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Right Time, Right Place: Coming of Age with William F. Buckley Jr. and the Conservative Movement
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Right Time, Right Place: Coming of Age with William F. Buckley Jr. and the Conservative Movement

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  60 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Richard Brookhiser wrote his first cover story for National Review at age fourteen, and became the magazine’s youngest senior editor at twenty-three. William F. Buckley Jr. was Brookhiser’s mentor, hero, and admirer; within a year of Brookhiser’s arrival at the magazine, Buckley tapped him as his successor as editor-in-chief. But without warning, the relation ship soured—o ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 9th 2009 by Basic Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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This is a memoir of Richard Brookhiser's involvement with National Review magazine and its founder, William F. Buckley, Jr. I am a big fan of National Review, a medium fan of Rick Brookhiser, and not much of a fan of WFB (although I certainly appreciate his pivotal role in founding the modern conservative movement). The tone of the book is very "inside-baseball"--lots of name-dropping and descriptions of behind-the-scenes intramural arguments among conservative thinkers of the 60s, 70s, and 80s ...more
I have read National Review on an intermittent basis since I was a teenager in high school. About the time I was moving from Graduate School into the 'real' world Richard Brookhiser, the author of Right Time, Right Place: Coming of Age with William F. Buckley Jr. and the Conservative Movement, was in high school. He became a journalist overnight when his essay regarding Viet Nam War protesters was published by Willam F. Buckley's National Review. In short order Brookhiser went to Yale, became an ...more
This gave me some fascinating insights into Buckley, whom I greatly admire. Brookhiser was a handpicked successor to Buckley, who was later discarded in favor of another candidate. However, he stayed on at National Review and made a real success of himself as an author. It's a deep book, although an easy read. It shows Buckley in all his greatness, pettiness and, as usual by every author I've ever read, describes his immense gift for friendship.
Interesting history to me because I remember the newsworthy names he talks about. Probably of limited interest for those younger. Everybody says he's a fabulous writer, but I struggled with his style. He throws in phrases that could have several meanings or seem out of context. I was constantly thinking, "what is he talking about now? He's switched topics." Then I'd reread it, figure out an alternate meaning and mildly resent the interruption.
Brookhiser's memoir provides a behind the scenes look into the intellectually barren world of 24/7 Political Chit-Chat and Punditry. That world, unfortunately, turns about to be even less spellbinding from the inside perspective. Notable mainly for Brookhiser's candid account of his experience with medical marijuana.
Don't understand Richard's compulsion to be so anti Catholic throughout the book. I've lost some respect for him and will turn to Chernow for my Presidential biographies going forward.
A must read for those interested in WFB and/or National Review. But also a great book filled with Richard Brookhiser's sharp reporting, insightful observations, and perfect aphorisms.
A serious disappointment.
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