Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley Jr. 1925-2008

TKM is saddened to report that William F. Buckley Jr. passed away this morning at home in Stamford, Connecticut.

Bill Buckley was the soul of the modern American conservative movement and the progenitor of the National Review, still today the eminent American conservative journal. This isn't a eulogy as frankly I am unqualified to write one.

My memory of Buckley dates to the late 1970s when Buckley's syndicated column "On the Right" would run in the New York Post perhaps twice a week. A neighbor used to get that paper and I would cut out Buckley's column and save it.

I often had to sit with my father's dictionary while reading that column as Buckley's vocabulary was nothing short of remarkable. His clever ripostes to the left-wing absurdities of the day were so valuable in that they were well written and that there were so few in wake of Vietnam and those dark pre-Reagan days.

I remember also his television progam The Firing Line where my impression of Buckley was the cordial, urbane host who reclined in his chair and got that sparkle in his eye when an opportunity presented itself to make a point.

Buckley was also an author of fine historical fiction. His best work, in my view, was Stained Glass. The tale of thwarted German reunification was particularly poignant during the Cold War and brought tears to my eyes when I first read it.

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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