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tv   A Torch Kept Lit  CSPAN  October 29, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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my oldest daughter has written a wonderful book about her family and her -- -- my oldest granddaughter, the oldest daughter, who has type 1 diabetes and the struggles the family had. >> host: elan coach. >> guest: and this wonderful yellow lab who came is it elly's diabetes service dog and is in a camp in burg, and coach is with her, and a lot of the concern i know we all feel about elie because this is her first extended period of time away from home, is mitigated bus she has coach with her. >> host: and that book, elly and coach, came out in 2015. by stephanie shaheen. booktv did an interview with shaheen about the book.
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>> you can watch this and other program online at booktv.org. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. good morning. proven once again if you want a nice crowd, serve some food. but we do have a great crowd here today. thank you very much, everybody, for coming. on behalf of the national review institute, it president, lindsey craig, and my fellow trustees, including here, and now rich loughery, and stan town, i would
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like to welcome you to this special conversation about an important book, at important new book, "a torch kept lit," great lives of the 20th century. my name is jack fouler and i'm the publisher of "national review." [applause] >> we'll applaud "national review." the institute is our sister organization, a nonprofit, educational entity founded 25 years ago by william f. buckley, jr. its mission -- [applause] -- its mission is to advance the consecutive principles bill championed, compliment the mission of the magazine, support "national review's" best talent and preserve and promote the buckley legacy.
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the institute has formal i launched its buck lee legacy project and there's literature here complaining its plans and vision. in this last year, the institute, through this project, has celebrated the anniversaries of two important and lasting aspects of the buckleyal. bill's mayoral run, captured in his now republished campaign memoir "the unmaking of a mayor" and the 1966 launch of bill's marvelous interview program, "firing line." the buckley legacy is why we're here today to discuss bill, the writer, and specifically bill, the observer of men and women, public and private, giants and small fries. before i introduce our participants, a related anecdote.
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over 20 years ago, my predecessor, ed cappano, who is here today and to whom "national review" owes so much -- that will be ten bucks, ed -- or 20 -- had a terrific idea, let's have nr publish a collection of bill's obits. we collected them all, consulted priscilla buckley, bill's beloved sister, who agreed, terrific idea, already we approached bill he couldn't say no fast enough. for a long time after ed and i remained perplexed. the idea was a sure are fire success. why? because we believed then, as we believe now, and as we see now through this marvelous back, james rosen has edited, that
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among bill's many talents, this one, where he remembered the recent dead for posterity, with deep insight and elegant prose, would be embraced not only by "national review" rathers but by the public at large. bill was no dope. he knew what we knew. so jed in and i eventually deduced that bill being hoarding his r.i.p.s for his own collections and did sprinkle some in ensuing becomes including, merer my god, miles gone by, and buckley, the right word. but there are so many of these gems that the thought of a necessary collection remained valid over the years. along comes 2014, and along comes rosen. through a conversation about another idea, james raised this.
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i'd like to do a collection of bill's eulogies, remembrances, obituaries and r.i.p.s. what do you think? it was like asking me if i wanted a bag of peanut m&ms. of course i said, so did christopher buckley, who oversees all things literary for the buck lee estate. probably all things of the buck lee state, not only literary. but we were off to the race us. campbell warton and the good people at crown forum agreed, and here now we have this wonderful book. i have not had this conversation with campbell but i can't help but think he knows what's we all know, that although he left us eight years ago, bill buckley in many ways, still looms very large. the song asks, where have you gone, joe dimaggio, likewise, a conservative america asks the same about bill.
