A man so credentialed as Alvin Felzenberg, formerly the Director of Communications for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, an adviser to the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and a majority staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives, might be given to the platitudes expected to bubble up from the swamp along the Potomac before the current attempt at drainage. Instead, the lucid and deft insights in his account of William F. Buckley Jr.’s adventures with various presidents are happily riveting, and untainted by the cynicism that political life confuses with sophistication. This study, based in large part on the Buckley Papers now filed at Yale, traces the evolution in Buckley’s estimation of characters and causes from his early isolationist days, and reveals an...


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