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October 30, 2009

Historian and NATIONAL REVIEW senior editor Richard Brookhiser takes the long view. The author of studies of Washington, Hamilton and other founding fathers was previously on the JOURNAL to reflect on the legacy of revolutionary thinker Thomas Paine. Brookhiser also advocates the long view in respect to the recent leadership of the GOP and the conservative movement: "I would just say, as a historian, if presidential reputations are stocks, buy George W. Bush. If it moves at all, it will go up."

To reinvigorate the current conservative movement Brookhiser casts his eye back to his own political mentor, William F. Buckley, Jr. His new book, RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME: COMING OF AGE WITH WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR. AND THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT begins with the assertion: "William F. Buckley changed the world."

William F. Buckley, Jr.

William F. Buckley Brookhiser lays some of the great success of the conservative revolution of the latter decades of the 20th century at Buckley's door. "[Buckley] changed the climate of opinion in America. He made conservative ideas respectable. And the way he did that was by making sure he presented them at the highest level. You know, whether he was doing it himself, or whether his magazine was doing it. And he also did it very aggressively."

There is no arguing that Buckley's style was radically different from some of today's conservative headliners. His long-running television show FIRING LINE (1966 to 1999) is famed for challenging debates and conversations of substance. Some of the greatest hits: Buckley vs. Noam Chomskey, Buckley vs. Gore Vidal and even Buckley and Chuck D on racial profiling have garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

The Internet holds a wealth of resources for people who want to explore the works and words of William F. Buckley, Jr. Stanford's Hoover Institution has a complete collection of 1,500 FIRING LINE programs, with many transcripts and video clips available online. In addition, Hillsdale College hosts a complete collection of Buckley's writings online — more than 8,600 items. . This includes everything from his 1951 initial foray against "enforced liberalism," GOD AND MAN AT YALE through 2007's "Yes Or No To Bush?" column in which Buckley advocated against additional troops for Iraq.

>Explore more from Buckley and Brookhiser and hear additional voices on the future of the GOP below.

Richard Brookhiser
Photo by Robin Holland Richard Brookhiser is the author of RIGHT TIME, RIGHT PLACE: COMING OF AGE WITH WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR. AND THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT and of seven books on revolutionary America: FOUNDING FATHER, REDISCOVERING GEORGE WASHINGTON; RULES OF CIVILITY-THE 110 PRECEPTS THAT GUIDED OUR FIRST PRESIDENT IN WAR AND PEACE; ALEXANDER HAMILTON, AMERICAN; AMERICA'S FIRST DYNASTY: THE ADAMSES 1735-1918; GENTLEMAN REVOLUTIONARY: GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, THE RAKE WHO WROTE THE CONSTITUTION; WHAT WOULD THE FOUNDERS DO? OUR QUESTIONS, THEIR ANSWERS; AND GEORGE WASHINGTON ON LEADERSHIP. He was author and host of REDISCOVERING GEORGE WASHINGTON, a film by Michael Pack, which aired on PBS July 4, 2002; he and Pack are currently working on REDISCOVERING ALEXANDER HAMILTON. He was the historian curator of "Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America," a 2004 exhibition at the New York Historical Society. In 2008 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal. Brookhiser is a senior editor of NATIONAL REVIEW.
Related Media:
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Mickey EdwardsMickey Edwards and Ross Douthat
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Victor GoldVictor Gold
Deputy Press Secretary to Barry Goldwater during the 1964 campaign, Victor Gold explains how he believes the Republican Party has gone astray in the last twenty years. (June 29, 2007)

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REASON's Matt Welch, author of MCCAIN: THE MYTH OF A MAVERICK and former GOP Senator Mickey Edwards on John McCain.

References and Reading:
Richard Brookhiser
You can read an excerpt of Richard Brookhiser's new book: RIGHT TIME, RIGHT PLACE: COMING OF AGE WITH WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR. AND THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT as well as listen to a series of interviews with the author.
Read Richard Brookhiser's blog at the NATIONAL REVIEW Web site.

William F. Buckley, Jr.
NATIONAL REVIEW: William F. Buckley, Jr. archive

Hillsdale College: Buckley Online

FIRING LINE Television Program Collection

ONLINE NEWSHOUR: William F. Buckley, Jr.,December 24, 1997.

ONLINE NEWSHOUR: "Editor Reflects on Buckley's Conservative Legacy," February 27, 2008.

ONLINE NEWSHOUR: "Buckley on Nuremberg," August 19, 2002

"William F. Buckley, Jr. Is Dead at 82," THE NEW YORK TIMES, Douglas Martin,

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