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there is a longing, the appetite for his wisdom reminds very strong. coming up next is a conversation about bill buckley, the man of prose, the man who wrote history, person-by-person, through this particular talent. it is not a conversation about politics, the elections or the often dismaying game of, if bill buckley were alive today, what would he say about, blank. but by the end of the conversation, questions will be entertained. you will find cards on the table. feel free to write down your question. we'll collect the cards and hand them to the moderator. who will pick and choose. and about the moderator. he is my friend and colleague, the very brain. the executive editor of "national review" and a policy fellow of the national review
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institute. he is the co-author of "brand new party: how conservatives can win the working class and save the american dream" and has a book coming occupy in early 2017 on immigration. look forward to to conversation about that book next year. another friend, good one, a dear one, and we are so pleased to have him with us this morning, is christopher buckley. his approval of this project and his ensuing encouragement of a " a torch kept lit" are genuine and deeply appreciated. the only son of bill and pat buck lee, christopher was educated in port mouths and graduate cum laud day from -- he was the founding editor or forbes "fyi" and knows a thing or two about books, having
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wherein 16 or so, many of them exceptional satires. i must really encourage you to read his most recent, "the relic master" a marvelous novel that centers on a scam and a shroud of turin. if you laugh you'll need to go to confession. and a personal side. i went to bed alone last night because my wife was up 'til the wee hour read and can laughing at a christopher buckley novel, "little green men. "thanks, pal. around this bioon he was chief speech write for the vice president of the united states, george h.w. bush, and has received the washington irving prize for literary ex-intend and the thurber prize for american humor. last but not least, a friend and a man who inspired this book and
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who is as big a contributor to it in beautiful prose, as was bill buckley, and that is james rosen. the chief washington correspondent for fox news, james has covered the white house and at the state department beats and reported from capitol hill, the pentagon, the supreme court, nearly all 57 states -- i'm sorry -- 50 -- yuck, yuck, yuck -- and 40 foreign countries across five continents. rosen's articles and eggs said have appeared in "the new york times," "the wall street journal," the "washington post," holiday harper's and "national review. " james is the author of "to the strong manage: john mitchell and the secrets of watergate" and also, "cheney, one-on-one." friends of bill and not only the 12 step kind, should know this man is a walking, talking, buck
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lee legacy project. his knowledge about bill and his belief in bill's lasting importance and relevance, and how we need to realize that immense power for good resides in the buck lee legacy is second to none. i congratulate james for the excellent book he assembled and also for his own smart prose, providing the context in which all of bill's collected remembrances are set in "a torch kept lit." on that note, ladies and gentlemen. rye hans lamb. >> thank you very much, jack, for the very kind introduction, and thank you to by "national rerue" institute colleagues to puts ising there together. eye honored to be here.
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you kid but it's true, james, wanted to ask you, what on earth led a perfectly healthy sane person to become so obsessed with bill buck lee, and its, and second to this project in particular? >> first of all my thanks to everyone for coming this morning and to all of my friends as nancy rue and the national review institute, and to christopher, for hosting this event. have to tell you i feel also like -- being up here at and all to have my name on the same jacket as bill buckley's, it's kind of surreal for me. so, i -- that's not just false humanity. it's humility with an asterisk, perhaps. so i learned about bill buckley for the first time from ""the tonight show"." seeing him with johnny carson, this guy who had this strange accent but was very good looking and seem to be treating johnny
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as an equal, as opposed to most people who went on ""the tonight show"" and were very grateful to be there. i remember on that occasion -- i tried to find the date of it with no discuss -- i think around 1985 -- johnny said to him, bill, why is whenever you come here on the set i feel like i'm in the principal's office. and i thought, want to be like that guy. and so commenced a kind of an obsession. my wife, who is here today and who -- just say hi to everyone. my lovely wife, sarah rosen. [applause] -- who is the unsung suffering heroine and all my exploits. she has seen that i have many obsessions, and i'm intense about them. and in case of bill buckley, i know so many people, christopher, from fred barnes and other people, who have said the same thing. want to be like that guy. and in any case, this book ban
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do-book began a few years ago, i was writing something "the national review about richmond nixon and i was trying to find a piece by bill about called" is nixon one of us" i thought it had appeared in "national review." i finally consulted a book called "william f. buck lee, jr., bub leography, published in 2002 when bill was alive and was a listing of all his work and thin i learned it had been in the "times" magazine. the editor of that volume said some day someone should do a volume of bill's eulogy because they're elegant and often shattering work. and thought with wife a smidge general of chutzpah, why not me? and i'm grateful to be associated with it. >> i'm going to jump in. i was asked to give a blur for this book and at the risk -- the height of vanity to quote one's
