William F. Buckley Jr. is widely regarded as the most influential American conservative writer, activist, and organizer in the postwar era. In this nuanced biography, Alvin Felzenberg sheds light on little-known aspects of Buckley’s career, including his role as back-channel adviser to policy makers, his intimate friendship with both Ronald and Nancy Reagan, his changing views on civil rights, and his break with George W. Bush over the Iraq War.
Felzenberg demonstrates how Buckley conveyed his message across multiple platforms and drew upon his vast network of contacts, his personal charm, his extraordinary wit, and his celebrity status to move the center of political gravity in the United States closer to his point of view. Including many rarely seen photographs, this account of one of the most compelling personalities of American politics will appeal to conservatives, liberals, and even the apolitical.
Alvin S. Felzenberg was the principal spokesman for the 9/11Commission. He served in two presidential administrations, as an adviser to the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and on the majority staff of the U.S. House of Representatives. In the 1990s, Felzenberg was New Jersey’s assistant secretary of state. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University. Felzenberg has been a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and Visiting Professor in Politics at Princeton University.
Felzenberg teaches at Yale University, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, and Johns Hopkins University’s Graduate Program in Political Science.
He has appeared as a commentator on major public affairs television shows, including CNN’s “Crossfire,” C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” and many others and has contributed to the Washington Post, the Weekly Standard, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, and National Review Online. His most recent books include “The Leaders We Deserved and a Few We Didn’t: Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game” (Basic Books, 2008) and “Governor Tom Kean.”