cover of book

William F. Buckley Jr.: The Maker of a Movement
by Lee Edwards
Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2010
Cloth: 978-1-935191-73-5 | Paper: 978-1-61017-155-7 | eISBN: 978-1-935191-87-2
Library of Congress Classification PN4874.B796E38 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 070.92

The modern-day Renaissance man who
built 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.

Now, noted conservative historian Lee Edwards, who knew Bill Buckley for more than 40 years, delivers a much-needed intellectual biography of the man who has been called “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 to build the conservative movement than did any other person. 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. 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.

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 incredible story of a man who could have been a playboy, sailing his yacht and skiing in Switzerland, but who chose to be the St. Paul of the conservative movement, carrying the message far and wide. Lee Edwards shows how and why it happened—and the remarkable results.

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