A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century (Hardcover)

A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century By William F. Buckley, Jr., James Rosen (Editor) Cover Image

A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century (Hardcover)


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The New York Times Bestseller

William F. Buckley, Jr. remembers—as only he could—the towering figures of the twentieth century in a brilliant and emotionally powerful collection, compiled by acclaimed Fox News correspondent James Rosen.

In a half century on the national stage, William F. Buckley, Jr. achieved unique stature as a writer, a celebrity, and the undisputed godfather of modern American conservatism. He kept company with the best and brightest, the sultry and powerful. Ronald Reagan pronounced WFB “perhaps the most influential journalist and intellectual in our era,” and his jet-setting life was a who’s who of high society, fame, and fortune.

Among all his distinctions, which include founding the conservative magazine National Review and hosting the long-running talk show Firing Line, Buckley was also a master of that most elusive art form: the eulogy. He drew on his unrivaled gifts to mourn, celebrate, or seek mercy for the men and women who touched his life and the nation.

Now, for the first time, WFB’s sweeping judgments of the great figures of his time—presidents and prime ministers, celebrities and scoundrels, intellectuals and guitar gods—are collected in one place. A Torch Kept Lit presents more than fifty of Buckley’s best eulogies, drawing on his personal memories and private correspondences and using a novelist’s touch to conjure his subjects as he knew them. We are reintroduced, through Buckley’s eyes, to the likes of Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan, Elvis Presley and John Lennon, Truman Capote and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Curated by Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen, a Buckley protégé and frequent contributor to National Review, this volumes sheds light on a tumultuous period in American history—from World War II to Watergate, the “death” of God to the Grateful Dead—as told in the inimitable voice of one of our most elegant literary stylists.William F. Buckley, Jr. is back—just when we need him most.
As chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, James Rosen has covered the White House and State Department beats and reported from Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, nearly all fifty states, and forty foreign countries across five continents. Rosen’s articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Harper’s, The Atlantic, National Review, and Playboy, among many other periodicals. He is the author of The Strong Man: John Mitchelland the Secrets of Watergate and Cheney One on One.

National Review is a semimonthly magazine founded by author William F. Buckley, JR. in 1955 and is based in New York City. It is America’s most widely read and influential magazine and website for conservative news, commentary, and opinion.
Product Details ISBN: 9781101906217
ISBN-10: 1101906219
Publisher: Crown Forum
Publication Date: October 4th, 2016
Pages: 336
Language: English
"Mr. Rosen has mined this abandoned shaft of Buckley prose, excavating glittering ore: 52 obituaries devoted to luminaries from various walks of life—politics, the military, espionage, the world of arts and letters—as well as less prominent but cherished family members and friends. To each profile Mr. Rosen appends his own nicely measured introduction... Mr. Rosen’s selections capture Buckley’s wit and combativeness, as well as his humanity."  
The Wall Street Journal 

“Rarely is a writer’s greatest book published nearly a decade after his death… Buckley’s writing was a torch that illuminated many things — a keen sense of politics, a passion for the arts, a love of friends and family, an unwavering Catholic faith. In editing this anthology, Rosen has guaranteed it will be kept lit for the next generation.”
National Review Online 

A Torch Kept Lit
chronicles the writings of conservative icon William F. Buckley. So if you’re looking for some political definition for yourself, this is the book for you.”
Bill O’Reilly,
The O’Reilly Factor

“William F. Buckley, Jr. was a master of many things.  This collection of obituaries and eulogies that he wrote over the course of his extraordinary career, admirably curated and eloquently introduced by James Rosen, may well establish WFB as the modern master of this literary form.  I have read every single one of my father’s 60-odd books.  I do not exaggerate to propose that this may prove to be William F. Buckley’s finest book ever.”
—Christopher Buckley
"William F. Buckley was both an ideological warrior and a bon vivant with a talent for friendship. He understood that a well-lived life should be simultaneously serious and fun, and that a death calls for a summing up, both measured and elegant. This volume gathers some of Buckley's best eulogies, deftly placed in context by James Rosen. It is a timely gift to a nation much in need of a reminder that one can be fervently engaged in public controversies without being coarse or unforgiving."
—George F. Will
"Compiling the best eulogies written by William F. Buckley is so inspired a concept that many political writers, myself included, will kick ourselves for not having thought of it first. But the idea was James Rosen’s, and he has executed it with skill and affection—and a great reporter’s nose for the story. The result is a work of literary art."
—Carl M. Cannon, Executive Editor, RealClearPolitics
"Acclaimed journalist, author, and Buckleyphile James Rosen has done a masterful job collecting, and contextualizing, these testaments to epic lives of the Twentieth Century by William F. Buckley, Jr. – a figure who indisputably deserves to be counted among them."
—Jonah Goldberg, author, columnist and senior editor, National Review
"William F. Buckley's sketches and vignettes of the prominent people of his time are absolute gems, and so are the introductions by James Rosen. A book to own, to read – and read again."
—Brit Hume, Senior Political Analyst, Fox News Channel

“Colorful…deliciously acerbic…Buckley’s descriptions are succinct, often scathing, sometimes disarmingly tender.”
Boston Globe

"Rosen has done a first-rate job of compiling, selecting, and editing Buckley’s recollections and tributes to the noteworthy deceased. Most impressive, however, are Rosen’s comments setting the stage for each entry. Buckley was an important mentor to young Rosen, as he had been for me a half-generation earlier. Rosen’s personal relationship with Buckley helped him to write with perspective and affection. Some quotes and anecdotes are surely transcriptions of their conversations."
City Journal

"The book is a great trip through the last half of the 20th century, riding first class with William Buckley." 
—The Readers Exchange