James Forsyth

RIP William F. Buckley Jr

Text settings

Few journalists can claim to have been as influential as Bill Buckley was. George Will, the conservative columnist, introduced Buckley thus on the 50th anniversary of National Review, the conservative magazine that Buckley founded: This might be a bit of an exaggeration but there can be no doubting Buckley’s influence, few people were more influential in the creation of the American conservative movement than he. In his 55 books and more than 5,000 beautifully written newspaper columns, Buckley remade the intellectual landscape of America.

“Let me invite you to take credit for winning the Cold War. The argument goes like this: Without Bill Buckley, no National Review. Without National Review, no Goldwater nomination. Without the Goldwater nomination, no conservative takeover of the Republican Party. Without that, no Reagan. Without Reagan, no victory in the Cold War. Therefore, Bill Buckley won the Cold War.”

Enjoy this hour of him reflecting on his life’s work.

Full tributes can be found at National Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Weekly Standard

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

Topics in this articlePolitics