Books by William F. Buckley Jr.

FLYING HIGH by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: May 1, 2008

"As with anything by Buckley, it is fluent and gossipy (the scene involving Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand is a howler), fun to read and newsworthy."
Two conservative icons meet in a well-considered book, as they often did in life. Read full book review >
THE RAKE by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Aug. 1, 2007

"The entertaining machinations of the Blackford Oates series (Last Call for Blackford Oates, 2005, etc.) are missing from this lackluster effort."
From the veteran political commentator and espionage novelist, a shallow tale of the unmasking of a bigamous presidential contender. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2005

"A muted ending to a less-than-thrilling spy's career."
In his glasnost-era curtain call, Blackford Oakes comes off not so much world-weary as simply weary. Read full book review >
GETTING IT RIGHT by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: March 1, 2003

"Serious, important political history narrated by Dame Barbara Cartland."
The honey-voiced prophet of the conservative revival (Spytime, 2000, etc.) runs his hands fondly and semifictionally through the mementos of the past half-century. Read full book review >
ELVIS IN THE MORNING by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: July 1, 2001

"Too strange for fans of Buckley's Blackford Oakes series (A Very Private Plot, 1994, etc.) and not Elvis-centered enough to please his vast fandom, but it'd be a shame if a story this unpredictable and fun fell through the cracks."
The fresh and amusing, if somewhat unfocused, story of an idealistic young man's lifelong friendship with the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Read full book review >
NUREMBERG: THE RECKONING by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: June 1, 2001

"Literate, absorbing, and thought-provoking. Buckley at his best."
The 15th novel by the conservative intellectual godfather and gadfly is a brainy thriller cut from the same cloth as Spytime (2000): fast-moving and based on historical events only all too real. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2000

"Surely James Angleton was an interesting fellow, but you wouldn't know it from this unsuccessful attempt at a fictionalizing of his life."
Another espionage yarn from Buckley (The Redhunter, 1999, etc.), this time based not on the exploits of his series character, Blackford Oakes, but on those of real-life counterintelligence officer James Jesus Angleton. Read full book review >
THE REDHUNTER by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: June 1, 1999

"Brisk, engrossing, vintage Buckley (Brothers No More, 1995, etc.). Given that it's a tale unabashedly partisan, it is - for the most part - surprisingly credible. (Author tour)"
A fictional portrait of Joe McCarthy - sympathetic but not sanitized - in which clay feet replace cloven hooves. Read full book review >
NEARER, MY GOD by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Readers looking for meaty discussions of Catholic doctrine could do a lot worse."
This eloquent spiritual "autobiography" is, disappointingly, almost entirely about people other than Buckley, and about theology rather than faith. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 1996

"In all, an assortment to entertain even some language lovers who find Buckley's politics less than amusing."
A whimsical miscellany that is essentially what Vaughan (Buckley's editor at Doubleday), in his introduction, calls it, a "book on language," although it does not hold itself opprobrious, reprehensible, or peccant for wandering off topic. Read full book review >
BROTHERS NO MORE by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"A tony tale of crimes and punishments."
A stylish, Shavian (as in Irwin), and unabashedly commercial entertainment that allows the ever-elegant Buckley (A Very Private Plot, 1993, etc.) to poke wicked fun at, among other targets, the moral legacy of FDR. Read full book review >
A VERY PRIVATE PLOT by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Jan. 20, 1994

"Top-drawer storytelling, as Blackford scrabbles for his soul."
In the best Blackford Oakes novel yet (Tucker's Last Stand, 1991, etc.), the master of the double bind builds a plot that places the CIA chief of covert ops squarely between the Maelstrom and the Wandering Rocks. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"It's a bravura performance, albeit one indelibly marked by Buckley's perpetually righteous, and right-wing, stance."
It's interesting to note, in these days of political realignment, that—per the subtitle—Buckley now seems to be calling himself a ``libertarian'' rather than a ``conservative''- -though you wouldn't know it from the almost invariably middle-of- the-road to left-leaning targets he spits darts at in this generous collection of National Review columns (1985-93), speeches, and essays from Playboy, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Read full book review >
IN SEARCH OF ANTI-SEMITISM by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Oct. 15, 1992

"A model of muckraking on high moral ground."
Landmark essay by Buckley on anti-Semitism in American politics. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 26, 1990

"While one may argue with the specifics of Buckley's proposal, one cannot deny that he has written a provocative apologia for a timely idea."
Long the dean of American conservative thought, Buckley here surprisingly—and eloquently—espouses a new government program: voluntary, nonmilitary National Service. Read full book review >
TUCKER'S LAST STAND by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Jan. 12, 1990

