A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century

By William F. Buckley Jr.

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The New York Times BestsellerWilliam F. Buckley, Jr. remembers—as only he could—the towering figures of the twentieth century in a brilliant and emotionally powerful collection, compiled by acclaimed Fox News correspondent James Rosen.In a half century on the national stage, William F. Buckley, Jr. achieved unique stature as a writer, a celebrity, and the undisputed godfat The New York Times BestsellerWilliam F....

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October 4th 2016 by Crown Forum
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Quotes From "A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century"

"People die, God endures."
"But how reassuring it was for us, you remember, every now and then (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”), to vibrate to the music of the very heartstrings of the Leader of the Free World who, to qualify convincingly as such, had after all to feel a total commitment to the Free World."
"Mr. Churchill had struggled to diminish totalitarian rule in Europe, which, however, increased. He fought to save the empire, which dissolved. He fought socialism, which prevailed. He struggled to defeat Hitler—and he won. It is not, I think, the significance of that victory, mighty and glorious though it was, that causes the name of Churchill to make the blood run a little faster. He later spoke diffidently about his role in the war, saying that the lion was the people of England, that he had served merely to provide the roar. But it is the roar that we hear, when we pronounce his name. WFB"
"To Buckley, she embodied the worst of what in subsequent decades would be called political correctness: the mindless application to every issue of a platitudinous egalitarianism whose practical effect invariably is to expand the reach of totalitarianism."
"If he was, somehow at the margin deficient, it was because the country did not rise to ask of him the performance of a thunderbolt. He gave what he was asked to give. And he leaves us (or “will leave”) if not exactly bereft, lonely; lonely for the quintessential American. END."
"In 1964 the fear & loathing of Barry Goldwater was startling. Martin Luther King, Jr., detected “dangerous signs of Hitlerism in the Goldwater campaign.” Joachim Prinz, president of the American Jewish Congress, warned that “a Jewish vote for Goldwater is a vote for Jewish suicide.” And George Meany, head of the AFL-CIO, saw power falling into “the hands of union-hating extremists, racial bigots, woolly-minded seekers after visions of times long past.” On Election Day Goldwater suffered a devastating defeat, winning only 41 electoral votes. It was the judgment of the establishment that Goldwater’s critique of American liberalism had been given its final exposure on the national political scene. Conservatives could now go back to their little lairs and sing to themselves their songs of nostalgia and fancy, and maybe gather together every few years to hold testimonial dinners in honor of Barry Goldwater, repatriated by Lyndon Johnson to the parched earth of Phoenix, where dwell only millionaires seeking dry air to breathe and the Indians Barry Goldwater could now resume photographing. But then of course 16 years later the world was made to stand on its head when Ronald Reagan was swept into office on a platform indistinguishable from what Barry had been preaching. During"
"There is a man who has won the decathlon of human existence.”*"
"What did Miss Rand in was her anxiety to theologize her beliefs. She was an eloquent and persuasive antistatist, and if only she had left it at that—but no, she had to declare that God did not exist, that altruism was despicable, that only self-interest is good and noble. She risked, in fact, giving to capitalism that bad name that its enemies have done so well in giving it; and that is a pity."

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