tv Alvin Felzenberg A Man and His Presidents SC CSPAN July 4, 2017 3:00pm-4:46pm EDT
father's footsteps. she is kind ever like the woman behind the father. . . good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to princeton university, i'm robert jordan i have the honor of being the director of the james madison program on american ideals and institutions at princeton. i'm the sponsor of nights event. i'm delighted to welcome all of you at princeton, we have not only students here and members of our faculty but guests from the community and
as far away as new york, maybe farther. and we're always delighted to welcome our visitors. we also want to welcome our viewers by c-span so i want to let folks know that c-span is here to cover this afternoon's conversation. after doctor felzenberg and i talked for a bit where going to open the floor to a q and a and we will ask those who have questions to come down to the microphones that are just here. and ask your question from the microphone. speak right into the microphone so we can pick you up and remember you will be on screen as well as having your voice heard so smile, look pretty. the madison program at princeton is dedicated to providing our students and members of our community with the best possible civic education. we believe has madison taught that only a well educated people can be a free people
so we want to do our part by contributing to the education of our fellow students and others, when it comes to fundamental questions of american constitutionalism and basic political thought, of course like princeton university as a whole we are a nonpartisan organization and we welcome all points of view. in fact, we encourage a wide diversity of viewpoints. we believe what many people preach but perhaps are not so strict about actually processing as well as preaching and that is the true civil engagement of ideas, true civil dialogue including or perhaps especially among people who disagree. we know that in our society there are reasonable people of goodwill who disagree about many issues. this is always the case in the united states. but we leave in common that the way to handle
disagreements is by engaging each other. in civic, civil discourse. by doing business in the currency of intellectual discourse. currency consists of reason and arguments and evidence we are proud here at the madison program to be contributing to that mission and by doing that we hope to the common good of the united states and i'm absolutely delighted to welcome back to princeton one of our most distinguished sons, alvin felzenberg who earned his master's degree and phd from princeton university. he earned his ashlar's degree from rutgers university test of the road so he's new jersey through and through. how is a lecturer at the nuremberg school at the university of pennsylvania. he served as the principal spokesman for the 9/11 commission.
he served in two presidential administrations, held several high-level posts with the united states council of representatives and in the 1980s was new jersey's assistant state in the administration of governor thomas h kane. he's been a fellow at the institute of politics at john f. kennedy school of government and at yale here at princeton in johns hopkins and at george washington university in washington dc. he has appeared as a commentator on major public affairs television shows including cnn, fox fired, as you can see survive crossfire. c-span washington journal and altogether more dignified place to be a commentator. msnbc's morning joe, npr's, sorry. we are nonpartisan. talk of the nation and multiple others. his writings have appeared in the washington post, weekly standard and philadelphia inquirer, christian science monitor. he is regularly contracting
to national review online. whose significance we are going to be exploring, us news.com and politico. the book that we will be discussing today is his new book, a man and his president, the political oddity of william f buckley junior which is published by yale university press. his other writings include the leaders we deserve and a few weekend, sometimes rethinking the presidential rating game which was published by basic books in 2008 and was a conversation as you recall between the two of us at princeton after publication of that book. if you keep writing books, we will keep having conversations and biography of tom king sometime from the new jersey state house of 9/11 commission which was published by rutgers university press appropriately and 2006 so welcome me join me in welcoming doctor alvin felzenberg [applause] >> william f buckley was the
grand man of the modern conservative movement. it would be entirely unfair to say he was the founding father of the modern conservative movement and yet, some of my students, i might even save many of my students, perhaps most of my students including my conservative students don't really know who william f buckley was. which makes me gas. since those of us of a certain age, william f buckley was a fixture in our homes through his television program firing line which aired seems like generations, 34 years on pds and the fixture on our lives not only the lives of conservatives but of liberals as well. he was a famous kind of civil discourse engagement of ideas. that we stand for here in the madison program at princeton, his guests on firing line
included not only fellow conservatives of various stripes, traditionalists and libertarians and moderate republicans and so forth but also people on the liberal and farther to the left side of the spectrum. in fact, i think his favorite guest host something for him was michael kinsley who was a famous and is a famous liberal commentator so now, why don't you say a word about why our students should care about william f buckley? who was william f buckley? >> it's a great honor to be back at the program and in this room, giving lectures in it. and as a professor, it's a pleasure. >> william buckley in short i think probably the most influential private citizen
in american history, if you think about it. never had agovernment job. he had a few honorary commissions , roberts one time was the 13 percent. he forced his way on the public stage, decided to write a book that criticized of all things yale university. his first major opponent was yale university. yaleuniversity made one major mistake , and i tell my students at vandenberg not to do it. the more powerful subject should never be crossed at the time a minor critic. yale as one new yorker pointed out, reacted to his criticism which we can get into with all the rigor of an elephantterrified by a little mouse .and of course the american sense of fair play,
a young journalist also told him, you know him as thehost and founder of 60 minutes, mike wallace . had mike wallace on a radio show, 1953 and one of the first questions was why is yale university picking on you? >> so you have picking advice of somebody bigger and you lost a career.>> but i would say that as a commentator, as a political figure of his time, and something i discovered as i really get into the paper, as a political operative, it was second to none. the only person i could think of is very very close to buckley was probably frederick douglass in the 10th century and why do i say that? he was a writer, he formed organizations, bill buckley was not just economists, only
asset this morning, who is bill buckley? i can't think of any columnists right now who does out there and sounds political organizations out there. he founded seatac, he founded young americans of freedom, and whenever there was cause he was out there mobilizing it. >> he wasn't a campus politician and many of those tracy brought into the public square in many ways on behalf of our candidates. >> because he was a charismatic personality, with extraordinary sense of erudition and wit, he was able to mobilize audiences, particularly young people and he loved talking to young people, he did 70 campuses a year in his prime. that was, i write a newspaper column, editing a magazine, running a show. presidents all came to court
him. people wanted his endorsement . as much as they ever talked about any political ball and again, it's too bad that he didn't have a few more years to really perfect his skills on the internet. he mastered every form of communication in his time. wherever you were, he would find you or you would find him whether it's on your car radio, whether it's in your newspaper, the ritz watching tvs area weather news was being made that he's now residing on the honorary board. that kind of thing. he had a tremendous impact and we still see it today. now, my students, same thing as george when he died, they knew that an important person i. because they kept getting little messages on the internet whether they subscribe to the new york
times or washington post or whatever it was so this is an important person, america should stopand take note but they couldn't remember why he was an important person so i thought what an extraordinary life to bring back . i'll put it up a new for a new generation, reintroducing to a new generation for the rest of us have some nostalgic. >> let's begin by talking about that first book, that bombshell book called god and man at yale and it was an indictment of yale university. why? of course, he was a student at yale university. i noticed when i went back and looked at some of the reviews which were written by the great and the good of the lost establishment of the united states, that the reviewers were outraged for other reasons because buckley had accused yale of abandoning christian heritage and adopting a sort of new religion, a pseudo-religion
of liberal secularism so the responses of some of the great and good were, this is outrageous. by the way, he's a catholic. this upstart catholic at yale comes in and accuses us of abandoning christian universities. one thing you know about yale is it has not abandoned or will ever abandon its christian heritage. >> well, let me begin by saying that you go down to the jefferson memorial and is a great quote of jefferson who has hostility at any form in mass. plus i would agree with that but he would also say even a greater proponent, what is more equivalent? he explained it like this. imagine a wheelchair-bound person is about to cross the street.and a passerby appears and he pushes the wheelchair in the way of an
oncoming bus, it's a terrible end to the story but imagine the person is halfway across the street, the light changes and a bus is approaching. and a good samaritan pushes the wheelchair out ofthe way of the oncoming bus .well, therefore both stories have a few things in common. there's a wheelchair, there's possibly a good samaritan or a bad samaritan.that doesn't make their motives equivalent and he thought yale as it was teaching the infamous era after world war ii, where first of all, the economics, this was in 1925, think of 1925. he didn't say very much, he didn't think he had to impose himself every five minutes on
the american people like other presidents we could think about. he was famous for not saying very much at all. he gave much less and america thought it had learned from his crusade in europe, was trying very hard not to repeat it. the world was at peace and the country's economic situation was booming. well, as bill was getting older, he was witnessing in his seniors the roosevelt administration coming to water power, a completely new worldin terms of the army in 1945 . suddenly we are talking about mixed economies, not free-market which he thought was really structure reality by another name. they had the aggressive kind that saw the parades of the g.i. coming home after world war ii. so we had that form of tyranny and we had a benign
kind, the kind in a free democracy but suddenly he feels that that's more and more of the economy and they were teaching this at yale. very few free-market economists were around. all the textbooks talked about how successful societies have a welfare state, excessive regulatory state and he had an issue with that. not that they didn't teach it, he just thought that was all they were teaching. more importantly in the religion department, he did not feel that they should teach one form of religion or that there should be a religious school but he did feel that christianity or our judeo-christian heritage was superior to the other forms. why? because it's the form that our founding nation, informed the founding documents. we were a judeo-christian society.
