THE UNMAKING OF A MAYOR by William F. Buckley Jr.


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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. He complains that upon the annunciation of his candidacy the press (with whom he has a large quarrel here, though with more finesse than another loser, Mr. Nixon) "personalized the event." It's difficult to avoid doing so since what Mr. Buckley has to say is far less interesting than the way he says it; he is, indisputably, a "personality." Indeed, if we are to take Murray Kempton's long-standing infatuation with him at face value, he is not only a phenomenon to be observed but a "gentlemen" par excellence. His book was to "controvert...misrepresentations," usually considered a futile endeavor, but it is the type of task which seems to consume a good deal of the author's time, here and in other media. Another purpose was "to capture the realities of the polemical situation in our time." It's at least questionable whether such a self-justifying book as this actually furthers that lofty ambition or whether it merely serves to keep William F. Buckley, Jr. in the public eye.
Pub Date: June 15th, 1966
ISBN: 0870003917
Page count: 341pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1966


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