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

Open Road Media
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The modern-day Renaissance man who forged the conservative movement


Noted conservative historian Lee Edwards, who knew William F. Buckley Jr. for more than forty years, delivers a much-needed intellectual biography of the man has been called “arguably the most important public intellectual in the United States in the past half century.” In this concise and compelling book, Edwards reveals how Buckley did more than any other person to build the conservative movement. Once derided as a set of “irritable mental gestures,” conservatism became, under Buckley’s guidance, a political and intellectual force that transformed America.

As conservatives debate the ideas that should drive their movement, William F. Buckley Jr.: The Maker of a Movement reminds us of the principles that animated Buckley, as well as the thinkers who inspired him. The four most important intellectual influences on this great molder of American conservatism, Edwards shows, were libertarian author and social critic Albert Jay Nock, conservative political scientist Willmoore Kendall, former Soviet spy Whittaker Chambers, and realpolitik apostle James Burnham. Having dug deep into the voluminous Buckley papers, Edwards also illuminates the profound influence of Buckley’s close-knit family and his unwavering Catholic faith.



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About the author

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 Catholic University.
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Apr 8, 2014
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781497620766
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Political
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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"In May 1999 Kevin Klose, president of National Public Radio, invited me to a meeting of the NPR board and surprised me with a bronze plaque, emblazoned 'Lifetime Achievement Award.' I responded that, ever the copy-reader, I wished to amend the wording to, 'Lifetime Achievement So Far...'"
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He is both a national and an international eyewitness. At home, he has covered and analyzed major events from the McCarthy anti-Communist hearings of the 1950s to the Clinton impeachment hearings of the 1990s. As CBS's chief Watergate correspondent, he won three Emmys® for his coverage of that scandal -- during which he found himself on Nixon's "enemies" list.
Abroad, he opened the CBS bureau in Moscow in 1955, arranged an unprecedented television interview with Soviet boss Nikita Khrushchev, and was on hand for every major European event from the founding of NATO to the building of the Berlin Wall. At home and overseas his no-holds-barred approach to covering the news landed him in trouble with the authorities. He may be one of the only journalists investigated by both the KGB and the FBI.
In the 1970s, Schorr's revelations of CIA and FBI misdeeds brought him into a confrontation with Congress. Refusing to name his sources before the House Ethics Committee, he was threatened with jail for contempt -- a threat that was not carried out. He also came into confrontation with CBS, his employer, leading to his resignation.
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As to how life has changed for him, Schorr says: "In my days as an investigative reporter, my motto was, 'Find out what they're hiding and tell those who need to know.' In my more sedentary days, the motto changed to, 'The people know a lot. Tell them what to make of it.'"
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A New York Times Bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”

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Ron Chernow's other biographies include: Grant, Washington, and Titan.
The triumph of the conservative movement in reshaping American politics is one of the great untold stories of the past fifty years. At the end of World War II, hardly anyone in public life would admit to being a conservative, but as Lee Edwards shows in this magisterial work, in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, a small group of committed men and women began to chip away at the liberal colossus, and their descendants would scale the ramparts of power in the 1980s and 1990s. Not even the fall of Newt Gingrich has changed the indisputable fact that the movement has truly rewritten the rules of American political life, and the republic will never be the same.
Edwards tells the stories of how conservatives built a movement from the ground up by starting magazines, by building grass-roots organizations, and by seizing control of the Republican party from those who espoused collaboration with the liberals and promised only to manage the welfare state more efficiently and not to dismantle it. But most of all he tells the story of four men, four leaders who put their personal stamp on this movement and helped to turn it into the most important political force in our country today:
* Robert Taft, "Mr. Republican," the beacon of conservative principle during the lean Roosevelt and Truman years
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* Ronald Reagan, "Mr. President," the optimist whose core beliefs were sturdy enough to subdue an evil empire
* Newt Gingrich, "Mr. Speaker," the fiery visionary who won a Congress but lost control of it
By their example and vision, these men brought intellectual and ideological stability to an often fractions conservative movement and held the high ground against the pragmatists who would compromise conservative principles for transitory political advantage. And through their efforts and those of their supporters, they transformed the American political landscape so thoroughly that a Democratic president would one day proclaim, "The era of big government is over."
Political history in the grand style, The Conservative Revolution is the definitive book on a conservative movement that not only has left its mark on our century but is poised to shape the century about to dawn.
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