A SELF-DESCRIBED libertarian journalist, William (Bill) Buckley has been one of the most influential and controversial figures in the recent history of conservative politics and thought in the United States. In 1955, Buckley, graduate of Yale University and member of the prestigious and secret Skull and Bones Society, founded the National Review. It came to be a key forum for the intellectual rebirth of American conservatism, fusing traditionalism, libertarianism, and anti-communism against the alleged complacency of President Dwight Eisenhower's “Modern Republicanism.”

Buckley was born in Sharon, Connecticut. His family was Catholic and his father, who was making a fortune in the oil business, was an ardent anti-communist. Buckley made a name for himself as a right-wing firebrand in his years at Yale. As the chairman of ...

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