used by white supremacists against the civil rights movement, and in part because of the influence of friends like Garry Wills, who confronted Buckley on the morality of his politics. [cite web |url= http://sanseverything.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/william-f-buckley-the-gift-of-friendship/ |title=William F. Buckley: the Gift of Friendship |author=Heer, Jeet|accessdate=2008-03-01]

By the late 1960s, Buckley disagreed strenuously with segregationist George Wallace, and Buckley later said it was a mistake for "National Review" to have opposed the civil rights legislation of 1964-65. He later grew to admire Martin Luther King, Jr. and supported creation of a national holiday for him.Tanenhaus, Sam, [http://papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/qa-with-sam-tanenhaus-on-william-f-buckley/ on William F. Buckley] , "Paper Cuts" blog at "The New York Times" website, February 27, 2008. Tanenhaus, an editor at the "Times", was working on a biography of Buckley at the time.] As late as 2004, he defended his statement, at least the part referring to African Americans not being "advanced". He pointed out the word "Advancement" in the name NAACP and continued, "The call for the 'advancement' of colored people presupposes they are behind. Which they were, in 1958, by any standards of measurement." During the 1950s, Buckley had worked to remove anti-Semitism from the conservative movement and barred holders of those views from working for "National Review".

In 1960, Buckley helped form "Young Americans for Freedom" and in 1964 he strongly supported the candidacy of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, first for the Republican nomination against New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller and then for the Presidency. Buckley used "National Review" as a forum for mobilizing support for Goldwater.

In 1962, Buckley denounced Robert W. Welch, Jr., and the John Birch Society, in "National Review", as "far removed from common sense" and urged the GOP to purge itself of Mr. Welch's influence. [cite web|url= http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/Goldwater--the-John-Birch-Society--and-Me-11248 |title= Goldwater, the John Birch Society, and Me|accessdate=2008-03-09|author=William F. Buckley, Jr]

"On The Right"

Buckley's column "On The Right" was syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate beginning in 1962. From the early 1970s, his twice-weekly column was distributed to more than 320 newspapers across the country. In the early 1960s, at Sharon, Connecticut, Buckley founded the conservative political youth group, "Young Americans for Freedom" (YAF). Young Americans for Freedom was guided by principles Buckley called, "The Sharon Statement." The successful campaign of his elder brother Jim Buckley's to capture the U. S. Senate seat from New York State held by incumbent Republican Charles Goodell on the Conservative Party ticket in 1970 was due, in large part, to the activist support of the New York State chapter of Y.A.F.Fact|date=March 2008 A Congressman representing New York's old 43rd Congressional District, Goodell had been appointed to the Senate by Barry Goldwater's arch-nemesis Nelson Rockefeller, the liberal Republican Governor of New York, to fill the seat vacated by the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, a Democrat. In the Senate, Goodell had moved to the left and thus incurred the enmity of conservatives in the New York State Republican Party, who threw in their lot with Jim Buckley. Buckley served one term in the Senate, then was defeated by Democract Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1976. (Goodell's son Roger is the commissioner of the National Football League.)

Mayoral candidacy

In 1965, Buckley ran for mayor of New York City as the candidate for the young Conservative Party, because of his dissatisfaction with the very liberal Republican candidate and fellow Yale alumnus John Lindsay, who later became a Democrat. When asked what he would do if he won the race, Buckley issued his classic response, "I'd demand a recount." (During one televised debate with Lindsay, Buckley declined to use his allotted rebuttal time and instead replied, "I am satisfied to sit back and contemplate my own former eloquence.")

