Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley Jr. Passed Away Today at 82

William Buckley passed away this morning at age 82. Many people at National Review pay their tribute.

Tyler Cowen writes:
I never considered myself a Buckleyite conservative but as a kid I was much taken by his show Firing Line. It is the first time I was exposed to Hayek (I recall that Buckley blew apart his critique of social justice with a single question), or for that matter Milton Friedman, or for that matter Johann Sebastian Bach. Here are many obituaries. Here is lots of YouTube, recommended.
Ezra Klein also pays tribute:
Rick Perlstein has a touching remembrance of the conservative icon whom he nevertheless called "friend." I'll take the moment to recommend John Judis's biography of Buckley, which is an absolutely terrific book. As a slightly more general point, in the last two or three years, a whole host of giants have passed away, men who were political thinkers at a time when that made you a cultural figure. John Kenneth Galbraith, Milton Friedman, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Norman Mailer, and now, William F. Buckley Jr. Gore Vidal is just about the last of their number left. And that's a shame. They would write serious books of political analysis and sell millions of copies -- they were the writers you had to read to call yourself an actual political junkie. Now, the space they inhabited in the discourse is held by the Coulters and O'Reilly's of the world. Where we once prized a tremendous facility for wit, we're now elevating those with a tremendous storehouse for anger. Run a search on quotes from Galbraith, Buckley, or Friedman, then do the same for O'Reilly and Coulter. We're really losing something here. And we don't even have Molly Ivins around to wrest it back.

More thoughts from Ilya Somin.

UPDATE: Here is a video of Joe Liberman paying tribute to Buckley on the Senate floor today. (HT Karuna) Another tribute in Reason Magazine.

Here is an NBC News report on Buckley's life:

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