judeo-christian tradition teaches that we are all made in god's image. therefore, the source of all freedom. all freedoms in government affairs, all equal in the eyes of each other. in the eyes of the state. in the eyes of god. and that's what he believed. he said it's great to have other religions, it's great to learn about other religions but don't tell us that some of the traditions of these demo islands that margaret mead was writing about or other traditions that talk about untouchables and god knows what is the same as ours. we should teach that there is a difference, that there is not a moral equivalent area that's the obvious part. and that was the name of the book, god and man at yale. he thought there was a fighting song which is now the yale anthem and the last line is god before man and yale. he changed that to god and man at yale meaning secular
humanism is pushing man into the center between god and of course yale, a little bit of a play on words. why was this important? other than the religion department, why was this important all this going on at that time , they were really famous espionage cases going on, one in the uk, you've heard of the cambridge five. names like sam silvey, these were the best and brightest of their generation. including by the communist south, to do two things. first to infiltrate british intelligence, to help the british grassroots intelligence and they did many things to win the war and also share whatever information they possibly could because after all, he was allied with the uk so we get this meeting of.
he can now bring heaven on earth in the form of pure democracy, they learned marxism in their 30s just around the time of before the war, what happened in the united states? in my generation probably the vietnam war was probably the most galvanizing issue for those of us who were politically engaged. bill kristol, tell me who you were, vietnam and i'll tell you how you voted in the 65 election. and in 1945, 46, 48, we had what was called a 's case, there was alger's, alger his was a very prominent person, had the best possible education you could get. harvard law school, a clerk and oliver wendell holmes, you can't do better than that. a social friend of franklin and eleanor roosevelt , the former or future cabinet member, maybe even the head of the united nations.
alger was accused in 1948, bill would have been i think a sophomore there, having been aspiring to the soviet union and his accuser was a fellow named whittaker chambers. and chambers was a former communist, was there for the communist party and eventually leaves the party. well, buckley comes to the conclusion that we need stronger stuff, they're getting to the prime of our youth. they singled out the kind of things, this kind of activity so a lot of this is going on. even though then the student body at yale was homogenous enough, it was all white, all-male.it was probably all alumni and it probably wasn't what you would see now, the breakdown
of the campus, 60 percent were doing 40 percent so i don't think when you look at any campus since then, i don't think republicans have done as well but on the faculty, on the faculty side, it was real side, harry truman and not tom dewey, harry truman had the walk, my students don't know who harry was. if your students that don't know, we have to have a discussion. franklin roosevelt, think bernie sanders and you've got it. bernie sanders was a red star emblazoned inside his jacket that you didn't know about. quick's and it's if some of you ever get past this administration ever decides to appoint people and some of you get past, name, address,
social security number and maybeyour religion, henry wallace was the secretary of agriculture. his religion was mystic . let me figure that out. these are people, there are people who talk to trees, he called himself a mystic and you see franklin roosevelt there shaking his martini glass saying what the hell is that? in any event he became a pretty good politician , very good republican because his father had been there. and roosevelt decides that when james garner, by the way roosevelt vice president was james garner, former speaker of the house. so you have your own democrat coalition between eight northern liberal and a southern conservative, kennedy and johnson. now garner decides he's not only going to oppose roosevelt's nomination but he's going to run against him.
roosevelt's great comment was i see the vice president has thrown his bottle into the rain. and he runs to henry wallace, they win their third term and everything is fine and now you talk about the change in partnerships, but franklin roosevelt, four-time candidate for president in the middle of a world war is saying, playing poker on the white house boat, the mayflower and sitting with him is a fellow named kelly, a labor leader, mayor of chicago. another union leader and the governor and they tell him you know, we can't tell your friend henry wallace in the world war what works, where real people live. and the ukrainians and many of the people, they think he's too close to the reds and you can't run with it.
so he dumps henry wallace in the middle of the world war, imagine this. we all nominated president, wepicked them and wait around to see what name will fall from the lips of the vice president . and these bosses have the power to tell him that. roosevelt dies and truman is now president. wallace begins to criticize truman's world policy and truman fires him. and he runs for, here's the beginning of buckley who's watching all this at yale and wallace runs as a grassroots candidate for president. buckley knows that wallace is not going to be president but he's terrified that, maybe wallace can get one or two percent of the vote but what he's terrified of his 60 to 70 percent of that one or two percent of the vote was going to be artists, writers at yale. ideas matter.
ideas have consequences. wallace thought might be important that his father was going to be around for a long time and i'm going to down a movement and push the kind of politics i want. so even though he's technically doing as a member of the yale republican club and all that stuff, in various radio stations as a brash young debating faculty on various positions. it was a very seminal event for him. the fact that the communist party openly, now we know now know that it's open rate running a national campaign and they got many intellectuals and figured we have to do the same thing on our side. you've got us to a point because one of the remarkable things about buckley taking charge of the conservative imprint as a very young man was he faced a movement or he
encountered a movement he sought to transform a movement to take over, there really was a motley crew that included quick's house we say it, some cracks, more than a few. >> people who hate each other more than they hated the other side. >> and one of the things buckley did quite a remarkable achievement, especially in his youth was to marginalize, sidelined the john birchers, the racists, the anti-semi. it was a purge of these elements of the movement to establish the modern conservative movement and this was before you got the rise of neoconservatism with all sorts of jewish americans now coming into the conservative movement, before you get catholics moving in, when catholics were so ethnic democrats by and large. how on earth did he pull that off at his age? >> to begin with, they were a desperate lot.