To relieve traffic congestion, Buckley proposed charging cars a fee to enter the central city, and a network of bike lanes. (Mayor Bloomberg has supported such car-toll plans for New York City in the 2000s, but changes were blocked by the New York State legislature.) He also opposed a civilian review board for the New York Police Department, which Lindsay had recently introduced to control police corruption and install community policing. [Rick Perlstein, "Nixonland", 2008. pp. 144-6] Buckley finished third with 13.4% of the vote, having unintentionally aided Lindsay's election by taking votes from Democratic candidate Abe Beame. [cite web|url= http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/02/magazine/02buckley.html|title=The Buckley Effect| accessdate=2007-11-12 |author=Tanenhaus, Sam]

Buckley was not the first member of his family to run for a big-city mayoral position. His cousin Elliot Ross Buckley ran in 1962 as the Republican candidate for mayor of New Orleans but was easily defeated by the Democrat Victor Schiro. Elliot Buckley's New Orleans race was said to have paralleled and foreshadowed Bill Buckley's campaign three years later.

"Firing Line"

For many Americans, Buckley's erudite style on his weekly PBS show "Firing Line" (1966–1999) was their primary exposure to him. In it he displayed a scholarly, and humorous conservatism and was known for his facial expressions, gestures and probing questions of his guests.

Throughout his career as a media figure, Buckley had received much criticism, largely from the American left but also from certain factions on the right, such as the John Birch Society, as well as from Objectivists. [ [http://capmag.com/article.asp?ID=5128 William F. Buckley, Jr.: The Witch-Doctor is Dead by Harry Binswanger - Capitalism Magazine ] ]

Feud with Gore Vidal

Buckley appeared in a series of televised debates with Gore Vidal during the 1968 Democratic Party convention. In their penultimate debate on August 28 of that year, the two disagreed over the actions of the Chicago police and the protesters at the ongoing Democratic Convention in Chicago. After Buckley responded to Vidal's argument by stating that Vidal's position was "so naive" and saying of the protesters "some people were pro-Nazi," Vidal called Buckley a "Crypto-Nazi", to which Buckley replied, "Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I will sock you in your goddamn face, and you will stay plastered." [ [http://youtube.com/watch?v=nYymnxoQnf8 Youtube video of the exchange] ]

This feud continued the following year in the pages of "Esquire", which commissioned an essay from both Buckley and Vidal on the television incident. Buckley's essay "On Experiencing Gore Vidal," was published in the August 1969 issue, and led Vidal to sue for libel. The court threw out Vidal's case. [http://www.nationalreview.com/document/document200412140834.asp Vidal Discredited! Esquire apologies to Buckley; picks up legal tab.] ] Vidal's September essay in reply [cite news |first=Gore |last=Vidal |authorlink=Gore Vidal |title=A Distasteful Encounter with William F. Buckley Jr. |url=http://www.columbia.edu/~tdk3/vidalesquire69.html |work=Esquire |pages=140–145, 150 |date= September 1969 |accessdate=2008-02-28 |archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20070624152559/http%3A//www.columbia.edu/~tdk3/vidalesquire69.html |archivedate=2007-06-24 ] , "A Distasteful Encounter with William F. Buckley," was similarly litigated by Buckley. In it Vidal strongly implied that, in 1944, Buckley and unnamed siblings had vandalized a Protestant church in their Sharon, Connecticut, hometown after the pastor's wife had sold a house to a Jewish family. Buckley sued Vidal and "Esquire" for libel; Vidal counter-claimed for libel against Buckley, citing Buckley's characterization of Vidal's novel "Myra Breckenridge" as pornography. Both cases were dropped, with Buckley settling for court costs paid by Vidal, while Vidal absorbed his own court costs. Buckley also received an editorial apology in the pages of "Esquire" as part of the settlement. [cite web|url=http://www.villagevoice.com/blogs/pressclipsextra/archives/2004/12/buckley_and_vid.php |title=Buckley and Vidal: One More Round|accessdate=2007-07-27]

The feud was re-opened in 2003 when "Esquire" re-published the original Vidal essay, at which time further legal action resulted in Buckley being compensated both personally and for his legal fees, along with an editorial notice and apology in the pages of "Esquire".