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own blurb, but it's such a good blurb, i can't resist. william f. buck lee, jr. was a master of many things. this collection of obituaries and eulogies he wrote over the course of his extraordinary career, admirably curated and eloquently introduced by james rosen, may well step w. f. b. as the modern matter of this literary form. i have read every single one of my father's 60-odd book. i do not exaggerate to propose that this may prove to be womenuum f. buck lee's finest book ever, and i mean that. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. i had read a lot of these as
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they came out, and i was never -- i was never failed to be moved. what an elegant sentence that was. but it wasn't until i saw them all in toto that it came to me that i think this is william f. buck lee's most beautiful writing. there are -- i think you started with a -- you culled from 250 obituaries and eulogies published in "national review" and in the syndicated column but also elsewhere, including "forbes f.y.i." >> s' some delivered as actual eulogies. i think you ended up with 52. on the subway down here this
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morning, unlike my father, i rode the subway. mention the word subway to him and he said, what would that be? but on the way down, in the subway, i get did a count of the 52 in the table of contents, and put a check next to each person that he knew personally, and it came out to 33. 33 out of 52. and these were pretty big people. so -- >> including pat buckley. >> he knew pat buckley. in biblical sense as well, i'm proof of that. and we have here with us the wife of one of the people, that friend, ben galbraith, we have
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marie galbraith here. how glad i am to see bootsie but it's an extraordinary collection, and is off to a very good start, not only i think because it is such a good book, and is -- by the way, your introduction to each one of the 52 pieces are many masterpieces. >> very kind of you. >> you may know this guy mostly as a fox news tv guy, but let me tell you, this son of a gun can write. >> is c-span getting this? >> anyway, in part because of james' -- james bag -- being a very household name in tv land, the book is off to a brilliant
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start, and i -- he was on -- bill o'reilly give it a nice plug a couple days ago, and i did something i actually don't do a lot. i went to amazon to check the sales ranking. you almost fell off your chair. thought it was legit to check someone else, and it was number two. so i -- [applause] so i e-mailed james, james became a tad aloof. he said i don't -- i really don't spend a lot of time looking at my amazon sales rating. this morning, fresh from megan kelly last night he said to me, i checked. it's number one. and good for you. >> thank you. >> james, i wonder, chris mentioned a moment ago that you culled these obituaries from very rich source material. many, many more things you might have published in the collection.
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tell us how you disciplined yourself and how you made your selections. >> well, here, thanks due too the great folks as crown publishing. everyone needs an editor, and they were great in helping me focus. so we found about 220 eulogies and obituaries and remembrances that bill wrote. we had a whole section in the book that unfortunately for space reasons we had to excise of just devoted to movement conservatives and rescued a few of those people, like barry goldwater and russell kirk, and we sort of cast them into a diaspora where they went into some of the other chapters that's remained health wanted to do was break it down by types of people he was remembering. so there's a section for presidents of the united states. there's a section for bill's own family members so there's eulogies for his mother, his father, his wife, and his brother-in-law, brent bowsell.
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there's a second for arts and letters figures. like to say "a torch kept lit" is the only plies in the world crew'll find milton freeman rubbing elbows with jerry garcia. also in arts and letters -- this speaks to bill buck lee's breadth of interests and intellectual cureot tis. eulogies for jerry garcia and john lennon and elvis presley. hi wrote an entire novel about elvis press elvis presley late in his career. there's a section for friends. not all the people are household names. some are people only really known to the buckley family, i imagine in terms of readers. one thing about this book, i think, a recuring them, is friendship. i don't think bill buckley would have copd to the term "jean crowd. "he would have been in a rare moment of modesty, recoiled from the word" genius --"
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>> i don't know. >> there is only one expert on this stage about bill buckley. but everyone that i've spoken to who knew him well, has attested that bill buckley had genius for friendship and very passionate about his friends and maintained friendshipness some cases over 60 years time. this last eulogy he wrote or published was for van gail breath, his friend. by the time that they died within a short time of each other, for 60 years. and he cultivated friendships. the invested in them. cared deeply about them. dare say that the giving of this book to friends, for whatever occasion, will deepen one's friendship with those trappeds. lastly, there's a serving called enemy cease, -- -- these are
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obituaryies whom predeceased bill, and people like algier hawaii, and john lindsey and a spectrum of awfulness. and arthur lessinger. eleanor roosevelt, and the fun is seeing bill struggle to find something nice to say about people or alternatively, not bothering. and one last word about this. these are pieces that were often written on deadline and in situations where the writer himself, because hell knew 33 of the 52 people, was himself often racked with guilt -- grieve is what i mend to say. he was himself mourning these people, in many cases. and that he put together such brilliant prose, lyrical prose, about these people whom he permanently knew. when he was himself suffering from grief at their loss. speaks a lot to his discipline.
