Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: William F. Buckley by Jeremy Lott

It is book review time again.  This time I had the priviledge of reviewing a biography on William F. Buckley.  Presented by the Christian Encounters Series, Jeremy Lott argues that Buckley's religion played a major role in his life.
General Summary
Though his mother was Anglican, Buckley was raised Catholic in a respectable, well-to-do family of immigrants.  Lott suggests that Buckley's career and political views were emeshed in his religious convictions.
Buckley's first book, God and Man at Yale catapulted Buckley's series of controversy in the public eye. Though he was a conservative, Lott points out that Buckley's opinion on the issues of the day were genuine and uninfluenced by his primary political party.  In fact, the controversy surrounding the man were not limited to offending those of differing opinion.  He often shocked and insulted those of similar mindset.  He was a man devoted to his ideals and conveyed these ideals in all of his endeavors, whether it be in print in his books, his columns, the articles in National Review or his highly successful television program, Firing Line.

My Review
Having being born in the late seventies, I had only heard the name William F. Buckley but had no idea who he was, and, quite frankly, didn't care to know.  I chose to review this book because, now as an adult, I find it very interesting to learn more about public figures.  I have become very interested in what the late Paul Harvey would dub, "the rest of the story".  Before reading Lott's biography on Bill Buckley, I had no idea the subject of the book was someone I may have admired had I been born a decade or two earlier.  I am not saying I would have agreed with all of his views or his methods by which he supported them, but he is someone with whom I find myself having a lot in common, at least politically.  I also have a great deal of respect for someone who isn't afraid to speak his mind, and intelligently while doing so. While I am certain there are two sides to every story, and that I could find a book or two with a very different opinion of Buckley, I found this biography to be very informative and enjoyable.  Lott did a proficient job of supporting his argument that Buckley's religious background was the foundation of the man who, pretty much single-handedly, redefined conservatism through National Review and organizing Young Americans for Freedom, as well as going to battle with the left on his popular show Firing Line.

While there may be a more exhaustive work on the life of Bill Buckley, I found Lott's work to be a great summation, an easy read, and definately worth the time.

    I received this book for review by Book Sneeze.  I was in no way compensated for this review nor was I expected to write a favorable one. To purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, click here.

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