Nonetheless, Buckley also maintained an antipathy towards Vidal's other bête noire, Norman Mailer, calling him "almost unique in his search for notoriety and absolutely unequalled in his co-existence with it". [ [http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YzhhYmYzNjQzM2ViYmMzZmUwNjRiZTQ4YTVmY2I1OTY= William F. Buckley Jr. on Norman Mailer on National Review Online ] ]

United Nations delegate

In 1973, Buckley served as a delegate to the United Nations. In 1981, after quipping to a reporter that the position he sought in the Reagan administration was "ventriloquist,"Fact|date=March 2008 Buckley informed President-elect (and personal friend) Ronald Reagan that he would decline any official position offered to him. Reagan jokingly replied that that was too bad, because he had wanted to make Buckley ambassador to (then Soviet-occupied) Afghanistan. Buckley replied that he was willing to take the job but only if he were to be supplied with "10 divisions of bodyguards." [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6724737060193073610&q=william+buckley Reagan: A Life in Letters, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003), 64.]

py novelist

In 1975, in an interview in the "Paris Review", Buckley recounted being inspired to write a spy novel by Frederick Forsyth's "The Day of the Jackal": "...If I were to write a book of fiction, I'd like to have a whack at something of that nature." [ [http://www.theparisreview.org/viewinterview.php/prmMID/1395 The Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 146 ] ] He went on to explain that he was determined to avoid the moral ambiguity of Graham Greene and John Le Carré. Buckley wrote the 1976 spy novel "Saving the Queen", featuring Blackford Oakes as a rule-bound CIA agent; Buckley based the novel in part on his own CIA experiences. Over the next 30 years, Buckley would write another 10 novels featuring Oakes. "New York Times" critic Charlie Rubin wrote that the series "at its best, evokes John O'Hara in its precise sense of place amid simmering class hierarchies." [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/17/books/review/17RUBINL.html?ex=1279339200&en=845293053a63c725&ei=5088 'Last Call for Blackford Oakes': Cocktails With Philby] , Charlie Rubin, "The New York Times", July 17, 2005]

Buckley was particularly concerned about the view that what the CIA and the KGB were doing were morally equivalent. As he wrote in his memoirs, "I said to Johnny Carson that to say that the CIA and the KGB engage in similar practices is the equivalent of saying that the man who pushes an old lady into the path of a hurtling bus is not to be distinguished from the man who pushes an old lady out of the path of a hurtling bus: on the grounds that, after all, in both cases someone is pushing old ladies around. [Buckley, William F., "Miles Gone By, A Literary Autobiography"]

Amnesty International

In the late 1960s, Buckley joined the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA.Citation
last = Buckley
first = William F.
author-link = William F. Buckley
title = Amnesty International
newspaper = Newark Advocate
pages = 4
year = 1970
date = April 13, 1970
] He resigned in January 1978 in protest over the organization's stance against capital punishment as expressed in its Stockholm Declaration of 1977, which he said would lead to the "inevitable sectarianization of the amnesty movement".Citation
last = Montgomery
first = Bruce P.
title = Archiving Human Rights: The Records of Amnesty International USA
journal = Archivaria: The Journal of the Association of Canadian Archivists
issue = 39
date = Spring 1995
year = 1995
url = http://journals.sfu.ca/archivar/index.php/archivaria/article/view/12073/13055

Later career

Buckley participated in an ABC live and very heated debate with scientist Carl Sagan, following the airing of "The Day After", a 1983 made-for-television movie about the effects of nuclear war. Sagan argued against nuclear proliferation, while Buckley, a staunch anti-communist, promoted the concept of nuclear deterrence. During the debate, Sagan discussed the concept of nuclear winter and made his famous analogy, equating the arms race to "two sworn enemies standing waist-deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five."

In 1988 Buckley was instrumental in the defeat of liberal Republican Senator Lowell Weicker. Buckley organized a committee to campaign against Weicker and endorsed his Democratic opponent, Connecticut Attorney General Joseph Lieberman [ [http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NGEwNmYxYjRhZmRkZjA4MmM1YzE5MDIzMzJlYjExNmU= Did He Kiss Joe?] July 5, 2006] Lieberman defeated Weicker by only about 10,000 votes, with critical margins coming from conservative areas of the state that strongly backed George H. W. Bush for President.Fact|date=March 2008