if you were around in 1948, what was first of all, there was no movement so what waters the conservatives to begin with? probably the ideal of the conservative was robert kass, he was the senator from ohio. and he was for isolationism between the war. but you didn't quite fit the view of conservative men as we define it. he had some peculiarities. we tend to think of conservatism as a small government limited federal role, he was all that. he also was one of the first that said they should have a role in housing because these neighborhoods in housing that we transfer values to the next generation. and he wanted a public education on the grounds that at least public segregation us are going to educate children in certain states, we will do it. we have a role to do it.
and if they want integrate, we will educate. that was very early in 1948 but he was a conservative, he was called republican, decided to be president for five times in various republican primaries but what else did you have? the following pass in 1948, he said very loudly that once stalin got the bomb, our idea about limited government, we had at a couple of exceptions because as long as there's this cold war which jonathan kennedy would call this hard and bitter peace that's going on, we have to have a resistance and the old isolationism isn't going to work and nato was an issue in the last campaign. his fast opponent was eisenhower. and eisenhower of course says i will not run for president, i will endorse you, i have no problem with this program but i did run nato for four years and you will endorse nato, i will not run and they will not support nato and buckley
writes an editorial and says maybe he will change his mind, he still the best man in america and all that. then who else could you have? you have the southern segregationists. they call themselves conservatives because they didn't like federal intervention in the economy, they were very anti-labor union, number one and as that part of the new deal, the right to work state if you want, most of them didn't. or midwestern's and they work segregationists, that was not , how do you get the coalition out of this group? it's very difficult. >> and it ended it's important to remember this is the time long before you have the polarization of the political parties. so we now think of republicans and conservatives and democrats and
progressives or the liberals but in those days as professor felzenberg has noted, the democratic party was a combination of northern liberals hubert h humphrey of minnesota and southern ... whatever they were, they were liberals, they were segregationists like dan irvin for example. >> he was one of the more portly, genteel. we're talking about people like editor jimmy eastland of mississippi who use the n word as a congressman, were talking about a guy rankin from mississippi who didn't care what he said on the senate or house floor, talking about nasty people here. >> but yes, sam ervin people forget. he thought the left made him such an eye hero during watergate. >> i don't know how to deal with these wall street people . >> no one ever writes that he was the author of the southern manifesto which all
the southern senators saw as a way of resisting the brown decision,no one talks about that . >> it takes away watergate, >> it's like remembering the role of william fall right. >> now, j william fulbright, he was probably the most effective chairman of the senate foreign relations committee in history, he did more to destroy lyndon johnson's presidency and question the vietnam war in the lead circles than any other person. however, john kennedy wanted fulbright to be the secretary of state and he didn't think the democratic president there wrote off his first hundred days with a fight with the naacp and set he thought about segregation is himself kennedy wound up with a nonentity secretary of state, interestingly enough and there's a book i recommend, it was a bestseller starting my career in princeton called the best and brightest.
>> by jay however said. you know that route, the fulbright and miss america, and we can come back to that later. this is the context that buckley finds out. >> so he wants a conservative movement, he wants that movement to be free of the anti-semites and segregationists, we have to talk about john birchers before we get too deeply. >> and the ones that movement to win control of one of the political parties.>> and the obvious candidate for that role is the republican party. but he runs into a big problem right away i learned from your book, he runs into a big problem right away because eisenhower does decide to runfor president . wouldn't go along and here is the conservative republican, william f buckley at odds with the first republican
administration since franklin roosevelt came into power. >> remember this, the republicans lost five election in a row from 1932 to 1948. they were in 1948 but they were in the same place hillary was to sit on your knee, harry truman had the, president . it's not tough to win, you will find a single pole. >> but in any event, there really stuck here. and republicans like buckley and people who supported taft on the domestic side, they wanted to shrink the new deal and get back to what life was like and get rid of some of these agencies and tap would not do that. >> and now and again, eisenhower. >> now, eisenhower was a very short politician, it wasn't
apparent at the time. >> but he was a lot ruder than his critics. and he left the party, to talk about rollbacks, roll back to the welfare state at home, all republicans supported it and rollback of the stalinist encroachments. >> and buckley surmised, wasn't sure about what he was going to do about policy. he didn't believe the nato argument, thought he would do better on policy. but adlai stevenson on the democratic candidate in 1972, he was elected candidate, the wonderful southern princeton in 1931, and last night they were trying to remove stevenson. alright. >> got to check if he's okay. but he thought that it would be tough for other coloradans.
he had some doubts, had some doubts about the domestic agenda and time has proven incorrect. but the letter that eisenhower wrote to his brother was basically saying look, you just can't come in here and dismantle social security and farm subsidies and federally subsidized mortgages and all this sort of stuff in one day or in one administration. the american people not only have gotten used to it, they supported. and if i do that, then i will have the opportunity to push through a tough dispense strategy that i want and which was basically a nuclear , basically the same strategy that went all the way to the reagan era to be soviet menace so he says were going to have to compromise and we're going to go slow. buckley had him on this as well. as they go off to the side, gail, i took on yale university and became the
mouse thatscare the elephant . they were just a warm-up for a five star general who won the big one. and he writes a note to one of his friends, eastman. and he says don't tell anyone but my goal is to read dwight eisenhower out of the conservative movement? hello. so this is some significance to the national review, he doesn'twant to see this openly . >> the founder the magazine which became the flagship journal of the conservative movement. but he does report it. he founded national review and he wants it to be the functional civil on the right of what the new republic and maybe saturday review which was started off by socialists
, walter whitman started the republic, he started calling himself a democrat and advisor. a lot of the new freedom was wilson taft. >> andrew child labor, eight hour day. federal reserve, a lot of these things were produced by walter winchell new republic so buckley studied the other side very well. and he said we need something for us, we need a policy journal for us and get ideas to the conservative president thinking there would be one. and they found national review and it becomes a place where conservatives of both parties who want and all persuasions to be conservatives, find out what's going on, you public work of emerging writers and couple of months in becomes very clear that the administration is not going to go the way he wants and he
tells them and he's got to be really careful with this area because half of his donors, all hisdonors are pretty much republicans . and a lot of them are going into the administration. and the administration is defining itself as conservative. >> what do we mean by conservative? think of eisenhower. stalin, think about donald's budget, slow and steady. it talks about no drama obama, there was even less drama with eisenhower. you wanted to operate yours at a standstill. that's basically the caricature of the era. it wasn't the reality but the caricature of the era. he was appointed as billionaire to the cabinet, the new york times didn't
editorial that he had maybe 10 cabinet departments at that time, they said nine millionaires in the plumber, he was the head of the plumbers union. that's it. that if you were running a senators factors, you are running one of the large energy companies but arthur anderson, and other things. you were a conservative and you have the administration on your side. ugly had this but hated big business as much, he said they were crony capitalists trying to take over the administration get friendly tax deals and yet friendly billing deals. >> nothing changes. none of the issues, i found this out, none of the issues have changed but he's got to be careful because he wants a magazine that is going to be openly pushing the administration to the right area but he also had the most popular president at that point in american history and as i pointed out, i could afford to ignore it. i could just go out, play golf, say everything's fine
