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Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription: Notes and Asides from National ReviewPM Hardcover – October 23, 2007
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Not only are these exchanges wonderful insights into the times in which they were written, they bring back wonderful memories and fill in some of the things I missed. There is an ongoing joke between WFB and Art Buchwald about the perks Buchwald is getting from his Hertz Platinum card that he assumes WFB is not getting or getting more of than him. It is all good fun. We also get some warmish exchanges between WFB and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., some light tweaking between John Kenneth Galbraith and WFB, and letters WFB sent to various publications correcting statements made about him in their pages.
There is also the wonderful fun Buckley has with language and those who criticize his usage, "accent", and vocabulary. He handles it all with good humor and patiently explains that his first language was Spanish, then French, and didn't speak English until he was five. One of the fun bits recounts the famous phrase "immanentize the eschaton". Did you know it became a motto of Young Americans for Freedom? What does it mean? Simply to attempt to bring from the transcendent from the spiritual world (the eschaton) into this world (the immanent). It is a criticism of hubris in liberal attempts to try and create a literal Heaven on Earth.Read more ›
William F. Buckley's books can be categorized, broadly, in two ways: books of conservative theory and practice (his collected columns, The Unmaking of a Mayor, etc.), and what could be termed personal indulgences (Overdrive: A Personal Documentary, the spy novels, and so on). This book is unquestionably an indulgence, and people who have little patience for Buckley and his well-established personality and voice will probably find this book, as they found him, infuriating. But for those of us who had great respect for the man and enjoyed watching him perform (no slight intended by use of that word), even when we may have disagreed with him, "Cancel Your Own..." is a joy to read and a foretaste of how much we will miss him in the future.
As the subtitle indicates, "Cancel Your Own..." is made up of excerpts and highlights from WFB's long-running "Notes and Asides" column in NR.Read more ›
Here's the sad part. Mr. Buckley is gone and there are none to take his place. Compare this book to the ones being written by the New Conservatives, and your heart will break. When did conservative literature degenerate from God and Man At Yale to the gas expulsions of that Oxy-Contin addicted walking whoopie cushion that is Rush Limbaugh?
Who will take up Buckley's sword and be the brilliant, eruduate, eloquent voice of the Conservatives? Bill O'Reilly, the Shut Up King? Buckley wouldn't have wasted one of his elegant sneers on that lying ignoramous. Sean Hannity? Nope...he couldn't hold a candle to Buckley...too much flying spittle. Glenn Beck? The clown who dressed up as Hitler's doorman on the cover of his book>? Okay, let's give it to Beck by default. He's now the literary and intellectual pinnacle of the Conservative movement. Congratulations to all of you. And Enjoy.
Okay, back to the review: Notes and Asides is selected from Buckley's responses to letters to the editor of National Review. His correspondence with Art Buchwald is worth the price of admission. Buy the book. Read it. You'll learn something, the cobwebs will blow out of your brain, and you'll experience some of the best use of the English language in this century. Just don't necessarily agree with him.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Funny collection of Letters to the Editor, and Buckley's thoughts from the editor of the national review publication. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Dr. Rogers
Funniness, pithy comments, witticisms, epigrams, bon mots, conservative ideology, invective, words, words, words. Read morePublished on January 8, 2014 by Gene Rhea Tucker
I was always in awe of William F. but the book read more like a social register, not full of his sassiness, as the title seems to suggest. Read morePublished on August 1, 2013 by p. mccarthy
William F. Buckley had a good sense of humor, and I think it's reflected perfectly in this collection of letters. Read morePublished on December 4, 2012 by Cheryl F.
I came to National Review in the mid 1970s during Ronald Reagan's national ascendency. When the magazine showed up in my mail box, I turned immediately `Notes and Asides' reading... Read morePublished on June 27, 2011 by W. David McGuinn Jr.
Willam F. Buckley was a Genius, Hilarious and intellectual. A Conservative Pioneer and A Catholic hero for me. Read morePublished on February 13, 2010 by Jose Lopez
I miss William F. Buckley. This book is a wonderful collection of his best. It's so nice to hear an intelligent conservative speak on the issues, rather than the crackpot nutjobs... Read morePublished on September 4, 2009 by Chrobrego
Bought Mr. Buckley's latest offering and read it in one sitting. Of course, I was sitting in front of the computer the whole time so that I could look up terms and latin... Read morePublished on May 13, 2009 by Dog Lover