In 1991, Buckley received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George H. W. Bush. Buckley retired as active editor from "National Review" in 1990, and relinquished his controlling shares of "National Review" in June 2004 to a pre-selected board of trustees. The following month he published the memoir "Miles Gone By". Buckley continued to write his syndicated newspaper column, as well as opinion pieces for "National Review" magazine and National Review Online. He remained editor-at-large at the magazine and also conducted lectures, granted occasional radio interviews [ [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3387080 NPR: A Life on the Right: William F. Buckley] July 14, 2004] and made guest appearances on national television news programs. [ [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3700.htm Neoconservatism: a CIA Front?] , by Gregory Pavlik. "The Rothbard-Rockwell Report", 1997] [ [http://www.salon.com/people/feature/1999/09/03/wfb/ William F. Buckley Jr.] Sept. 3, 1999] [ [http://www.amren.com/009issue/009issue.html#cover The Decline of National Review] , by James P. Lubinskas, American Renaissance, September, 2000] [ [http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard6.html Buckley Revealed] 2001
* [http://www.haciendapub.com/politics13.html William F. Buckley Jr. and the John Birch Society] Dec. 13, 2002
] [ [http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2003/an-american-original-appreciating-bill-buckley/ Appreciating Bill Buckley] 2003] [ [http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/2/21/02850.shtml Pied Piper for the Establishment] Feb. 21, 2003] [ [http://crimemagazine.com/03/edgarsmith,0825.htm The Great Prevaricator: William F. Buckley helped killer Edgar Smith to a second trial] August 25, 2003] [ [http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2004/buckleys-final-passage/ Buckley's Final Passage?] 2004] [ [http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=14563 Interview with Buckley] August 09, 2004] [ [http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/july-dec04/buckley_09-08.html ML NewsHour: William F. Buckley Jr.] September 8, 2004] [ [http://www.magazine.org/editorial/about_asme/press_releases/14154.cfm Cathleen P. Black and William F. Buckley Jr. to Receive Magazine Industry Lifetime Achievement Awards] November 10, 2005] [ [http://www.hackwriters.com/buckley2.htm Review of Buckley's autobiography "Miles Gone By"] December 2005] [ [http://baltimorechronicle.com/2007/040607Hickman.shtml Happy is the Columnist who has no history] April 6, 2007]

Thoughts on Catholic liturgical change

Regarding the impact of the reforms following the Vatican II Council, Buckley wrote in 1979:cquote|As a Catholic, I have abandoned hope for the liturgy, which, in the typical American church, is as ugly and as maladroit as if it had been composed by Robert Ingersoll and H.L. Mencken for the purpose of driving people away.

Incidentally, the modern liturgists are doing a remarkably good job, attendance at Catholic Mass on Sunday having dropped sharply in the 10 years since a few well-meaning cretins got hold of the power to vernacularize the Mass, and the money to scour the earth in search of the most unmusical men and women to preside over the translation.

The next liturgical ceremony conducted primarily for my benefit, since I have no plans to be beatified or remarried, will be my own funeral; and it is a source of great consolation to me that, at my funeral, I shall be quite dead, and will not need to listen to the accepted replacement for the noble old Latin liturgy. Meanwhile, I am practicing Yoga, so that, at church on Sundays, I can develop the power to tune out everything I hear, while attempting, athwart the general calisthenics, to commune with my Maker, and ask Him first to forgive me my own sins, and implore him, second, not to forgive the people who ruined the Mass. [cite web|url=http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/archive-2008-buckley.htm|title=William F. Buckley on the New Mass|accessdate=2008-07-11]