and the american people would agree. if you look at the gallup polls, this is what drove buckley knots and you look at eisenhower's rating , it was a steady line. i think he fell under 50 percent once in a recession for about a month and then a second time it was near the end for about a week. but it was a solid line of about 50 percent, 56 percent. presidents would kill for that now. if you walked up the alligator too much, you might lose donors, you might lose readers but nevertheless he kept agitating, agitating and when i went out of office he was thrilled. now he says all conservatives can be, you got a democratic and ministration from the same angle. moving down, he pillaged for being like a democrat when he ran new york but he said he hates the russians almost as much as we do. you get hit with that then and that's why we want to talk about how he's running
new york. >> he was delighted. because what happened now, the fight is on, taking on the republican party. without eye who is a centrist moderate. >> we now can find a way of having them take over the conservative, the republican party with a conservative nominee, foresees asking goldwater, we can now realign the party.we can get the southern democrats to say their conservatives to join with us and we will already hold the midwest and we can become a new majority. that was his goal all through this. he had this goal in the 1940s, but it was going to be taft but was shocked when eisenhower took it but goldwater is going to pick up where ended.he was not even concerned that goldwater ran through six states without arrest. he said all movements start off this way and he wrote a
year before i was born that calvin coolidge won one of the largest landslides in american history. america was a piece, it had no welfare state, all of that. eight years later franklin roosevelt wins in the 1932 elections. but let us build. >> we needed the depression in there. >> but that's what he wrote, was always went down to the state, take us in this and we will be back and of course you talk about nixon and the southern strategy, they are back in four short years, somebody thought goldwater went down that four short years later he would be president and we be talking southern strategy and the richard nixon's who had a much more moderate stance , even liberal stance as compared to present that. >> let me ask you, what was buckley's attitude toward nixon because although nixon was reviled by the left, mainly for this excessive anti-communism, he was more
liberal in most ways i. so what was buckley's attitude toward him? >> nixon when he passed away, buckley said that it's amazing how conservatives run from nixon that for all of his battles even though he did very little for the movement. >> and he said what is it about this man? and why is it that they still cling to him and he said that in his case, when whittaker chambers let's say outed alger hiss in public, turns out that his was guilty, we now know this . we know this in the papers. >> in documents that gorbachev and yeltsin handed over. and at the new york state department in that little window, where we should were going to have this speech dividend. and they turn over some documents and the burden of
proof is now on the other side but there probably are still some standards of outer has around but the burden has shifted. but when chambers went ahead and outed it, remember this man oliver wendell holmes was a friend of franklin roosevelt, adlai stevenson, and dean addison one former secretary of state, they are all testifying in character. the man looked like cary grant. he was charismatic and all the things, and this other fellow, chambers wrote wrote on, overweight, mixed career , not very successful and who do you think that the establishment, hollywood, washington post, new york times leaves ?
there was one can congressman on this committee. his name was richard nixon. and he had taken a number of courses on perjury among other things. and he didn't like the way this denied various questions. do you know whittaker chambers and the answer would be i don't know anyone by that name. nixon goes home and he says he's stayed up all night on this. >> did he have another name? >> so he says to chambers, what was your name in the communist party? and he gives them another name, let me bring his back. this would know a man's name, i'd have to check my memory, disguise line. >> and this is one that nixon made paid off, ironically, given what happened to nixon's line and other things going on but nevertheless nixon was a keeper but as you
say he becomes a hero to the right. >> is invited, eisenhower's invited politics, nixon goes to the young republican convention where all these governors conferences and he's picking up and of course with buckley, there was no compromise because nixon couldn't do anything right as president because he was asked right hand man. stepping on life, i'm sorry. >>. >> so national review is not very kind to nixon because he's eisenhower's understudy so what they do is they say, they don't quite quote george wallace . they say what's the difference between nixon and kennedy but they don't support nixon in 1960, they take the view that we are not a republican organization, we're not going to toe the line.
there's not as much of a difference that we nixon and kennedy but that that time he was runningto nixon's right , claiming it was a missile attacking eisenhower for losing character as a communist between 90 miles offshore, promising, they tried, we all knew. not very well. >> but that was the relationship. now, let's get this thing out of office. and because of this here, out of office nixon realizes goldwater went down by the biggest margin in history. nixon made sure the campaign of goldwater in 46 and cups delegates like he says the last time, voters take a walk in the sky and they have a lot and walked to the sky, these are the alternatives, i'm going to endear myself to the goldwater way , whatever
we can say about goldwater's popularity, he got the nomination and i'm going to get those delegates had as many as i can. and becomes quite in 1968 between rockefeller who i mentioned before, certainly last year before and nixon, he has funny history with them but he can stand up to goldwater when the others didn't and a young fellow named reagan. now, this was the pre-obama era. people thought it was impossible for a man to go into politics and be in government for one year and get the nomination. and buckley said if we nominate reagan and they nominate humphrey and this becomes a fight over serious, we lose with a conservative twice in a row. they're going to say it was not a candidate, it was the movement but let's save reagan for another day and he writes a series of tones that are signals to various
delegates, various conservative movements and he gets criticism for this between some of the reaganites that reagan would be better for another time, that were going to start with nixon. it splits the board of the national review. it was 100 times, russia sent to quit. bill rusher was very proud of saying he was opposing it in one way or another every time he ran for office. he was the one pushing bills to support nixon. >> bill russian was the publisher of national review and out of princeton. >> buffet buckley was filling the magazine and he does nixon to favors in 1968. both relevant to our time. one is, he makes nixon respectable as a conservative. if buckley is supporting mixing, he can't be that kind of guy . and second, he has this fellow named george wallace,
a segregationist governor in alabama running in the third party. and getting votes both of northern democrats and they were union people and campaigning as a conservative in his own right. and he's stuck on honor, what doesbuckley do, he says the only thing george wallace is a right-winger on his race . will tell you why, because of the welfare and he says let's look at wallace's budget. he says for every federal program, 50 percent of the alabama budget is washington, he's a fake conservative. the only thing he does to get people supporting them in a big way, he doesn't want black people to get benefits. and he calls on the phone and says real conservatives want fewer programs, less government but no racial tension. and he writes this article, that those of you supporting
george wallace, who call yourself conservatives and saying there was a vast difference between the two parties, there's a difference between the two parties but for me, buckley encountered this bysaying there's a lot of different . if you look at how he's governed alabama and you look at the kind of president he will be to minorities and others and that makes nixon respectable. people didn't like him to begin with. >> it's always remarkable to think back that george wallace was cheating with whom in these northern states for labor union votes, robert f kennedy, competing with robert f kennedy. that was the situation. that brings the racial issue up . buckley was not a racist, indeed the opposite. he's the guy who drove the racists out of the conservativemovement and yet goldwater who was not a racist , it integrated his own family departments in arizona.