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he was man of devout faith, as we all know and that is the eulogy which i believe is technically not part of the catholic mass. bell ven rated something call the patri moany, the inherited corpus of truth, earth and celestial, peaces down through the millenia and which are inarguable and conservatives believe in objective truths and one is that people die but a god endures and that infused the writings as well. >> chris, have a question for you as a writer. this is for both of you, though die want to hear your perspective. bill buckley was both america's most celebrated public intellectual, yet also a writer and singer of independent mind and also architect of a political movement, and as such, it occurs to me that sometimes one might be political in how one is describing other figures and how it's navigating this larger landscape.
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do you deal he ever pulled his punches in deference to his responsibility as the leader of a movement? just curious hear you thoughts. >> no, but pulling munches was, as james was talking, occurred to me i'm sorry that he predeceased gore individualal. i'd like to have -- vidal. i'd like to have read that obituary. >> would he have done one. >> no. >> not embrace him with one. >> i don't think so. one remarkable thing. you all know about william f. buckley's history with gore vidal. and -- which precipitated a lawsuit and all sorts of things. puff let go of gore vidal. the only time puff ever mentioned gore vidal at the
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spinner table, whatever, was in the context of his delight in some witty simple that gore vidal has -- vidal was awarded election northern academy of arts and letters and his reply was always, thanks, i already have diner's card. i have not seen documentary but gore individual dollar was obsessed -- vidal was obsessed -- when he had friends over for dinner, he'd say afterwards, he would scream the famous debate -- screen the famous debate in 1968, i think in the documentary, they used
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the clip from the movie, sunset boulevard, where gloria -- norm ya desmond, played by gore ya want son, watching her old movies, one old queen measure evidence against another. but to james' point about puff's genius for friendship, even as you point out in your brilliant introduction, even in these dozen odd nemesis categories you can see puff's struggling to find something nice to say. this came from his deep, deep, deep sense of christianity, which so animated him. >> if i can jump in on to the point where he pulled punches, these remembrances are not strictly celebratory, even in the case of lionized figures and
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people who are iconic in the conservative area so for example, his eulogy for winston churchill, whom buckley had gob to see speak personally in 1949, is not -- for winston churchill. he celebrates the accomplishment offered churchill up through and you including the victory in world war ii and then faults churchill for continuing to stay in office when he didn't have the stamina to prosecute the cold war properly with the ensuing result that a third of the world's people wound up behind the iron kurta, similarly for martin luther king, who in today's landscape, we conceive of in almost godly terms. when bill buckley wrote his remembrance of martin luther king in april 1968 after his assassination, buckley wrote a column that was tough on martin luther king celebratory of this accomplishments in civil rights
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but at the same time condemn na tory of some statement that martin luther king made about america at the height of the vietnam war and its role in the world that he thought were utterly inappropriate. so he didn't always pull his punches, even when we cass discussing people who i lion rised another the raith and that speaks to his intellectual integrity. >> the sense that some figures had become too big, too overlarge, celebrated inappropriately 0, was it purely the sense that i must get the record right? >> i think it's the latter. >> one of the themes within this book is under the general rubrics of the gift for friendship was his relationship with arguably the leading liberal intellectual of our time, john kenneth galbraith.