Views on modern-day conservatism

Buckley criticized certain aspects of policy within the modern conservative movement. Of George W. Bush's presidency, he said, "If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we’ve experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign." [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/22/eveningnews/main1826838.shtml Buckley: Bush Not A True Conservative] CBS News, July 22, 2006] He said, "Bush is conservative, but he is not a conservative", and that the president was not elected "as a vessel of the conservative faith." Regarding the War in Iraq, Buckley stated, "The reality of the situation is that missions abroad to effect regime change in countries without a bill of rights or democratic tradition are terribly arduous." He added: "This isn't to say that the Iraq war is wrong, or that history will judge it to be wrong. But it is absolutely to say that conservatism implies a certain submission to reality; and this war has an unrealistic frank and is being conscripted by events." [cite web|url=http://acuf.org/issues/issue49/051204news.asp|title=Season of Conservative Sloth|accessdate=2007-07-27] In a February 2006 column published at "National Review Online" and distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, Buckley stated unequivocally that, "One cannot doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed." Buckley has also stated that "...it's important that we acknowledge in the inner councils of state that it (the war) has failed, so that we should look for opportunities to cope with that failure." [cite web|url=http://www.nationalreview.com/buckley/buckley200602241451.asp|title=It Didn’t Work|accessdate=2007-07-27] According to Jeffrey Hart writing in the American Conservative, Buckley had a "tragic" view of the Iraq war: he "saw it as a disaster and thought that the conservative movement he had created had in effect committed intellectual suicide by failing to maintain critical distance from the Bush administration...At the end of his life, Buckley believed the movement he made had destroyed itself by supporting the war in Iraq." [ [http://www.amconmag.com/2008/2008_03_24/article1.html Right at the end] , The American Conservative, March 24, 2008] Fact|date=October 2008

Over the course of his career, Buckley's views changed on some issues, such as drug legalization, which he came to favor. [cite web|url=http://www.archive.org/details/openmind_ep181|title=The Openmind: Buckley on Drug Legalization|accessdate=2007-07-27] In his December 3 2007 column, Buckley advocated banning tobacco use in America.cite web|url= http://www.nysun.com/article/67349|title=My Smoking Confessional|author=Buckley, William F Jr| date=2007-12-03|accessdate=2008-02-28]

About neoconservatives, he said in 2004: "I think those I know, which is most of them, are bright, informed and idealistic, but that they simply overrate the reach of U.S. power and influence."Sanger, Deborah, [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/11/magazine/11QUESTIONS.html?ei=5070&en=a78be4479c624bcf&ex=1204952400 "Questions for William F. Buckley: Conservatively Speaking"] , interview in "The New York Times Magazine] , July 11, 2004. Retrieved March 6, 2008]


Buckley died at his home in Stamford, Connecticut, on February 27, 2008, at age 82; he was found dead at his desk in the study. "He died with his boots on," his son said, "after a lifetime of riding pretty tall in the saddle." At the time of his death, he had been suffering from emphysema and diabetes. [cite news|author=Douglas Martin |url= http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/business/media/27cnd-buckley.html?hp |title=William F. Buckley Jr. Is Dead at 82 |publisher=New York Times |date=2008-02-27|accessdate=2008-02-27 ]

In a December 3 2007 column, Buckley commented on the cause of his emphysema:quote|Half a year ago my wife died, technically from an infection, but manifestly, at least in part, from a body weakened by 60 years of nonstop smoking. I stayed off the cigarettes but went to the idiocy of cigars inhaled, and suffer now from emphysema, which seems determined to outpace heart disease as a human killer. Stick me in a confessional and ask the question: Sir, if you had the authority, would you forbid smoking in America? You'd get a solemn and contrite, Yes.