he, buckley and goldwater opposed the 64 civil rights act which i think played a very significant role in giving conservatives including conservatives who themselves have been activists in the civil rights movement, people write richard john neuhaus and leon did the conservative movement a reputation for being if not racist, at least not against the dismantling of racial segregation so what accounts for buckley and goldwater refusing to support the civil rights act? before we get into the civil rights act, remember the national review began in the mid-1950s. and it's not around in 1954 but also opposed that in a very big way. and this is not the national review's finest hour, there have been many finer hours and the finest hour was in
here. but buckley was operating under many forces, let me explain this. most of them were southerners, texas in south carolina. their lineage waswhat i would call the genteel noblesse oblige . who said we can take care of our problems, thank you very much. we don't believe in innovation but we don't believe in violence, we don't believe in explication and we will take care of our community, thank you very much. these were people like the novelist and family came from, very wealthy people in the south who endow many of the institutions that irving mentioned. i'm a town lawyer, i don't believe in lynching. i believe in porter running the south the way we had. it's much different getting with george washington
wallace and the late 1960s. >> buckley writes a very unfortunate editorial. that even barry goldwater did not support on this and the editorial says that the white race could continue to determine policy itself. because what do we mean by advanced? x have the human mind administration, and they tell people they're getting another event. >> that's what he's arguing. and he says that only when the southern people are coming around and see that education has been extended to the point where we can have a biracial government, how shall it be? you're a conservative in 1957 and you live outside south, that would have appalled you. certainly in appalled eisenhower and nixon and
nixon was trying to push in 1957 the civil rights bill at which did pass. >> but the one that made it effective was somebody now saying lyndon johnson, he put something in and had the voting rights revision and put in a jury amendment. >> he said if you're accused of stopping voting rights, and you have to have a jury trial by your peers. who's going to convict a southern registrar for denying the american right to vote? it was a nothing bill that happened at the last minute but that editorial, if you wanted to find who conservatives were, barry goldwater voted for the 57 bill. oakley opposed it. senator nolan was the republican leader, a closely conservative candidate against nixon, he supported the bill. what was left of the support of the bill. that was not a very happy
moment for national review looking back. >> well, there was profit on the magazine and it was it was buckley's brother-in-law and debating yale and they had a rather heated editorial meeting and he says listen bill, we say we believe in strict obstruction and a literalist interpretation of the constitution. well, you just can't ignore the 15th amendment, voting rights. >> and you can't use race as a reason so what about the 14th amendment? what about the third and fifth and what's the matter with you? so buckley then, he writes a, a clarifying editorial saying well, my problem with voting rights is this. my problem with voting rights here as you want to extend with federal force is that we have too many stupid people
voting in north now. >> so look at tammany hall, look at jersey city. look at fraud in philadelphia , we're still serious about this. the last thing we need is more of it. i'd be very happy to disenfranchise many white voters and allow educated black voters to vote in the south and this is where we are moving to. that's the south influence along with one issue. but there comes around, to understand why he comes around, i can do this very quickly but you have to understand is going on in southern white politics. they have all these runoff elections in the south , these things are descendents of what we call the white primary, they would have, they want a republican area. >> brand happy thought the
civil war and this is how it went. the report and didn't count. and as african-americans, you had these battles between the genteel nobility of the south and the wallace types. the foaming at the mouth populists and they were one of the ones race baiting and they criticize the old order for being too benign in this area all these things that should be going to us, they're allowing us african-americans to have it, that's what was happening. and it was a very unpleasant experience in buckley's own family with these kinds of welfare populists. he had a little bit about buckley's family, hit the uncle was a family historian and the grandfather who was the sheriff of duvall county texas, and edginess. he knew why her. the new, in the united
states, buckley's grandfather knew why it her. he knew the guy who had killed billy the kid.this is the old texas. and he was a catholic, of course. in a very protestantsouthern state , catholic, sees very well and he makes them mad. he begins the sheriff at the post of mexican americans and he would go five weight sunday and goes to the machine. and everything was fine for the first two or three times back and suddenly the powers that be want to put an end to this so uncle claude, the historian, he writes we thought we had enough of grandpa and as they rounded off, terrible word, rounded up all the white trash big fine. had these people off to the polls .
and his grandfather was turned out so they had experience with violence. they had some experience of the kind of people that wallace was inciting. that's what happened, there's a change in the south and he thought that he might be able to appeal to his better angels but now thatthey're all gone, most of them are all gone now , ross is going to mississippiand george wallace is coming in . and he goes by the state. and the violence that they use to resist is still there. it really begins to turn buckley around so it's connor unleashing the dog children. >> the civil war thing. you can't really study buckley without appreciating his deep and abiding catholic faith. and when martin luther king is dead, when everyone else is talking about the horror of the tragedy which he talks about, the first thing in the
column is we must remember before king was anything else he was a man of god and talks about his religion and spirituality. and he had what i would call a cataclysmic conversion, if you want after the birmingham church bombing, only to a week after the march in washington, a bomb goes off in birminghamalabama . he knows some of the four girls who were murdered and buckley, he just loses it. he writes a very, very searingeditorial . but wallace, he reserves his abiding hate and i didn't know this until i started researching, i knew about a lot about buckley. he writes his mother a letter and he says no, you've got a mess every day . where our religion doesn't support this kind of system
this is fascinating. did buckley or anyone in the family have any reaction. was there any comment, did you find anything in private in reaction to the archbishop of new orleans, joseph rum medicals, excommunication of lee ander per recent, the boss of new orleans and other segregation it politicians in louisiana in the late 1950s? >> was that -- >> i did not find any correspondence on this, but i do know that his mother was eloise steiner. her father was a very wealthy textile per chant in the south. there are streets and boulevards named in their honor. i couldn't find anything about that. but i would be very surprised if they, did not know about it or were not aware of it. >> on issue of race the biggest thing happening, especially for catholics. other thing fascinated me about
the story is bozell's influence. he was, excuse the expression, a fanatical catholic. >> convert. >> only he could be that fanatical. >> right. what was that, buckley i would say a mainstream catholic. bozell was much more aggressive catholic. i believe he named his own magazine triumph. >> yeah. triumph. he formed his own resistance to abortion movement and he and several of his relatives were arrested outside of abortion clinics. >> he is stronger on issues of racial justice and than buckley and pushing buckley on this. >> a lot was push from bozell. push from what was going on with the violence. >> yeah. >> and a lot of it was pull and a lot of it was inflection and
his mother just throws her hands up. she says, my god, i never had a question like this, especially from someone bright as you. i will have to pray on this. knowing bill as i think i have come to know him, i'm sure he spoke to many other theologians. sure ever it. it is beginning to gnaw at him. bozell is an interesting character. they meet at yale and bozell is a mainstream protestant, episcopalian or methodist. a liberal democrat a new federalist. within 18 months he is a catholic. he is a conservative republican, and marry's buckley's favorite sister. wow! talk about, i mean, who at that point was influencing who? all right. but now it is 10 years later and he is saying, you know, you fool, talking about strict construction.