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this was a friendship that dated to 1966. puff and john kenneth galbraith met in an elevator on the way to truman capote famous black and white ball. >> the party of the century. >> the party of the century as you opinion out. brilliant. >> you can say it as often as you like. >> i cannot say this enough. if you raid this one book for one reason, rode it for the introduction. >> you've gone too far. >> crazy far. >> i don't think john kenneth galbraith whoa have agreed on the time of day but this became one of his deepest friendships and ken died, i think in this 90s, and he had been bed-ridden for, well, years, and every three weeks puff would get
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on the train in stamford and go up to boston and sit by his bedside at certain point ken would nose longer conversational and puff would just sit there. the last trip i made with pop was to john kenneth galbraith's memorial service. that eulogy is contained in here. and their relationship was teasing on a mutually teasing on a very grand level. when nixon resigned, pop -- nixon's resignation was inconvenient for pop because he had scheduled -- going sailing on his boat with me, and it was 1974. his phone started wringing, cbs, nbc, want a comment. he said i'm going sailing, and -- cbs, nbc, abc, said, what? we'll send a helicopter.
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he said i don't have a landing president for example on my sailboat. so his syndicated column that ran after nixon's resignation was a canned column that the -- this is what columnists did when they went on vacation. this one is on the subject of peanut butter, one of pop's great themes, and so ken, the next week, wrote pop and said, well, bill, think it's just marvelous that after one of the most important events in american political history that you chose to write your column about peanut butter. and pop replied, ken you don't understand. when i relax, i write columns about peanut butter. when you relax, you write economic textbooks.
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and, you know issue think in your, may have i say one more time, brilliant introduction, you quote john kerry -- >> -- with puff in the context of this friendship with john kenneth galbraith, and john kerry, no conservative, said to you directly, he loved bill buck lee, -- buckley and she said that is what is missing in politics today. and it is. >> you mention in passing, james, about the breath of bill buckley's interests, including his interest in pop culture, something that would be surprising to nose who only knew him as this arch traditionalist. tell us about his encounter is with the world of pop. >> well, bill buckley wrote a column in 1964 after the beatles arrived in america and played the ed sullivan show,
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pronouncing them not just awful but god awful, and saying in essence they were so horribly antimusical they would go down in history with respect to music the way the anti- -- were roared in the history of catholicism. to this day -- i'm a huge beatle freaks, my would sons' middle names are lennon and mccartney. >> if you have a girl, please don't name her yoko. >> deal. there are collections of writings about the beatles, and that buckley column is routinely included in them as a jewel of early fillsteen. he latest committed one of the most spectacular reversals of his entire career for which probably 99% is due christopher
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in a column in 1968, called "how i came to rock" in which he acknowledged that there is simply an exuberance about the beatle that is unmatched and one cannot resist. the, and when we come to perhaps a little later in this discussion i'd love to know how you converted bill buckley on thesome of the beatles but in writing the first column where he pronouned them god awful, he said i like elvis presley and later in his career, buckley pronounced that elvis had the most beautiful singing voice of any person on earth. there is an intent by buckley to engage with the counterculture, and an earnest one. he wanted know what was about in the eulogy for jerry garcia he recounts there was ona juan are one machine whole worked for national review who was a deadhead and he begins the column -- i'll spin in the impersonation, which i vowed not to bring in i ever heard a song
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by the grateful dade i was unaware of it, he said. and -- not bad. but he saw the deterioration in this young man, not only in his upkeep but reliability and so forth and he pondered in the eulogy for jerry garcia the influence of jerry garcia on legions of young people, in cruising speed, which was an account of one week in bill's life that is hugely entertaining, published in 1971. he recounts going with pat buckley and another couple to go see gimme shelter, the documentary about the rolling stones, and the horrific concert at altamonte. one wonders how many leading conservative voices today would go see a documentary like gimme shelter. so he cared about it. and he engaged with it over a long period of time. when john lennon was killed in 1980, he began his column about it, his eulogy for lennon, of whom he had been critical in the 1970s, when lennon was
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spouting off on this and that, by quoting christopher, who said to him, pop, imagine if tux tuskegee -- tuesday -- hat beside killed. he said john lennon didn't speak to me. we gazed on 100 couple people weeping in central park holding candles and must acknowledge the grief is real. so he had a real interest in pop culture even if it didn't speak to him directly. >> two footnotes in 1964, my father and i were on a commercial flight from copenhagen, to geneva, and we were in the front row, and guess who boarded the plane just before takeoff? the rolling stones, and i was 12
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years old. i was, to quote my 28-year-old daughter now, oh, my god. and they were sitting right behind us. they were heavily perfumed. and -- >> with the cologne of the era. >> said to puff, -- and he sort of went, -- you're missing the point. in another footnote, too, yoko -- i believe i have this right -- yoko -- you remember at one point the united states was going to expel john lennon. they were going revoke his green card on -- i think on the grounds that there'd been a drug bust somewhere in the past, as they're -- there always is.