"Sensible spying, with buffoonish Lyndon Johnson for comic relief."
Following a clear, hard-edged recovery in Mongoose, R.I.P. (1987), Buckley keeps up the pace in his literate Blackford Oakes spy series. Read full book review >
Released: April 28, 1989

"Vintage Buckley, sure to preach to the converted and outrage the skeptical, executed with maximum charm."
Extracts from Buckley's Firing Line program, plus much sparkling new commentary. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1988

"An excellent postscript suggesting 'further reading'—from Plato to Saul Bellow—appends this intelligent collection."
The prime minister of Conservatism and a government professor at Claremont McKenna College (Cal.) co-edit a greatly revised version of American Conservative Thought in the Twentieth Century (1970; out of print). Read full book review >
Released: May 27, 1987

"What drama appears herein stems mainly from the logs quoted, which show naked nerves."
Buckley's third volume of experiences al sea (following Airborne and Atlantic High) and the fluffiest of the three, full of charm and vacancy. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 6, 1987

"Mid-brow melodrama that is a strong recovery after Buckley's recent Blackford Oakes blandishments—and far more gripping than his twitterings as bon vivant of the high seas."
Buckley's best Blackford Oakes thriller, written seemingly by a new William F. Buckley—abstemious, ambitious, inoffensive, hardworking. Read full book review >
HIGH JINX by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: March 1, 1986

"Nonetheless: reasonably lively, relatively literate spy-diversion—especially in contrast to the lumbering idiocies of Robert Ludlum (below)."
Thus far, the adventures of CIA-agent Blackford Oakes have followed him chronologically through the Fifties and early Sixties: from Saving the Queen to See You Later Alligator, from the Space Race to the Berlin Wall to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Read full book review >
SEE YOU LATER ALLIGATOR by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Feb. 15, 1985

"Che himself."
Who was really behind JFK's '1962 triumph in the Cuban missile crisis? Read full book review >
OVERDRIVE by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Aug. 12, 1983

"171: 'All this was great fun') and virtually without texture."
Again, as in Cruising Speed (1971), Buckley takes us day by day, sometimes hour by hour, through a week or so in his busy, busy life—in this case eight days from the fall of 1981. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 27, 1983

"Over-contrived, insufficiently charming, and blandly didactic: the weakest of the Oakes adventures—but short and fast enough to please the sizable following."
CIA super-agent Blackford Oakes spies around Berlin, just before the Wall goes up—in the most somber, least witty or inventive of Buckley's Cold War thrillers thus far. Read full book review >
ATLANTIC HIGH by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Sept. 3, 1982

"Still, for unalloyed but amused self-display, Airborne and Atlantic High may be Buckley's most memorable books."
For "the repose of the soul," Buckley again braves an air-conditioned Atlantic crossing (a sequel to the enraptured voyage of Airborne), this time with six companions aboard the luxurious 71-ft. ketch Sealestial. Read full book review >
MARCO POLO, IF YOU CAN by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Jan. 8, 1981

"But even if this is perhaps the weakest (and most objectionable) of the series, it's still fast, sly, and literate: a rare, distinctive species within the lookalike thriller herd."
In Who's On First, Buckley inserted CIA-agent hero Blackford Oakes into real history (the US/Soviet space race) with the cleverest sort of almost-plausibility. Read full book review >
STAINED GLASS by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: April 7, 1978

"But his clean, unpadded plotting and his literate relaxation should prove a relief from the tortured efforts of the Le Carré imitators, and anyone who can make conferences between Allen Dulles and Dean Acheson sound like vaudeville routines deserves the audience he's bound to get."
Blackford Oates, the Yalie CIA smoothie who was busy bedding and Saving the Queen in 1976, returns—in a slightly less giddy but still light, terribly bright piece of tongue-in-chic 1950s intrigue. Read full book review >
AIRBORNE by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Nov. 1, 1976

"Such light-catching gives a soft undramatic glow to an otherwise wistful burble."
"Ocean racing is like standing under an ice cold shower, tearing up thousand dollar bills," WFB muses. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1975

"MPSLUGMISTER Buckley is an arrogant, facile wit and could be considered a very amusing writer indeed if only one could be certain that no one took him seriously."
This weighty (that's poundage, not profundity) miscellanea of the comments of WFB, as Buckley signs himself, spans three years of National Review, and Washington Star syndicated columns plus the occasional piece for Esquire or Redbook. Read full book review >
SAVING THE QUEEN by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: Jan. 9, 1975

