Sunday, September 12, 2010

William F. Buckley

Jeremy Lott writes whimsically about a man who, for many years, was the poster boy of reasoned conservatism. Lott’s brief biography of William F. Buckley is one of Thomas Nelson’s Christian Encounter Series. I was a little curious that Buckley might be portrayed as an evangelical Christian, an icon of the religious right. This was not the scope of the book. Lott exposed Buckley’s deep commitment to his Roman Catholic faith and showed how that faith shaped his worldview. For Buckley, religion was not something to be compartmentalized and segregated from public life.

In this brief and very readable biography we learn some interesting features about Buckley’s life. All of these were new to me. His first language was not English, but Spanish, which is even more incredible given Buckley’s writing style. One needs a dictionary at the ready when reading him. He was a deep cover agent in Mexico for the CIA, even if only for nine months; he was godfather to Howard Hunt’s children and stepped in when Hunt went to prison for the Watergate break-in (Hunt’s wife died in a plane crash a few month prior to his incarceration).

Many know William Buckley as the editor of the National Review or the host of the long running "Firing Line." Lott gives us a glimpse into the private thought of this man. This book is a worthwhile read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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