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In an affectionate and hilarious memoir of her forty-three years at National Review, Priscilla Buckley takes her readers behind the scenes at the magazine that came to define American conservatism. With her brother William F. Buckley leading a "brilliant but highly combustible" cast of characters, she recounts the adventures and antics of the intellectuals, writers, and st In an affectionate and hilarious memoir of her forty-three years at National Review, Priscilla Buckley takes her readers behind the scenes at the magazine that came to define American conservatism. With her brother William F. Buckley leading a "brilliant but highly combustible" cast of characters, she recounts the adventures and antics of the intellectuals, writers, and statesmen who built the most formidable movement in contemporary politics. Miss Buckley’s insider’s account of daily life at National Review includes anecdotes that will become part of the folklore of conservatism: the scandalous origins of the office’s Memorial Couch, Arthur Schlesinger’s prize donkey, and NR’s own version of the Pentagon Papers, to name a few. Her privileged perch had its advantages and drawbacks: Miss Buckley worked with many of the leading journalists and politicians of the past half-century—NR attracted the young George Will, Joan Didion, Garry Wills, David Brooks, and Paul Gigot, among others. She also constantly contended with the more exotic species in the conservative zoo (remember the fluoridation controversy?). Interspersed with these winsome tales are accounts of the Buckley clan’s outdoor adventures that rank with the best travel writing: hot air ballooning, white-water rafting, and hunting—lots of hunting. As National Review celebrates its fiftieth birthday, Miss Buckley’s memoir of family and work, patriotism and faith, pranks and laughs, will charm American conservatives through the anniversary year and for years to come.


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In an affectionate and hilarious memoir of her forty-three years at National Review, Priscilla Buckley takes her readers behind the scenes at the magazine that came to define American conservatism. With her brother William F. Buckley leading a "brilliant but highly combustible" cast of characters, she recounts the adventures and antics of the intellectuals, writers, and st In an affectionate and hilarious memoir of her forty-three years at National Review, Priscilla Buckley takes her readers behind the scenes at the magazine that came to define American conservatism. With her brother William F. Buckley leading a "brilliant but highly combustible" cast of characters, she recounts the adventures and antics of the intellectuals, writers, and statesmen who built the most formidable movement in contemporary politics. Miss Buckley’s insider’s account of daily life at National Review includes anecdotes that will become part of the folklore of conservatism: the scandalous origins of the office’s Memorial Couch, Arthur Schlesinger’s prize donkey, and NR’s own version of the Pentagon Papers, to name a few. Her privileged perch had its advantages and drawbacks: Miss Buckley worked with many of the leading journalists and politicians of the past half-century—NR attracted the young George Will, Joan Didion, Garry Wills, David Brooks, and Paul Gigot, among others. She also constantly contended with the more exotic species in the conservative zoo (remember the fluoridation controversy?). Interspersed with these winsome tales are accounts of the Buckley clan’s outdoor adventures that rank with the best travel writing: hot air ballooning, white-water rafting, and hunting—lots of hunting. As National Review celebrates its fiftieth birthday, Miss Buckley’s memoir of family and work, patriotism and faith, pranks and laughs, will charm American conservatives through the anniversary year and for years to come.

29 review for Living It Up with National Review

  1. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Ms. Buckley was William Buckley's sister, brought in to be the editor for the National Review in its early years. This is a fun romp through the struggles and personalities of one of America's most important journals of politics, Left or Right. Buckley is certainly the daughter of wealth, as she admits she doesn't have to worry too much of the poor salary she receives at the National Review due to a nice trust account from the family businesses. What I found odd is that she and her a bother-in-l Ms. Buckley was William Buckley's sister, brought in to be the editor for the National Review in its early years. This is a fun romp through the struggles and personalities of one of America's most important journals of politics, Left or Right. Buckley is certainly the daughter of wealth, as she admits she doesn't have to worry too much of the poor salary she receives at the National Review due to a nice trust account from the family businesses. What I found odd is that she and her a bother-in-law take off for an African safari just six months after the passing of her sister, leaving several children home, presumably with a family member. Not something I can imagine. Other than that a fun, quick read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Lively and entertaining. I find myself skipping the chapters about her world travels, I prefer the ones that describe life at National Review. But a non journalist might do the opposite. Buckley is a fascinating woman, and she is one of the last of that dying breed of people who were born on great estates with servants, money and advantages. It's a little chilling sometimes to hear how heavily she and her cohorts proselytize the new conservatism. It's not really a political thing, it's a way of Lively and entertaining. I find myself skipping the chapters about her world travels, I prefer the ones that describe life at National Review. But a non journalist might do the opposite. Buckley is a fascinating woman, and she is one of the last of that dying breed of people who were born on great estates with servants, money and advantages. It's a little chilling sometimes to hear how heavily she and her cohorts proselytize the new conservatism. It's not really a political thing, it's a way of life thing. But this is still a fun look into life at a time when magazine publishers still had to count picas and cut galleys with giant scissors.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    This is a fun look behind the scenes of running a magazine. I especially like the chapter on the young interns that crossed the office threshold over the years. In between the chapters on work, Priscilla squeezes in some chapters on play. Money was no problem; the Buckleys were the WASP-y sort with a named country home in Connecticut and a winter place in South Carolina. Follow Priscilla as she bumps along on safari in Africa, or yachts around the Mediterranean, or rides a hot-air balloon over th This is a fun look behind the scenes of running a magazine. I especially like the chapter on the young interns that crossed the office threshold over the years. In between the chapters on work, Priscilla squeezes in some chapters on play. Money was no problem; the Buckleys were the WASP-y sort with a named country home in Connecticut and a winter place in South Carolina. Follow Priscilla as she bumps along on safari in Africa, or yachts around the Mediterranean, or rides a hot-air balloon over the hills featured in The Sound of Music. Then head back to the office with her as she directs traffic between the secretaries, the writers, the printer, etc.

  4. 5 out of 5

    J.A.A. Purves

    A light read, primarily demonstrating Russell Kirk's second principle of conservatism as enjoyment. Ms. Buckley certain has "the buoyant view of life" and she traveled around the world and adventured so often that her book is bursting at the seams with humorous stories that she tells with flair, charm and the English prose of an accomplished and artful editor. A light read, primarily demonstrating Russell Kirk's second principle of conservatism as enjoyment. Ms. Buckley certain has "the buoyant view of life" and she traveled around the world and adventured so often that her book is bursting at the seams with humorous stories that she tells with flair, charm and the English prose of an accomplished and artful editor.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tom Stamper

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Kosar

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carla

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brian S. Wise

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brian Olson

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gary Edwards

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Jorissen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bjc624

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Buckley

  19. 5 out of 5

    Garrett King

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sheila McCarthy

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

  23. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

  24. 5 out of 5

    carol

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ross

  27. 4 out of 5

    Steve Hager

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stefano

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Kemp

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