Notable members of the Republican political establishment paying tribute to Buckley included President George W. Bush, [cite press release|title=Statement by the President on Death of William F. Buckley|author=Bush, George W|publisher=Office of the Press Secretary, the White House|date=February 27, 2008|accessdate=2008-02-28|url= http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/02/20080227-4.html] former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, and former First Lady Nancy Reagan. [cite press release|title=Nancy Reagan Reacts To Death Of William F. Buckley|author=Reagan, Nancy|publisher=The Office of Nancy Reagan|date=February 27, 2008|accessdate=2008-02-28|url= http://orangecounty.cox.net/cci/newslocal/local?_mode=view&view=LocalNewsArticleView&articleId=3238791&_action=validatearticle ] Bush said of Buckley, " [h] e influenced a lot of people, including me. He captured the imagination of a lot of people."cite news|title=Conservative author Buckley dies at 82
url= http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080227/ap_on_re_us/obit_buckley |date=February 27, 2008| accessdate=2008-02-28|work=Associated Press|publisher=Yahoo! News|author=Italie, Hillele
] Gingrich added, "Bill Buckley became the indispensable intellectual advocate from whose energy, intelligence, wit, and enthusiasm the best of modern conservatism drew its inspiration and encouragement... Buckley began what led to Senator Barry Goldwater and his "Conscience of a Conservative" that led to the seizing of power by the conservatives from the moderate establishment within the Republican Party. From that emerged Ronald Reagan." [cite web|url= http://newt.org/tabid/102/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/3207/Default.aspx |title=Before there was Goldwater or Reagan, there was Bill Buckley|accessdate=2008-03-04|publisher=Newt.org|author=Gingrich, Newt] Reagan's widow, Nancy, commented, "Ronnie valued Bill's counsel throughout his political life, and after Ronnie died, Bill and Pat were there for me in so many ways."

Linguistic expertise

Buckley was well known for his command of language. [See Schmidt, Julian. (June 6, 2005) "National Review" Notes & asides. (Letter to the Editor) Volume 53; Issue 2. Pg. 17. ("Dear Mr. Buckley: You can call off the hunt for the elusive "encephalophonic". I have it cornered in "Webster's Third New International Dictionary", where the noun "encephalophone" is defined as "an apparatus that emits a continuous hum whose pitch is changed by interference of brain waves transmitted through oscillators from electrodes attached to the scalp and that is used to diagnose abnormal brain functioning." I knew right where to look, because you provoked my search for that word a generation ago, when I first (and not last) encountered it in one of your books. If it was used derisively about you, I can only infer that the reviewer's brain was set a-humming by a) his failure to follow your illaqueating (ensnaring) logic, b) his dizzied awe at your manifold talents, and/or c) his inability to distinguish lexiphanicism (the use of pretentious words) from lectio divina. I say, keep it up. We could all do with more brain vibrations.")] Buckley came late to formal instruction in the English language, not learning it until he was seven years old (his first language was Spanish, learned in Mexico, and his second French, learned in Paris).Early chapters recount his early education and mastery of languages.] As a consequence, he spoke English with an idiosyncratic accent: something between an old-fashioned, upper class Mid-Atlantic accent and British Received Pronunciation. [cite web |url=http://www.slate.com/id/2185368/ |title=Why Did William F. Buckley Jr. talk like that? |last=Tsai |first=Michelle |publisher="Slate" |date=2008-02-28 |accessdate=2008-02-28] Impressionist David Frye included Buckley in his portfolio in the 1960s and 1970s, mastering Buckley's quirky mannerisms, such as his deliberate speech pattern, his use of pen or pencil as a prop, and his tendency to grin and open his eyes wide when making a self-satisfying verbal point.Fact|date=March 2008