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it's so rare. drug violations. yoko came to see puff and asked him if he would write a letter to the relevant authority, i guess the ins, on john lennon's behalf, and he did. >> did some come to see him at your house -- >> no. no. i believe it was "national review," and she -- and i don't know if -- that puff was the tipping point. there were obviously other letters but a letter from bill buckley, to the -- to a nixon ruled government agency, would not have been uninfluential. >> time-out. time-out. c-span time-out. i'm a news guy. that's what i do for a living. we just got news, folks, yoko ono visited the offices of "national review." that's worth the price of admission today alone, i think.
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>> actually embargoed. footnote 2-1/2. when lennon was assassinated, i, like many of my generation, went into aan annual depression. this was a staggering -- an actual depression. this was a staggering event and puff noticed -- i was at the dinner table and did not speak, and puff had to write a column that night and came over to my garage apartment and said, why don't you write my column? and i said -- i couldn't do that. i'm sorry, i couldn't do it. and i remember -- if you recall -- well, what he wrote is in this splendid and very
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attractive packaged and recently priced book -- are -- reasonably priced book but it concludes, he says, john -- what i now realize is that john lennon had gravitas. and gravitas was a quality puff greatly esteemed. so, here was -- there you have evolution, the education of william f. buckley, from the 1960s. to 1980. >> can i add one more footnote to this? i wanted to include this in the introduction to john lennon eulogy but ran out of space. in 1970, john lennon gave a massively long and-interview to rolling stone magazine, at a point where he what at his most
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bitter, and it's a landmark, in terms of the literature of the beatles, and he was very negative and called the beatles the biggest bases -- was stars on earl and was full of acid about paul and everything egg and bill buckley read the entire interview from start to finish and something like 50,000 words over two issues issues of "rollg stone" magazine, and owrote a column and shade that john lennon's auto biology grieve should be entitled "how i wrecked my life and how i can wreckous" and i think if john lennon lived much longer he would have looked back with some regret about comment inside the 1970 interview but in writing about the interview in his column, buckley at one point -- he used a numbered device, in 1, number 2, quoting various things john lennon said, and at a certain point the way buckley
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put it, he said something to effect of john wrote all the good songs, no so for paul, semi colon and then on to other numbered points. what struck me that even bill buckley fell prey to beatle mania in a sense because he was referring to them by their first names the way the rest of the world does. paul,. >> but i don't think there's in record of puff uttering the word "ringo." >> i want to get to questions from the audience. before i do, however, james, might you have any questions for christopher? >> yes. can you tell us how brilliant i am? >> i mentioned how brilliant you are? >> so, christopher and i have only met once before today, about 10 or 12 years ago, and that was -- i should point out,
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too, that at no point after providing his sense assent that the project may go forward that did he seek in the input or control to the very end and that was one eulogy that we had looked at and again for space reasons, not included, that he asked to be included and we did so. but -- so, there was no attempt at control here. there is a lady who has written half a dozen well-regarded biographies and then wrote her own memoir and it was kind of a lesson to aspiring bayh ago fers and the title of the essay was "shoot the widow" as any bees e piece of business a biographer should do, shoot the widow, because with yoko open know they seek to control -- yoko ono, they seek to control the access
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to materials and christopher engaged in none of that. so this really probably speaking my first meeting with christopher, which is a great thrill for me. and there were a couple of questions, sort of that i had, and i have not shared these with him in advance. let me take out the notes. first of all, bill's hand writing was terrible. >> puff's hand writhing was so bad that at yale in late 1940s he sought and was given permission to type his exams. you remember the blue book, the blue exam book, which the mention of which still makes me break out -- he was -- all the professors said, yes, for god sake. so he would go into an adjoining classroom, while everyone else
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was scribbling and bang out his exams. here's another -- toward the end of puff became very casual in his -- of his fingers on the key. he would put them down anywhere and -- with the result that his e-mails resembled the enigma code. i kid you not. and i -- it would be fun to put together a collection of those. that would be a challenge for your brilliant introduction. i mean, quite literally. dear christa would be spilled jkx4 parenthesis and i would have to call him up and say,
