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The modern-day Renaissance man who forged the conservative movement
The polysyllabic vocabulary, the wit, the charm, the sailing adventures, the spy novels--all of these have become 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.
In this concise and compelling new biography, noted conservative historian Lee Edwards, who knew Bill Buckley for more than forty years, reveals how Buckley did more than any other individual to build the conservative movement. Once derided as a set of "irritable mental gestures," conservatism became, under Buckley's guidance, a political force that transformed America.
William F. Buckley Jr.: The Maker of a Movement introduces 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 dup deep into the voluminous Buckley papers, Edwards also illuminates the profound influence of Buckley's close-knit family and his unwavering Catholic faith.
Edwards brilliantly captures the free spirit and unbounded energy of the conservative polymath, but he also shows that Buckley did not succeed merely on the strength of a winning personality. Rather, Buckley's achievements were the result of a long series of quite deliberate political acts--many of them overlooked today.
William F. Buckley Jr.: The Maker of a Movement tells the remarkable story of a man who could have been a playboy, sailing his yacht and skiing in Switzerland, but who chose to be the Saint Paul of the conservative movement, carrying the message far and wide.