"Don't go Hunting around for other affiliations (speculate if you will why Blacky's girl Sally is sexily 'prehensile') and take it as is—suede-gloved intrigue."
Mr. Buckley's first novel takes place under not so deep CIA cover in the '50's and it is an unassailable entertainment which tells an original story with suave good humor. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 17, 1974

"There are few signals to be picked up here beyond a reminder that Buckley is ever so Establishment."
If anyone might be expected to animate the topic of the United Nations, it would be William Buckley—did you know that recently he did a stint (as other conservatives have) as public delegate to the U.S. mission at the U.N.? Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 20, 1973

"Based on a series of lectures at Russell Sage College, this is to be condensed in the February 1974 issue of Harper's Magazine."
No doubt about it, in this age of Watergate and the tainted Executive, Bill Buckley's general "antistatist" orientation and the dream of deflating the operations of the federal government seem a lot more appealing than ia the mid-'60's when the liberal faith in the benevolent megastate was boundless. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 20, 1972

"The biblical Remnant will no doubt cheer; the deluded majority will read it, if at all, strictly for the prickly entertainment value."
Buckley sallies forth again, mounted on a white steed, tilting his lance at Mao and Kosygin and Justice Douglas who should be impeached and William Kunstler who should be disbarred. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 23, 1971

"And if you enjoy watching him mapping the strategies and choosing the rhetorical weapons for his duels, Cruising Speed will provide an airy outing."
Bill Buckley, columnist, editor, lecturer, TV moderator, bon vivant spokesman of "constructive conservatism" is a busy, busy, busy gadfly among the knee-jerk liberals — as this characteristically self-important, and uncharacteristically introspective journal of one week's hobbings and nobbings will show. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1970

"This collection suggests two further secrets of his success: he makes one feel it would be vulgar to dismiss him on the basis of his more detestable political views, and his impieties are after all reassuring."
Mr. Buckley is, like Plato, a man of disappointed political hopes with a distaste for both the demos and the incumbent oligarchy, and a talent for exposing the sophistries of his opponents based on his own sophistical skill. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1970

"Buckley's selections and section prefaces reflect his individual dream talking, an asset insofar as this frames the parts into a cohesive (though pluralistic) personal vision, but a liability in a collection for a series intended to be standard and authoritative."
To remedy a glaring neglect in their American Heritage Series, general editors Leonard Levy and Alfred Young gave the inimitable Buckley a loose rein to gather together his version of the best of twentieth century American conservative thought. Read full book review >
THE JEWELER'S EYE by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: June 28, 1968

"The whole is more than all Right."
After five years and 175 pages of Buckley's columns, articles, addresses, the typewriter is hypnotized; in his own words, then (about others), Buckley is "a shrewd observer and expert verbalizer who disposes of a pyrotechnical vocabulary and abundant wit and is, therefore, fun to read, whatever one thinks of him." Read full book review >
THE UNMAKING OF A MAYOR by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: June 15, 1966

In this extended rejoinder Conservatism's most notable spokesman reviews the issues and events of New York City's 1965 Mayorality campaign in which he was such a controversial participant. Mr. Buckley re-presents his assessments of the city's problems, its political parties, the connections he sees between race, religion and politics, the actualities of the campaign itself, and, perhaps of greater interest now, how he decided to run for Mayor. Read full book review >
Released: April 12, 1963

"Major advertising is planned and (no matter what anyone has to say about it) the book will sell — it's an author stimulated audience via TV and his magazine."
William F. Buckley, Jr., who dissipated his power to shock in his first book, God And Man At Yale, here discusses such figures as Norman Mailer and Adam Clayton Powell; such matters as progressive eduction; and such problems as integration. Read full book review >
Released: March 23, 1961

"Buckley's admirers buy books."
A major conservative statement defending the existence and the work of the House Committee on Un-American Activities by William F. Buckley, Jr. and the editors of the National Review. Read full book review >
UP FROM LIBERALISM by William F. Buckley Jr.
Released: June 15, 1959

The author of God and Man at Yale, co-author of McCarthy and His Enemies and one of the most articulate spokesmen for the Right, attempts here to discredit "doctrinaire Liberalism and plead the viability of enlightened conservatism". Read full book review >
Released: June 15, 1951

"Buckley is fond of sweeping generalities, refuting some by citing others; he is also susceptible to personal rather than objective vindictiveness; and while he declares himself to be dedicated to this 'cause'- his material as well as his mission may be suspect to many."
Mr. Buckley's concern in this essay (his own term) is the "net impact of Yale education" and he points out the various ways in which Yale seriously fails its undergraduates- particularly in the lack of a religious attitude and a "recognition of the merits of our economic system". Read full book review >