Let Us Talk of Many Things: The Collected Speeches

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William F. Buckley Jr. has long been admired for his remarkable gifts as a writer, debater, and orator. The man who helped ignite the modern conservative movement has for the past fifty years played a significant role in the great social debates that have shaped our country and indeed the world. In the course of his long career, he has given hundreds of speeches to generations of listeners. He has talked of many things -- from the Cold War to the passing of dear friends, from moral decay to the joys of sailing ...
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William F. Buckley Jr. has long been admired for his remarkable gifts as a writer, debater, and orator. The man who helped ignite the modern conservative movement has for the past fifty years played a significant role in the great social debates that have shaped our country and indeed the world. In the course of his long career, he has given hundreds of speeches to generations of listeners. He has talked of many things -- from the Cold War to the passing of dear friends, from moral decay to the joys of sailing the open seas, from the defense of liberty to the comfort of faith. Here, collected for the first time, are Buckley's most memorable speeches, spanning five decades -- from the precocious Yale student's Class Day address in 1950 to the elder commentator's accumulated wisdom at century's end. The speeches are one-of-a-kind snapshots that capture the breadth and depth of the ideological wars fought during our country's most turbulent days. They are also richly worded masterpieces of wit, eloquence, and persuasion. Including new commentary from the author that provides historical context for his speeches, this book is a celebration of an extraordinary public life.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In his 74 years, Buckley has racked up a dazzling list of achievements: author of more than 30 novels and nonfiction works, founder of the National Review, host of the PBS series Firing Line, and syndicated columnist appearing in more than 300 newspapers. Add to that list well-paid public speaker for half a century. At his peak, Buckley delivered more than 70 lectures annually, and today he still gives about 20 lectures a year. Ninety-five speeches from his repertoire of 184 delivered between the 1950s and 1990s are reprised in this volume. For those well acquainted with Buckley's conservative views, there is little new to recommend this volume, except perhaps the brief introductory remarks that he has added before each speech. For true Buckley believers, however, any volume that bears his name is incentive enough. An optional purchase except for specialized collections in modern U.S. conservative thought and for libraries serving patrons hungry for more Buckley.--William D. Pederson, Louisiana State Univ., Shreveport Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Charles R. Kesler
Buckley's speeches are superbly readable. Full of argument, wit, and occasionally drama, they provide lessons for aspiring orators and speechwriters.
The Weekly Standard
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761534099
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/21/2001
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

William F. Buckley Jr. (1925—2008) was the author and editor of over fifty works of fiction and nonfiction. The founder and former editor-in-chief of National Review and former host of “Firing Line,” he was one of the intellectual leaders of the right from the 1950s until his death in 2008. His syndicated column, “On the Right,” was begun in 1962. He served as a CIA agent in the early 1950s, helped found the Young Americans for Freedom in 1960, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H.W. Bush in 1991. His most recent work of nonfiction, FlyingHigh, an appreciation of Barry Goldwater, was published by Basic Books in 2007.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xiii
Foreword xvi
Notes from the Lecture Circuit: A New Yorker Essay xxi
The Fifties
Today We Are Educated Men: An address to fellow graduates 3
The Trojan Horse of American Education?: A defense of private schools 7
The Artist as Aggressor: On congressional investigations 13
Only Five Thousand Communists?: Welcoming the House Committee on Un-American Activities to town 16
Should Liberalism Be Repudiated?: Debating James Wechsler 20
The Sixties
In the End, We Will Bury Him: Protesting Khrushchev's visit 33
Scholar, Fighter, Westerner: Introducing Jacques Soustelle 38
The Lonely Professor: Saluting O. Glenn Saxon 41
An Island of Hope: Defending Taiwan's independence 42
Norman Mailer and the American Right: A debate 48
What Could We Learn from a Communist?: An appeal to the Yale Political Union 58
Who Did Get Us into This Mess?: Debating Murray Kempton 68
The Impending Defeat of Barry Goldwater: Off the record, to the Young Americans for Freedom 74
A Growing Spirit of Resistance: To the New York Conservative Party 78
The Free Society--What's That?: Applauding Henry Hazlitt 85
Buckley versus Buckley: A self-interview, on running for mayor of New York 88
The Heat of Mr. Truman's Kitchen: Celebrating National Review's tenth anniversary 93