read what the thing says, right? what's the matter with you? we'll throw this out and say we can't use 15th amendment because the south dragging from signing it. what do you do with the first, fifth and how many others? find something else. he comes up with that one, we mentioned madison when we began. madison, jefferson kind of joined at the hip. the jefferson quote is a nation that expects to be ignorant and free, expects what never was will never be. find the same quote you had with madison. so yes, last thing i want to make here, buckley was not a great believer, he was not anti-democratic. he was not in favor of tyranny, god knows, but he did not believe democracy could solve all ills. he did not believe extending the franchise would necessarily lead to any vana. he wrote a paper at the age of 15 for his headmaster at
millbrook. he said this is all very nice, this idealism you're telling us about, what postwar germany is going to be like. i don't really know if i can buy into this. after all, these news reels you take me to see, take the class to see every saturday, time marchs on, henry luce pictures of the week. i've seen the nuremberg rallies. these people are not being forced and dragooned. we can have a vote. in many cases we did. what will we do about a live citizenry? he didn't worship the franchise per se. but he wasn't against, against it but he was not thinking it was a cure-all. he says he talks about the, wrote an editorial in "national review" when the voting rights act is actually being enforced for the first time in august of '65. he is talking about the great
hope that he sees in people's faces as they're going to vote. he talks about again, the religious roots of the civil rights movement. another indirect influence was a fellow we talked about him ad infinitum, personal god, whitaker chambers. buckley loved music, loved opera, loved chambers, and when he was a freshman, "time" magazine made marion anderson the "person of the year." henry luce asked whitaker chambers to write the piece. this was 12 years eleanor roosevelt allowed her to sing on steps of lincoln memorial. after the daughters of american revolution said she couldn't sing for them. this is after every role she had you could get in at the metropolitan opera. chambers writes, african-americans are both the
most despised and most religious of any people on earth. well, so in 1969 the head of the urban league, whitney young, and daniel patrick moynihan working for nixon, organize ad tour, a tour of urban america for white journalists, and they visit six towns and buckley meets some rather charming community organizers and radicals, radicals in the black movement for the first time. and he writes that, he see as a little bit of himself, except for background obviously. they're just like we are. they're sassy. they're cynical about what bureaucracy can do for communities.
they want self-help movements. they want to teach chair own children. they want to start business. they don't want washington breathing down their throat. where have we heard it before. he said out of their ranks will come a president 10 years. and he quotes chambers. this is interesting. he quotes chambers but doesn't quite quote him literally. that quote stuck in the back much his head for 35 years. he is writing this column in a train, plane, back of a car, or writing in the back seat of his old remington, bang, bang. i don't have time, we don't have google. i can't send someone to the library. this will have to do. i got out the "time" magazine and got out the column. he missed a you few words but it was singed on to his memory. he used it into '97. and by now life is lot different. i left out the mayoral run, first time encountering --
>> he ran for mayor of new york. got 13% of the vote but really shook things up. laid again a foundation for the emergence of the modern conservative movement as a movement that would actually elect people to office. >> yes. >> with that, al, i think it is now time to open the floor. we would ask people again to come down to the microphones so that we can see you aswell as hear you. while people consider what questions they might ask, i'll just add a little coda invite to you add a little joda. buckley aimed to be a inside player yet as conservative catholic he knew he would always in the america that was his america, always be something of an outsider himself. he couldn't really be fully and completely an insider. >> right. well, i start the book quoting
one of his brothers and it is interesting, wherever they happen to live they were sort of in exile. you have this texas oil man bringing his family to sharon, connecticut. so they were, they were southerners and catholics in old new england waspy town. they spend winters in aiken, columbia, eventually south carolina and they are nothing but yankees. they're surrounded by wasps again, different kind, southern baptists versus new england congregationalists. they go to new england, where their farther recoups lost investments. then they're catholics, this is a great story. i love this story. they are going to a catholic boys school. st. john, right next to eden. so, he is told that previous
headmaster writes a letter to the headmaster of eaton challenging the eaton boys to a soccer match. and the headmaster of eaton rights back, what is st. john bofer? not even a mile away. the headmaster responds and says, what eaton used to be training ministers for the king. in other words, for the catholic kings. for england before reformation. >> before reformation. >> he develops this tremendous admiration and affection for british catholics. these are, these are a persecuted minority that can't elect, vote for parliament until the 1850s or so, even beyond that, yet they are the descendants of the most ancient kings and tradition of britain. who gets nominated by koch and
you introduced by henry put on masterpiece theater? william buckley, jr. he you knew a great deal of about england. they were, aisles in their own land. they had 10 children. they had their own political system. they reinforced each other. they built their own fortress against the world. that is one way. >> we have a question over here. >> al, by the way the book is fantastic. a lot of what you're talking about so far touches on caricature of maybe the wrong word of bill as an elitist but i would like you to discuss, don't mind bill as populist, in two-ways maybe. one is the famous quote about the 2008 boston telephone directory. and second is his merrill run and how he connected with the cop, the bus driver, just like his brother did several years later when he ran. i would like your take on bill
the populist, you how, maybe that was precursor to how -- >> one of the tensions very difficult to resolve is when is elite it and when is he a populist? after all what is the solution to the curriculum problems at yale? well we have to go to the alumni. hardly populist given they were they were all yalies. not exactly populist. when he sees an internal communist threat, and he sees the entire establishment is fighting whitaker chambers, and he says, how are we going to deal with this? well, we've have the public demand that congress do something about internal security. administrations were dragging their feet. so we're going out to the broader body. republican primaries. you want to shift the you power base from the rockefellers and the luces and god knows what
of the northeast you have to go to the primaries and you have to work the organizations through goldwater. remember what i said earlier, about those nuremberg rallies, he hated the mob. he saw, he saw on other hand he saw wallace. so he never really resolved that. what i think he wanted, now this line you gave me, one of the most quotable buckley quotes, rather be governed by the first few thousand names in the boston phone book than the first 200 names in the boston harvard faculty directory. but if you go populism, if you go popularrist route, you don't have the ability to excommunicate people. he wanted a conservative curiae, if you want. he called himself the tablet-keeper. he you knew it was his movement. if i can, write robert welsh and
birk shares out of the movement, can take on smith one of the most famous anti-semites in american history and all the the people he fought, i have to have elite to do it and ronald reagan and george bush the elder, other conservatives, john tower at the time, i have to get them to sign on with me. if i just do it is a fight between me and welch. if they do it, he is fighting leading conservatives in the world. he never quite resolved it. he was terrified of the mob. he also did not want liberal elite to take over every institution an ram the things that i mentioned down peoples throats. it was a very difficult dilemma for him. he saw populism as a halfway house until he could get that installed. >> two questions here. dr. schwarzman. >> i should tell you that i am a
princeton graduate but i spent a great deal of time up at yale in their department of psychiatry up there. i was there when things began to explode very roughly between the yale population and the black population which surrounded, which surrounded yale. as we went through vietnam things became greater and he greater with more tenseness boeing on. >> yeah. >> and so you had a number of things happening. issues with vietnam and were you going to be drafted, and what would happen is, is that the women would come out and they would say that they would take a guy back, would tear up his -- . >> the draft card? the drafts card? >> yeah, the draft card. if a guy would hand it over, talk him up to his room, you can
figure out what happens from there on in. >> oh, okay. >> in interest of others, do you have a question right now? >> other thing is what exploded is that we had a whole thing erupt. it was a massive demonstration. there were people, we had to bring in not only police but you probably know the story. >> yes. >> you know the story very well. but i was there in the middle of that, and i had to take, i had to take away a, by chance. i had, going over to the stand where all the lemonade was, i found one gal who was bringing in a pistol. >> oh, my. >> fortunately wees discovered that. >> oh, my. >> we picked the guy, we found out who was bringing in, they were both black. if that had exploded that -- >> situation for universities around the country got very dangerous. we had the situation of the shooting at kent state.