Further reading



*cite book| year=2001|title = Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of American Writers| publisher = Merriam-Webster|location = Massachusetts
*cite book| year=2003|title = Contemporary Authors|publisher = The Gale Group| location=Farmington Hills, Michigan
*cite book| first=Lisa| last=Birnbach| year=1980| title=The Official Preppy Handbook| publisher=Workman Publishing Company, Inc| location=New York| id=ISBN-13: 9780894801952
*cite book| first=Linda| last=Bridges| year=2007| title=Strictly Right: William F. Buckley Jr. and the American Conservative Movement| publisher=Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated| location=New York| id=ISBN 0471758175
*cite book| first= James Lane| last=Buckley| year=2006| title=Gleanings from an Unplanned Life: An Annotated Oral History| publisher=Intercollegiate Studies institute| location=Wilmington| id=ISBN 978-1-933859-11-8
*cite book| first=Reid| last=Buckley| year=1999| title=Strictly Speaking| publisher=McGraw-Hill|location = New York|id=ISBN 0-07-134610-4
*cite book| first=Brian| last=Lamb| year=2001| title=Booknotes: Stories from American History| publisher=Penguin| location=New York| id=ISBN 1-58648-083-9
* Gottfried, Paul (1993). "The Conservative Movement". ISBN 0-8057-9749-1
*John B. Judis (1990). "William F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives". New York: Touchstone. (full-scale biography). ISBN 0-671-69593-2
* George H. Nash. "The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945" (2006)
*cite book|first = Mark Royden|last = Winchell|year = 1984|title = William F. Buckley, Jr.|publisher = MacMillan Publishing Company|location = New York|id = ISBN 0-8057-7431-9
*cite book| first = W. Thomas, Jr.|last=Smith|year=2003|title = Encyclopedia of the Central Intelligence Agency|publisher=Facts on File| location = New York|id = ISBN 0-8160-4667-0
*cite book|first = Tamara|last = Straus|year=1997|title = The Literary Almanac: The Best of the Printed Word: 1900 to the Present| publisher=High Tide Press|location = New York|id=ISBN 1-56731-328-0
*cite web|title = William F. Buckley, Jr.|url = http://www.americanwriters.org/classroom/resources/tr_buckley.asp|work = C-Span American Writers II|accessmonthday = September 2 |accessyear = 2004
*Miller, David (1990). "Chairman Bill: A Biography of William F. Buckley, Jr.". New York
*Meehan, William F. III (1990). "William F. Buckley Jr: A Bibliography". New York

External links

* [http://cumulus.hillsdale.edu/buckley/Standard/ Buckley Online] , a complete guide of William F. Buckley, Jr. columns for Universal Press Syndicate.
* [http://www.nationalreview.com National Review Online]
** [http://www.nationalreview.com/buckley/buckley.asp Editorial at NR by William F. Buckley] .
** [http://www.townhall.com/columnists/wfbuckley/archive.shtml NR Buckley archives at townhall.com] .
* [http://www.wallstreetcosmos.com/buckley.html WFB links page at wallstreetcosmos.com]
* [http://hoohila.stanford.edu/firingline/ "Firing Line" program collection (Stanford University)] .
*imdb name|id=0118702|name=William F. Buckley.
* [http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/videodir/asx2/2299.asx Video of Buckley debating James Baldwin, October 26, 1965, Cambridge University; digitized by UC Berkeley] .
* [http://www.haciendapub.com/politics13.html "William F. Buckley Jr. and the John Birch Society,"] December 13, 2002.
* [http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2003/an-american-original-appreciating-bill-buckley/ "Appreciating Bill Buckley,"] 2003.
* [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=3387080 "A Life on the Right: William F. Buckley,"] National Public Radio, July 14, 2004.
* [http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/july-dec04/buckley_09-08.html MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour: William F. Buckley Jr.] , September 8, 2004.
* [http://pajamasmedia.com/xpress/rogerkimball/2008/02/27/william_f_buckley_jr_rip.php "William F. Buckley Jr., RIP"] , by Roger Kimball, February 27, 2008.
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/business/media/28buckley.html?_r=1&oref=slogin "William F. Buckley Jr., 82, Dies; Sesquipedalian Spark of Right,"] "The New York Times", February 28, 2008.
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article3447250.ece "William F. Buckley, Jr. obituary,"] "The Times", February 28, 2008.
* [http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OWQ4Y2VmNjNmZjhiZTEwOThmNTA3NGY1Y2UwNTE4ZDM= "Where does one Start? A Guide to Reading WFB,"] "National Review" Online, February 29, 2008.
* [http://michaeljohnsonfreedomandprosperity.blogspot.com/2008/03/walking-road-that-buckley-built.html "Walking the Road that Buckley Built,"] by Michael Johns, March 7, 2008.
* [http://cavett.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/07/a-most-uncommon-man/?ref=opinion "A Most Uncommon Man,"] by Dick Cavett, "The New York Times", March 7, 2008.

NAME= Buckley, William Francis, Jr.
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Author, Commentator, Television Personality
DATE OF BIRTH= 1925-11-24
DATE OF DEATH= 2008-02-27
PLACE OF DEATH= Stamford, Connecticut

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