Magazine September 20, 2010, Issue

The Spark of Moral Urgency

National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr.
Mona Charen reviews Athwart History: Half a Century of Polemics, Animadversions, and Illuminations: A William F. Buckley Jr. Omnibus, edited by Linda Bridges and Roger Kimball (Encounter, 518 pp., $29.95)

What a task it must have been for Linda Bridges and Roger Kimball to assemble this meaty anthology of Bill Buckley’s columns and magazine pieces. Of the millions of words he penned over the course of a monumentally productive career, how to select the best and most characteristic? A tough one. Still, it must have been fun ranging through the files and microfiches (younger readers: ask your parents) discovering forgotten gems and bouncing along on the waves of a deliciously polemical life, just as it is deeply satisfying for the reader to plunge into this collection.

By the end of his

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