the shooting of by national guardsmen. there was racial violence. there was guns and violence on both sides. >> the doctor is talking about you had two violent confrontations. when george wallace was asked to address yale political union. >> yeah. >> and the city of course was not pleased as you can imagine. and then you had the black panther trial with kingman brewster. very unfortunate things that he said that inflamed, got him on enemies list among other things. >> we don't want that to come back, that stuff. no violence. >> thank you for coming and talking. i was curious if in your research at all you found how buckley's faith interacted with politics? how he rationalized conservativism with the deep christian sentiments, love thy neighbor, care for poor, care for disabled? i was curious what you found.
>> i mentioned for the reason that he drew ethical distinctions, okay, all the time. he would say we believe in tolerance and everyone is free to practice anything they want in this country or not but don't tell me our country was founded by all religious traditions equally. they're not. i come from the true faith which is to believe there is group of undesirables among human beings, right? or that animals have the same rights as people. you want to say what you want but i believe in a faith that says that god created man in his image. gave man the capacity to think, and develop his potential. and whether i decided to believe in god or not, i am perfecting his genius was a tribute to god who created him or mozart, or king, or anyone you want. and that is my tradition. and i will say that is superior
to other positions. i don't care if you agree with me or not. that is who i am. i feel that our country was founded in a certain way. and i quote mrs. thatch, we were the only country performed by an idea, not but bloodlines, race, conquest, heredity. we could name countries in europe. that we were you all created equal. that idea had revolutionary impact in places it was not intended. without that you couldn't have emancipation. without that you couldn't have women's rights or any other group you want to talk about. that is who he was to his core. but he would not compromise on that. moral equivalency he would not buy. there are certain things right or wrong and certain things superior i don't care if what i say is politically correct or not.
>> the student's question recalls for us, buckley emerges in the wake of the protestant social goss approximately movement, wilsonian progressivism idea for true christian belief, government must be instrumentty of bringing aid and comfort to the poor -- instrumentality. that emerges later in catholicism, within buckley's own tradition of christianity. what was buckley's response to the claim that not only must we care for the poor, work for justice, social justice, but that we must use the instrument altys of government that god's work must be -- >> there are great quotes, right? christ said we should care for the, you know the least among us but with our money, not with
other people's money, all right? not with coercion. he believed in tithing. he tithed quite handsomely. many, many people were recipients of anonymous gifts. he put god knows how many people through considering who may not even have known about it, who were descendants from people his parents knew. and this was very much a tradition of the family. he used to find people who would stop him on the street, thank him for his father's largess he didn't even know b that is part of it. at the end though, he did believe that if forced to the wall, yes, there is a role for government. we don't let people die in the streets. we don't heat people starve. >> safety net idea. >> his main argument with ayn rand that we're given these gifts to glorify god. we're not given these gifts, our
brain, our capacity to acquire things, to create things, we're given that to glorify him. we're not given that to make selfishness the goal, greed the goal. this is buckley the political activist. when he decides to take somebody on, nuclear bomb was the default mechanism. then we move off from that. we decide there is this lady named ayn rand. she write this is thing called atlas shrug, what i will redo, i will review it for "the new york times." no, i will get whitaker chambers about. that byline will get everybody to buy the magazine in times square. i will get whitaker chambers to blow her up and attack the atheism. say the dollar sign is the new swastika in her mind. we'll put the dollar sign as the golden calf on cover of "national review," with her
bowing down to it. boy, talk about starting a war? he said he had libertarian streaks certainly but, when it got to eight thinkism, when it goat -- agent atheism not interested in declaring certain people loser or takers. 41%, god forbid deplorablals. he was not into that. he bought the safety net. reagan bought the safety net. there are people that can't care for themselves. "monty python and the holy grail," we'll not bring out your dead. we are part of the same planet. very critical of the great society program because it stifled incentives. not because it gave out money. >> can you say briefly about the concept of fusionism. buckley had libertarian elements burkian i willments and the
13th school -- >> very, very much. by the way, god and man, like most pc, the best stuff is in the footnotes. he knew they would attack him for being catholic. and, i looked through the records and we had people say he would have been better had he gone to fordham or notre dame. what is he doing in our house telling us about christianity? the footnote was he expected to be attacked. my definition of christianity does not come from catholic writings. it comes from reinhold nieber, the great protestant theologian on the left. writing speeches for ad lay stevenson at the time. he knew that was coming. fusion, buckley realized the importance of a common an my. if you're a burkian or burkian you believe in institutions,
institutions are organic things, they adapt. we accept the best of the old and we create -- if you're libertarian, government is least. if you're a catholic, all right, what do you hate? what is the threat to all of you. soviet union. soviet union is not just aggressive. it just doesn't want to just grab your house in west orange, new jersey, to enslave you, it is an atheist tower. it is an atheist power. you may not believe in god, mr. libertarian, because you better be careful. a lot of people that might. it was he threat to all of these groups who may have complete contempt for each other. he expected if the soviet union dissolved the movement would have some of its prior tensions come back. comes back in the administration of george bush.
george bush 43, because, why are we having all these crusades around the world? we thought the world would get ther without the existential threat. we remove the, sustention threat. if george bush believed saddam had weapons, much better to be many bear assed not finding weapons than the other way, than ignoring it then having an incident. buckley would say about the career right now. however we found out there weren't weapons what are we doing there? who gave us the right to rebuild iraq? i mean the french helped us win at yorktown. they left. they let us have their, our own civil war. they didn't stay around. we might be speaking much better, much better wine cellars had they stayed around but they didn't stay around. why are we rebuilding iraq? how many american soldiers have to die for a baghdad primary? without the soviet union, the
only way you could defend vietnam because it was soviet client. >> what was fusionism? >> fusionism we have difference an within this house, within this tent but we have a common enemy threatening to bring down the whole town and have to have alliances. he keeps adding. >> is fusionism, as buckley understood it, just a set of compromises? or does it self make a coherent philosophy bringing in the best of libertarian or best of traditionalism or is that not clear? >> i would say the former. he said he spent most of his time, spent most of my waking hours trying to negotiate differences between libertarian frank meyer. >> yeah. >> and realpolitik russell kirk. and he said all of my days are trying to jug gell this fight of these go geniuses.
