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Right Time, Right Place: Coming of Age with William F. Buckley Jr. and the Conservative Movementby Richard. Brookhiser
Synopses & Reviews
Richard Brookhiser wrote his first cover story for National Review at age fourteen, and became the magazines youngest senior editor at twenty-three. William F. Buckley Jr. was Brookhisers mentor, hero, and admirer; within a year of Brookhisers arrival at the magazine, Buckley tapped him as his successor as editor-in-chief. But without warning, the relation ship soured—one day, Brookhiser returned to his desk to find a letter from Buckley unceremoniously informing him you will no longer be my successor.”
Brookhiser remained friends and colleagues with Buckley despite the breach, and in Right Time, Right Place he tells the story of that friendship with affection and clarity. At the same time, he provides a delightful account of the intellectual and political ferment of the conservative resurgence that Buckley nurtured and led.
Witty and poignant, Right Time, Right Place tells the story of a young man and a political movement coming of age—and of the man who inspired them both.
"In 1969, the precocious 14-year-old Brookhiser wrote a cover story for National Review and began to correspond with founding editor William F. Buckley Jr., who serves as both hero and, sometimes, villain of this wistful memoir. After graduating from Yale, the author became Buckley's designated successor, his rapid ascendancy mirroring the prodigious gains of the conservative movement as championed by the magazine and led by Ronald Reagan. The book, like the author's life, takes an abrupt turn when the mercurial Buckley writes him a letter to say that he no longer considers Brookhiser an appropriate candidate to succeed him. Brookhiser offers accounts of writing his book on Washington, Founding Father, and his struggle with testicular cancer, but the book becomes less focused as the relationship between the author and his mentor becomes strained. Nevertheless, the author deftly sets his personal and professional biography in a sharply observed historical and intellectual context, while sharing his deep affection for — and occasional resentment of — Buckley with compelling candor. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
American conservatives are stranded in a political wilderness, but memoir makes excellent manna. With "Right Time, Right Place," Richard Brookhiser, a turned-off, tuned-out baby boomer who published his first counter-counterculture writing in William F. Buckley's National Review at age 14, offers a foot soldier's view of the movement, the magazine and the man who sponsored supply-side economics, the... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) Vietnam War and eight years of Ronald Reagan. Balancing hero-worship with a frank assessment of ugly infighting at the Review — Buckley denied his protege a promised top spot at the magazine for a lack of "executive flair" — Brookhiser pays a fond farewell to the conservative icon whose death last year deprived a generation of right-wingers of its flawed ideological father. "The adversary who compelled liberals to respect him had become the respectable adversary," Brookhiser writes of Buckley's slow descent into bourgeois caricature marked by stretch limousines, simmering anti-Semitism and disagreements with his son, Christopher, who deserted the cause via a 2008 Barack Obama endorsement. As the Review once asked, "whither conservatism" without Buckley? Brookhiser doesn't pretend to know, but his lyrical meditation on the intersection of his own life and that of his "lost leader" will move the most hardened Nation subscriber. Reviewed by Justin Moyer, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
(hide most of this review)
Book News Annotation:
An editor at the National Review and author of nine books, Brookhiser describes how iconic right-wing intellectual Buckley (1925-2008) mentored him. Buckley founded the magazine and edited it for a quarter of a century, appeared on his own television show, and wrote many popular books. He uses their professional and political relationship as a framework within which to describe the conservative movement that flourished after the 1960s. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A celebrated journalist and historian chronicles his tempestuous relationship with the complex conservative icon—and the movement he created
With affection and clarity, Brookhiser tells the story of his friendship with William F. Buckley, Jr. At the same time, the author provides a delightful account of the intellectual and political ferment of the conservative resurgence that Buckley nurtured and led.
Richard Brookhiser wrote his first cover story for the renowned conservative magazine National Review in 1969, when he was fourteen, and became the magazine's youngest senior editor at age twenty-three. William F. Buckley Jr. was Brookhiser's mentor, hero, and admirer--but their relationship was, at times, a troubled one. Brookhiser remained a friend and colleague of Buckley throughout his time at the Review, however, and in Right Time, Right Place, Brookhiser tells the story of that tumultuous relationship with affection and clarity, while also providing a sparkling eyewitness account of the conservative intellectual and political ferment that Buckley nurtured and led.
About the Author
Richard Brookhiser is the author of nine books, including George Washington on Leadership and What Would the Founders Do? He is a senior editor of National Review. He wrote and hosted the PBS documentary Rediscovering George Washington, and appears frequently on the History Channel and the Colbert Report. Brookhiser lives in New York City.
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