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Let Us Talk of Many Things: The Collected Speeches

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2004

    An excellent view into recent American history

    I got this book from my father almost two years ago as a Christmas gift. I had asked for it because I had read good things about it in The Economist, a British newsmagazine that I enjoy reading. I didn't know much about William F. Buckley, Jr., but I knew that he was a conservative fellow (like me), and he was a great writer, so I figured the book would be a good read. The book itself is a collection of speeches he has given from the 1940s through the 1990s, chosen by himself for various reasons. Many of the speeches touch on political issues that were relevant at the time, but some of them are quite personal, and they give an interesting glimpse into the lives of a number of movers and shakers of near-contemporary politics. I realize that some people will not care for Mr. Buckley's political views as much as I do (and I don't go along with everything he likes), but the real value in this book comes from two places. First, Mr. Buckley is as much a master of the English language as anyone I am aware of. There were times that I laughed out loud at a clever turn of phrase or witticism that would show up in an unlikely place. The downside of the author's mastery of English is that he has no qualms about using words that 99% of Americans don't know. I don't think he does this because he wants to sound smart, but those are simply the best words he has to convey his message, and it is up to us to learn what those words mean so we can properly understand him. I can imagine this would annoy some people, but I was OK with it. Secondly, this book is a fascinating look at American political history from post-WWII to the year 2000. Yes, it is through a conservative lens that you see this history, but even if you don't agree with that political persuasion the view is still fascinating. As someone who is in his 20s, I wasn't even around for a lot of this stuff, so it is very interesting for me to read it and learn something about my country's past. Much fun. I highly recommend this book for the educational impact it will have on you, as long as this kind of writing doesn't leave you frothing at the mouth.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    An excellent book for any thinking conservative.

    At times, I found it hard to keep up with Mr. Buckley's writing. His mastery of the english language, and his vocabulary skill, were/are equaled by few. To paraphase a critic I once heard (or read), he could trash you in debate and you'd come away feeling okay about it. He'd leave you feeling not so much "defeated" as "educated".
    That's how I feel about this book. Yes he's a conservative, but more than that, he was an educator.
    I came late to conservatism, and I truely regret never having the chance to hear him speak in person.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 13, 2009

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