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puff, i really want to know what you had in mind here. you have to resend it. >> actually, exchanged e-mails with bail few times and they truly were -- they looked like something sort of like one of those jumbles you're supposed to unscramble, and the bottom he said, p.s., i'm not drunk. i just type this way. i cherish that e-mail. did he ever once explicitly give you any advice about the craft of writing? >> oh, sure. sure. his first bit of advice, i think i was 14, he said, don't ever become a professional writer. he said it was a saturday, a weekend, dinner was over and he was heading back to his study to
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bang out a thousands word article for "esquire" that was due monday ditched not take that advice. he was a -- you know, it occurs to me, another theme with puff, aside -- his genius for friendship was his genius for mentoring. i think it is accurate to say there's two great magazine editor mentors of our time, charlie peters of "the washington monthly" whose his o alum anytime. john meacham, james fowler, michael kinsy and william farm buck lee and you look at the people who started at "national review," david brooks.
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by the way, did you know the david brooks story? to hold it in a column after puff dialed, called, i think, "remembering mentor. ""puff wrote a book called "overdrive," a sequel to a -- one of his best books, which is "cruising speed" which he published in 1973, which was a week in his very busy life, and it was -- marvelous way of doing a -- puff never did a memoir but a he did two memoirs of two weeks in his life. the 19 -- overdrive, 1983, was not particularly well-received. there was a little bit too much about the splendors of his limousine and the people he knew, and a scathing -- but
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brilliant paired -- parody of it was written by david brooks and puff happened to be speaking at the university of chicago, and so he is up there on stage and reads this scathing parody of his book, aloud in toto, verbatim, and then looks up and said if david brooks is in the audience i'd like to offer him a job. david relates that story. >> i'm going to shame david brooks. david brooks is a well-regarded "new york times" columnist and author in his own right. i have a friend in washington who collects memorabilia and then gives thome, and he recently gave me a beautiful handsome copy of the hard cover edition of one of bill's books called "on the firing line," his
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enemy more of "firing line" the show and autographed by bill buckley to david brooks. don't know how that happened but david's got some explaining to do. one last point about bill buckley rod mentorship as a magazine article. i've happy to have with us to rich lowery, the editor of "national review." my last question for christopher. -- [inaudible] -- the convention and writing of obituaries that many will be pre-written. that seems rather more bid -- morbid but is a fact of the business. is that something that bill buckley would do from time to time? >> no. >> ah-ha. >> so, for example, the obituary in there of dwight eisenhower was written as eisenhower was dying, and hillsdale -- >> a few places i should
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mention, "national review" opened the digital archives for me so i could research the pieces the hoover institution maintains the firing line archives in kaz and i relied on their sin cynthia such knopp sid hillsdale college has the works of buckley and they are in pdf form so you can see the type manuscript that went off to newspapers and there are instructions in the one for eisenhower, for example, where it says if eisenhower has not yet died by date x, then run this. if he has, please correct paragraph 3 or so where he is speaking in a different tense. and alistair cook, a broadcasting figure and a friend of buckley's for 30 years, he wrote three eulogies and
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obituaries and one he wrote before cook had died, and he actually sent it to alistair cook who returned it to buckly unopened and unread. >> one more question. is there one obituary you absolutely hate your editors at crown for forcing you to leave out of the book? >> hate is a strong word. there were so many worthy people that we had to excise and for whom i prepared introductions like dan -- dan yell patrickman hand. william sloan coffin they ever correspond between bill buckley and william sloan coffin was hilarious, clare booth luce. >> again, why? >> hubert humphrey. >> now, here i must interject and say if enough of you go out and buy this book, you increase the chances of there being a
