William F. Buckley Sr.: Witness to the Mexican Revolution, 1908-1922 (Paperback)
In 1909, young William F. Buckley Sr. (1881-1958), who grew up in the dusty South Texas town of San Diego, graduated from the University of Texas law school and headed for Mexico City. Fluent in Spanish, familiar with Mexican traditions, and soon fit to practice law south of the border, Buckley was headed up the aisle to vast wealth and cultural power. On the way, he took a front-row seat at the Mexican Revolution and played a key role in steering the nascent oil industry through tumultuous and dangerous times. This book for the first time tells the story of the man behind the family that would become nothing short of a conservative institution, reaching its apogee in the career of William F. Buckley Jr., arguably the most prominent conservative commentator of the twentieth century. Buckley witnessed the overthrow and exit of President Porfirio D az, the rise of Madero, and the coup of General Victoriano Huerta, all while building the Pantepec Oil Company, the most profitable small petroleum producer in Mexico. He faced down Pancho Villa, survived encounters with hired assassins, evaded snipers in the streets of Veracruz, gambled and won in many a business venture--and ultimately was expelled from the country. As the narrative follows Buckley from his small-town Texas beginnings to the founding of a family dynasty, the streak of independence and distrust of government that would become the Buckley hallmark can be seen in the making. An eventful chapter in the life and career of a singular character, this dramatic account of a man and his moment is a document of political and historical significance--but it is also a remarkable story, told with irresistible brio.