they would never come together except on issues of communism. yes, he did say that. it was a unique philosophy in the sense all these groups believed in limited government. in low taxes, okay? in incentive structures. milton friedman economics. and then they differed a great deal about tactics. actually, in terms of realpolitik an tactics, burnham -- >> james burnham. >> james burnham, started on left, became the most anti-communist on magazine. he thought "national review" would support nelson rockefeller. he had resources bigger than united states government and he was former anti-communist as goldwater. why do we hate him so much? we can fight about that later. these things would happen. fusionism i would say is a coalition if you want of, of
aligned interests but not exactly overlapping interests. >> we're up against the time. give us a quick question, al, a quirk answer. >> i'll try. >> quick on fusionism, frank my-year vision -- >> meyer coined the term. >> he was a princeton guy and transferred to holyoke college and got his view there. in his way, liberalism and traditional its blended in a certain way. whether buckley believed it or not i don't know. meyer didn't think fusionism was slap dash putting things together. meyer was my favorite guy at "national review." >> peter brimlow, one time a feature writer for "national review." big thing was immigration restrictionism. he formed -- >> he was excommunicated from "national review." >> my question is, was excommunicated from "national review," claims the reason why buckley in his later
years, buckley in 1990, 2000, became too beholden too and too concerned with his image in the new york city liberal news media. what would buckley say in response to that claim? >> probably would be unprintable the same charge was made when he drove out joe sobron. sobron around the time reagan went to bitburg. bitburg was cemetery reagan thought originally was resting place for german drafted soldiers. turns out there were german soldiers that tortured prisoners during the world war ii. the big decision how to get reagan to change his mind. sobron writing things, "new york times" changed its
name from "new york times" to quote, holocaust update and more vicious comments like that. buckley was basically accused of firing him to cultivate the jewish intelligent and podhoretz and william crystal. he said it was rubbish. i think the same thing to brenlow. >> did he also excommunicate pat buchanan? >> yes. buchanan was not member of the staff of "national review." what happened was buchanan brought back from the ash heap of history charles lindbergh's statement in 1940-41 the only people agitating for war against hitler were the british interests, the jewish interests and roosevelt administration. so he says only people that
wanted to invade iraq in 1990 under the first bush, okay, basically israeli government and its amen corner in the u.s. congress. >> i remember that. >> buckley went ballistic. and basically ran buchanan out of the movement. buchanan is exceptionally bitter about it. he has a memoir out. i don't know the current volume of it. deals with his feud with buckley. there were many others. i went through, i went through the papers. he had a dispute with the anti-defamation league and getting a letter from smith and said you have to stand up to these people. mentioning doctor interrogatory names. the only problem with you mr. smith, you don't mend your ways. i'm having a fight with organization and -- [inaudible]. you know, you're not helping me. you know. i mean there was a lot of that
going on. and i did my best. but the his attack was also made earlier when he drove others out. >> he wasn't an anti-semite. >> you didn't bring up anti-semitism. you brought up immigration. on immigration let's remember, whatever we feel about immigration, ronald reagan was the great amnesty president. i don't remember any columns from william buckley attacked that. so you didn't, i'm not talking about, talking about anti-semitism. >> before you join me thanking al fells send berg for this terrific conversation. he will sign a copy ofs his new book. a man and his presidents. autobiography of william buckley, jr. i thank you for coming, al felzenberg.
[applause] >> here is a look at some best-selling non-fiction books according to "the washington post." topping the list actor and author alan alda, his book on improving communication "if i understood you would i have this look on my face? ♪ followed by house speaker newt gingrich, with his insights into the trump presidency, "understanding trump." believe me, by british stand-up comedian eddie izzard. fourth is al franken, autobiography. defined of the senate. kneel degrass tyson explores the universe, astro physics for
people in a hurry. our list of best-selling non-fiction list with william mccrave ren self-help book, and kevin heart, i can't make this up. rocks an gay, hung ir, and jd vance, hillbilly. elegy. i was told to come alone by post reporter, souad mekheneet. many of of authors have or will appear on booktv. watch them on our website, booktv.org. >> we'll introduce you to the new head of norton publishing country. give us a quick synopsys of your
career at this point. >> 34 years at ww norton. i was hired as a college traveler, selling books at campuses in ohio and kentucky, indiana. always wanted to be an editor in the literature field, eventually achieving achieving that. editing norton anthologies for different literature in 30 years and doing other work on the side and then this. it's a great ride. >> what will your duties be as the new president? >> keep an eye on, this is very fabulous and unusual publishing company, and i wanted to continue to do that. my duties are to learn what parts i don't know and to support all these brilliant people do what they really do well. >> we wanted to ask you also about some of the books you have coming up this november that
you're publishing. what are some you want to talk about? >> got plenty i. i will start with rise and fall of adam and eve. who is an author i worked with on the college side. steven has written cultural history of myths of adam and eve. it begins with archetype, metaphor, end the time of -- [inaudible]. people start believing there really was the first couple and they did wrong and out they were thrown. and then.
move from camp to camp, like ticket takers and. so this book traces particular communities of living in no, ma'am lad land camps. but it does reveal some this as part of our economy and people for whom come out of the great recession for their life. let me see what else. another great biography, arthur schlesinger. which captures kennedy era. the degree schlesinger changed kennedy's legacy and created camelot. the collector of lies by ingrid
rowland. that has to do with the life of a renaissance architect, painter, diplomat, who wrote a book hugely influential, called lives of artists. it really he defines the cannon of renaissance art and created the idea of the artist not as a technician but as a genius, like a visionary. that informed the entire history of the field of art. >> just give us a test, rice and fall of adam an eve, how long would that book with you and how long ago did you acquire it. >> we acquired the book about six years ago. and we, along the way talked about how very hard it is to write an accessible and lively
story with the kind of imagination brings to history but deeply informed research. and research is global. is a story that is global. >> typical time for book or pretty lengthy. >> i would say that is long. >> what would you say the average is from acquisition to publishing? >> i don't know, i would, i don't know. >> couple of years? >> well, we would be doing well for a couple years. i would say the average is closer to four. let's stop there. >> all right. jewel rad reedhead, president of ww norton publishing company. those are a few books they have coming up this fall. >> booktv recently visited capitol hill to ask members of congress what they're reading this summer. >> next on my reading list is hillbilly. legy. it is a fantastic look,
everything i heard about it, talking about life in america, an issue i've been looking into on the joint economic committee. talks about the struggles of people not only in appalachia but throughout the country. >> booktv wants to know what you're reading. sendsend us your summer readingt via twitter @booktv, or instagram @book underscore tv. post it to our facebook page, facebook. com/booktv. booktv on c-span2. >> tonight we have her book, shoot like a girl. talks about her time serving in afghanistan. [applause] and her fight to eliminate the military's ground combat exclusion policy which kept female armed services members