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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up From Liberalism,
I'm a college student studying on a liberal college campus who will probably pursue a career in Constitutional law. Reading this book has helped me understand my political philosophy much more clearly. Up From Liberalism by William F. Buckley, Jr. is a witty, sagacious, and very perceptive book declaring the fresh conservative alternative to liberal establishment politics. It is a must read for anyone really serious about being a political conservative. Although most of Buckley's comments are referring to past political history in the 40's and 50's, it helps one understand the ideological battle that has been raging for years in the political spectrum. Sparkling with humour and intellectual fun, Buckley quickly dispatches of his opponents' ideas with the ease of a master swordsman. This book is still valuable to read because the philosophy of liberals today hasn't really changed. To them, Government is still the answer to all of our problems. If you are a liberal, reading this book will help you understand the arguments against your position. If you are a conservative, this book will give you enjoyment, but also valid logical proof of why one should believe in limited government. I hope that everyone even slightly interested in politics reads this book.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the 25 most important conservative books,
By A Customer
Those who came of age politically in the 1980s or later can hardly comprehend the influence Bill Buckley had on the modern conservative movement.
He was, by far, the most attractive and thrilling conservative intellect for decades, and more than equal in debate to any liberal intellectual, as we learned on many occasions. Conservative students of my generation, confronted with an overwhelming liberal (and often unbearably smug) faculty, were greatly reassured by the knowledge that Buckley could smash the arguements of anyone on the liberal side.
Though Up From Liberalism concerns itself largely with issues that date back to the sixties, the combination of humor and erudition Buckley uses to skewer the liberal establishment gives the book a timeless appeal.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historic,
Learn to think; stop regurgitating.
I am quite fond of this book, although Buckley has written and continues to write words of great elucidation. This one has been most formative for me. It is dated in its references, but the thought process and basis for reasoning is tried and true. Highly recommended for young people; especially those who consider themselves to be in one place or another politically, but are not entirely sure of the logic behind their beliefs, and would like to begin the journey of becoming a homo sapien.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Foundation From The American Political Landscape,
The 1960s brought such turbulence to the structure of American politics, but one revolution is difficult to find.
In this one book, William F. Buckley, Jr., produced an early blueprint to an emerging conservative movement, which ultimately reached fruition in the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan to the office of president.
The importance cannot be emphasized enough that the 1964 nomination by the Republican Party of Sen. Barry Goldwater for president began - in part - through the libertarian views set forth by Buckley, Jr. At that convention, conservatives seized the reins of power from the moderate establishment, led by Nelson Rockefeller, though the movement suffered a tremendous defeat in the general election.
Up From Liberalism, no matter which edition, is a vital piece of the American political landscape. That it is virtually impossible to find is utterly mystifying.
18 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Book From The Premier Conservative Anti-Intellectual,
It's probably Buckley that transformed the word `Liberal' from a misused label to an epithet. Needless to say, he well understands his own misuse of the word, which he justifies, rightly, on the basis of the fact that everyone misuses it. If everyone assumes a word means something, does the word not in fact come to mean that, no matter what linguists insist? In any case, as pleasant and amusing as this book is, it will win no converts, nor is it meant to. It is not a conservative manifesto that reaches out even to the undecided and implores them to join the conservative cause. It is not even a statement of purpose in the style Barry Goldwater's `Conscience Of A Conservative'. Rather, it is mind candy for the right. Buckley is first and foremost a wordsmith, a writer who says what he means and says it well. He is not an intellectual who understands and appreciates the arguments and viewpoints of his ideological foes; he is a relentless eloquent partisan. His intent is to present his own side, in as a biased a way as possible, and make fools of his foes by exposing the weakness of their arguments and ignoring the strengths. At this, he is a master. He is also, of course, a master writer, whether you agree with Buckley or not you will appreciate his wit, his candor and his style. Indeed, even when he has nothing to say he says it so well that it is enjoyable to read.
1 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but. . .,
There is no question our education institutions have been converted into indoctrination camps by the left. Anyone who has passed from undergraduate school to law school will note the incredible fanaticism of teachers and student body. Buckley attended Yale. Yale is the big daddy to the little institutions that bloviate left wing propaganda. I've enjoyed watching reruns of Buckley tearing people apart on his television show, such as when Hugh Hefner went ballistic when, in reply to Hugh Hefner, Buckley said that it is okay for other men's daughters to be exploited in Playboy magazine, just as long as it isn't Mr. Hefner's daughters. Buckley uses elentic argument very effectively, reducing his opponent to hypocrisy and his opponent's position to contradiction. However, Buckley's "conservativism" is not without fault. For example, how does he reconcile his Christian faith with the gnosticism of Skull and Bones, a cult he joined while attending Yale? And why did he fire conservative columnists from the national review, like Joseph Sobran. Is he afraid of being associated with Sobran? Yet, he will maintain friendly visits from leftists such as the anglophile Galbraith. What kind of conservative are you when you are afraid of offending your enemy? And why does he fail to name who the liberals are and who the neocons are? For example, in an interview about neocons, Buckley said, "I think those I know, which is most of them, are bright, informed and idealistic, but that they simply overrate the reach of U.S. power and influence." You might as well say, "Oh, the devil? Well, he and his demons are for the most part bright, informed and idealistic. They overrate our power and influence in what we can accomplish for them." Buckley proclaims to be anti-marxist in several of his works yet he feigns ignorance that neocons are former marxists, the same people he debated in the 70's. He even hired some at national review. Why not name the liberals and neocons for what they are, namely juwes and masons? Was Buckley a coward? Why did he lash out at conservatives such as Sobran? Why did he support Bush instead of Buchanan if he was so critical of Bush? His actions contradict his words. Thus, although I enjoy his rhetoric in this book and its good arguments; nevertheless, Buckley is anything but a Christian or a conservative, notwithstanding what he said. Use Buckley as a useful idiot for our cause in so far as he serves our cause. That is all he is good for. Like many "conservatives" today, he is quick to lash out at great men, like Joseph Sobran or David Duke and avoids company with many great conservatives beyond that. He could have used his money and influence to embed great conservatives in important positions, but instead made a point to screen out such conservatives. Indeed, the very aggressiveness which he approached banning conservatives such as Sobran, Buchanan or Duke contrasts very sharply with his statemanship and gentlemanly way of dealing with leftists.
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Up From Liberalism by Jr. William F. Buckley (Paperback - 1961)
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