On Selling Books to Booksellers: Addressing the American Booksellers Association 96
The Aimlessness of American Education: In defense of small colleges 100
"You Have Seen Too Much in China": To a concerned organization 108
The Duty of the Educated Catholic: To a high-school honors society 112
Did You Kill Martin Luther King?: To the American Society of Newspaper Editors 117
Life with a Meticulous Colleague: Saluting William A. Rusher 123
On the Perspective of the Eighteen-Year-Old: To graduating high-school students 128
Words to the Counterrevolutionary Young: Addressing the Young Americans for Freedom 133
The Seventies
On the Well-Tempered Spirit: A commencement address 145
Resolutely on the Side of Yale's Survival: At a twentieth reunion 149
The Republic's Duty to Repress: To a conference of judges 152
"That Man I Trust": Appreciating James L. Buckley 163
The World That Lenin Shaped: On visiting Brezhnev's Soviet Union 168
John Kerry's America: To the cadets of West Point 179
The West Berlin of China: Upon Taiwan's expulsion from the United Nations 184
Affection, Guidance, and Peanut Brittle: A special toast 189
On Preserving the Tokens of Hope and Truth: Saluting Henry Regnery 191
Without Marx or Jesus?: To the American Society of Newspaper Editors 197
The "Leftwardmost Viable Candidate": Debating John Kenneth Galbraith 202
The Terrible Sadness of Spiro Agnew: To the New York Conservative Party 208
The High Cost of Mr. Nixon's Deceptions: To the New York Conservative Party 211
On Serving in the United Nations: Testimony to a Senate committee 213
No Dogs in China: At the National War College 218
The Courage of Friedrich Hayek: Addressing the Mont Pelerin Society 223
The Protracted Struggle against Cancer: To the American Cancer Society 235
A Salutary Impatience: A commencement address 238
Cold Water on the Spirit of Liberty: Replying to President Carter 242
The Reckless Generosity of John Chamberlain: A tribute 249
A Party for Henry Kissinger: A birthday toast 252
What Americanism Seeks to Be: To the Young Republicans 255
The Eighties
His Rhythms Were Not of This World: Remembering Allard Lowenstein 261
The Rudolph Valentino of the Marketplace: Saluting Milton Friedman 263
The Greatness of James Burnham: To a friend and mentor 268
Halfway between Servility and Hostility: At a historic college 272
Earl Warren and the Meaning of the Constitution: Addressing a class of future lawyers 275
Sing a Song of Praise to Failure: At a graduate business school 277
How Leo Cherne Spent Christmas: An introduction 287
10 Downing Street: The Girls Club of Britain: A transatlantic salute 290
Moral Distinctions and Modern Warfare: Parsing nuclear war 292
Democracy and the Pursuit of Happiness: A commencement address 301
The Genesis of Blackford Oakes: On the distinctively American male 308
Waltzing at West 44th Street: An ode to the America's Cup 316
The Blood of Our Fathers Ran Strong: Celebrating National Review's thirtieth anniversary 320
The Distinguished Mr. Buckley: Introducing a best-selling novelist 322
On Her Way to the Cross: Remembering Clare Boothe Luce 324
Out of Oppression, a Political Poet: Introducing Vladimir Bukovsky 329
The Massive Eminence of Dr. Sakharov: A salute 332
Towards a Recovery of Gratitude: To the Intercollegiate Studies Institute 334
A Hero of the Reagan Revolution: Applauding Jack Kemp 337
The Pagan Love Song of Murray Kempton: An appreciation 339
The Nineties
Dismantling the Evil Empire: On the end of the Soviet Union 347
The Simon Persona: A tribute to a critic 351
A Distinctive Gentility: Recollections of Yale 353
Time to Go to Bed: A valedictory 360
Taxation and the Rule of Law: Analyzing Reaganomics 364
Can Eastern Europe Be Saved?: To the Philadelphia Society 369
Singularly Humane: Introducing Aileen Mehle 375
"If He Gives the Blessing...": A toast to Monsignor Eugene Clark 378
We Won. What Now?: At the end of the Cold War 380
The Politics of the Common Man: On modern political manners 383
"Better Redwoods than Deadwoods": Encountering Arthur Schlesinger Jr. 387
The Architectural Splendor of Barry Goldwater: A tribute 389
From Wm to Wm: Remembering William F. Rickenbacker 392
O. J. Simpson and Other Ills: Analyzing current concerns 397
The Drug War Is Not Working: To the New York City Bar Association 404
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: To the twelfth International Churchill Conference 409
The Underperformance of the Press: The Theodore H. White Memorial Lecture 416
The Mother Hen of Modern Conservatism: Introducing Lady Thatcher 426
Who Cares If Homer Nodded?: To the graduating class 429
How to Work, How to Read, How to Love: Remembering Richard Clurman 434
A Serene Gravity: Acknowledging Walter Cronkite 435
The Special Responsibility of Conservatives: To the International Conservative Congress 437
The Personal Grace of J. K. Galbraith: A birthday tribute 443
A Man Who Looks the Beggar in the Face: Saluting William E. Simon 445
Forgiving the Unforgivable: On President Clinton's problem 447
The Animating Indiscretions of Ronald Reagan: A birthday tribute 457
Preserving the Heritage: On the Heritage Foundation's twenty-fifth anniversary 464
Index 479
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