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Three Ways of Looking at an Icon

William F. Buckley Jr., who died in February, launched his career—and the modern conservative movement—with a broadside against his alma mater: the 1951 book God and Man at Yale.

In this special section, three writers remember Buckley and the Yale that formed him.

Pundit David Frum offers a new interpretation of Buckley’s legacy—one that would have surprised the man himself.

History professor Gaddis Smith, a friend of Buckley’s but a critic of his politics, recounts the Yale administration’s attempts to contain the fallout from his book.

And Sam Tanenhaus, who is writing Buckley’s biography, looks back at a Yale where Skull and Bones was still the apex of campus life, where the Daily News board chugged martinis at Mory’s, and where, as a new-moneyed Catholic, Buckley fit in and yet didn’t fit in. But he made the place his own, and there he found his voice as a conservative.





Excerpts from God and Man at Yale.

Buckley taught a writing seminar at Yale in 1997 and wrote about it for the magazine.

Join the discussion about William F. Buckley Jr. Send us your comments and memories and read what others have to say.


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