Skip to comments.He Knew He Was Right(Evan Thomas eulogizes Bill Buckley)
Posted on 03/01/2008 7:57:58 PM PST by kellynla
The Buckley dinner salons were held at Bill and Patricia's Park Avenue apartment, a ground-floor maisonette at 73rd Street in Manhattan. Literary sportsman George Plimpton might be there, chatting with statesman Henry Kissinger or novelist Dominick Dunne. At the same time, standing in the corner might be a lumpy, Trotskyite-turned-Catholic intellectual talking to a nervous Yale undergraduate. There were rarely politicians to be seen at the Buckleys' elegant home, but, standing by the Bösendorfer piano in the living room, guests often heard worldclass pianist Bruce Levingston playing the same Bach concerto he would be performing the next week at Carnegie Hall. (Buckley had heard Levingston play Bach as a 23-year old prodigy and asked him to come sailing; the two men became lifelong poker buddies. "He never, never folded," Levingston recalls.)
The dining room was grand, two tables for 10 set with silver flatware and fine china, with the Buckleys' Cavalier King Charles spaniels swirling about. "The first time I had dinner, they put a finger bowl in front of me and I wasn't sure if I should drink it," says David Brooks, now a New York Times columnist, then an editorial assistant at Buckley's National Review. Buckley had offered Brooks a job after Brooks, a University of Chicago student, wrote a funny, if smart-alecky, parody of Buckley's name-dropping memoir, "Overdrive," for the school newspaper. Guests were sometimes daunted: after dinner, Buckley might call on one or two to stand and speak on whatever they felt strongly about. But there was a "charming and childlike side to Buckley," Levingston says. Buckley treated his guests equally, expressing as much interest in the Yale undergrad on his right as in the former secretary of State on his leftor more if the student had something refreshing to say...
(Excerpt) Read more at newsweek.com ...
Newsweak predictably uses Buckley’s name to bash his fellow conservatives.
A mixed bag, snide at times, and much too long, but some good details worked in here and there. About the only time I ever read Evan Thomas and actually learned anything.
A relatively fair piece from the leftist, Thomas.
I just watched a very nice special on FOX with David Asman- he had interviewed WFB several months ago- and put it together with some memories from friends. It was a lengthy interview- Buckley was sharp as ever, and funny as always.
David Brooks could use some lessons in conservatism.
Buckley lived on the coast in Stamford Conn. A college buddy of mine grew up on an island just off Buckley's house. I was invited to spend a week there once. And had the a similar fingerbowl experience. It was a little more complicated because they were serving fresh blueberries. I really wanted the blueberries. Problem was, there was a really flat plate and the fingerbowl. The flat plate seemed like a stupid place to put blueberries. And I thought the water in the fingerbowl was perhaps a clear syrup to put the blueberries in. Suspecting I did not have enough data, I just did nothing. Then mom put her blueberries on the plate and dipped her fingers in the fingerbowl.
OTOH, my buddy dumped the fingerbowl and filled it up with blueberries.
“All the beautiful spirits find themselves”
Hardly the case.
I remember watching “Firing Line” back in the late sixties and Mr. Buckley had as his guest, Norman Thomas, the socialist party candidate for POTUS from 1928 to 1948, and the grandfather of Evan Thomas.
Mr.Buckley was respectful to Thomas, but he was also ferocious in attacking socialism, and the crimes committed on it’s behalf.
“Mr.Buckley was respectful to Thomas, but he was also ferocious in attacking socialism, and the crimes committed on its behalf.”
There is a lesson for all of us.