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sequel with all the obituaries -- they decide not have. >> that would be called "a terror flickering but not quite gone." >> please joan my in thanking james rosen and chris buckley for joining us. [applause] >> thank you all very much for coming, i'm lindsay craig, president of national review institute. we're so grateful to all of you for your support. so that we can bring programming like is there. thank you to james for writing this book. we really appreciate it. christopher, of course, we love having you come to our events and participate in them. obviously you're a deer friend. thank you. and -- tear friend, and rihan, another another great moderating job. thank you all. have great weekend. [applause]
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>> a look at the current best selling books. ton the lister is bruce spring extinct's memoir "born to run" followed by mary oliver's reflections as he life as an author and poet in upstream. jd vans remembers growing up in and then moving away from the appalachia region in hi hillbilly all ." >> ruth bader ginsburg shares her experience s on the high court in "my own words," fox news host bill o'aislely recall americas defeat of japan during
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world war ii in "killing the rising sun." next on "the boston globe's" nonfiction best seller's left is michael holly's bill check and brady, fault by the life changing magic of tidying up, and the hidden life of trees. historian bin mcintyre explores the impact of britain's special air service in world war ii in "rogue heroes" and candace millard's hero of the empire about churchill's appearance in the boer war. >> dime united states when i was four years old and my first memory was from pennsylvania, being taken away from my parents and being given to a white foster family because that was the only way to leave the refugee camp, and that's always stayed with me, this idea that even though don't remember the
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war myself, it's been imprinted on me like an invisible brand, stamped between my shoulder blade citizen parents survived four decades of bar and famine and terrible things and even though they rarely spoke tot that hey exuded the force of that memory through treasure actions and feelings and so did everyone necessary the vietnamese american refugee community i grew up. as an american boy growing up wassing a cognizant of the fact that the vietnam was important to the vietnamese american refugee community and the american community as a whole but americans only saw one side of the story. apocalypse now, scared me for life. my life is very uninteresting. the novel is my revenge on hollywood and francis ford coppola, and my attempt to also tell the history of the vietnam war and city story of the vietnam war from the perspective that most americans never heard of before, which is how their
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own allies, their friends, the south vietnamese experienced this, and my narrate or is in the south vietnamese army who is giving us the commune perspective on it and when he arrives the united states he is giving us the viewpoint of how the vietnamese see american culture which is not necessarily in a positive light. so there's a very satirical dimension of the novel as well, as i get white people to think about what white culture looks like to people from outside of this country. but i think the topic has been hard to exhaust for me which i why i had to right another nonfiction book about it. "nothing ever dies: vietnam and the war by money attempt to situate the war in the larger context of 100 years of american warfare waged in the pacific since 1898 when the united states took the philippines, guam, puerto rico, hawai'i, the korean war, the vietnam war and now iraq and afghanistan as an extension of a center-long american campaign and that's why i northeast teed turn to
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nonfiction. i couldn't say those kinds of things in a novel. >> good back to that for one second. one of the contextual questions i had for you is whether your experience writing the novel did anything to reform your sense of the vietnam war in any way? >> well, definitely so, because i wrote the novel to criticize everybody. so, there's something fob everybody just like in the move. criticizes the communists and the south vietnamese, the americans, and i think the theme of the novel is sympathy for the sympathizer and the easiest thing to do in war or conflict is to sympathize only with our own side. right? and the virtue and the flaw of my character, he simple theses with everybody, which makes him a great spy and also going to lead to his downfall as well, and that's what i learned from writing the novel, if we have -- if there's any hope forward for piece and reconciliation and things like that, it requires expansion of sympathy and empathy beyond our own closed
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communities to a much larger human community. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> in 1979 chance was created and brought you by your cable or satellite provider. >> this week's "after words" program takes a look at social media marketing and advertising on consumers and the marketplace. columbia university professor tim wu discusses his book "the attention merchants: the epic scramble to get inside our heads" with john force. ...

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