A Torch Kept Lit

41fthmwbZxL._AC_US436_QL65_This is an excellent book I recently read of eulogies written by the late William F. Buckley.  Buckley was the founder of “National Review”, a conservative journal and host of “Firing Line” from 1966-1999 on PBS.  He also wrote many best-selling books and a syndicated column for many years and was known for his eloquent prose.  Although he never held office, he was friends with Presidents and many other powerful people, and was considered one of the founders of the modern conservative movement.

This book contained his best eulogies, as compiled by James Rosen – a correspondent for Fox News, of some of the most famous persons in the 20th Century, many of which Buckley knew well.  Buckley understood the fortifying effect that death can have upon those who survive and bear witness.  He thought that we are all inheritors of what he liked to call The Patrimony, the corpus of objective truths, earthly and celestial, established by humankind over the millennia and handed down by our elders, the first among which is: People die, God endures.

There are more than 50 eulogies in all, “a far-ranging survey of the famous and obscure, the heroic and villainous, the charmed and doomed”, according to the introduction.  The eulogies are divided into; Presidents, Family, Arts and Letters, Generals, Spies, and Statesmen, Friends, and Nemeses.

This was one of the best books I have read lately and gave an insightful perspective, as only Buckley can, into a cross-section of  interesting and influential persons of the last several decades.  I highly recommend this book.


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