A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century

A Torch Kept Lit Great Lives of the Twentieth Century The New York Times BestsellerWilliam 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 Fo

  • Title: A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century
  • Author: William F. Buckley Jr. James Rosen
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 337
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The New York Times BestsellerWilliam 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 godfatThe New York Times BestsellerWilliam 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 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 prot g and frequent contributor to National Review, this volumes heds 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.

    One thought on “A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century”

    1. Of late, I have noticed much creeping, or rather galloping, nostalgia among National Review-type conservatives. Such nostalgia is doubtless a reaction to the current Trumpian trials of High Conservatism, whose leading lights must feel much like the characters in Toy Story 3, holding hands as they are fed into a fiery furnace. (The Toy Story characters survive, which probably distinguishes them from today’s leaders of High Conservatism.) “A Torch Kept Lit” offers a triple dose of nostalgia: [...]

    2. How outstanding it would've been to be one of William F. Buckley's luminary friends, and have him write an eloquent obituary for me! . although, I'd not have gotten to read it, so perhaps not .In any event, I have long been a fan and admirer of WFB, and this collection of obituaries and memorial tributes he penned for various friends, acquaintances, and even some adversaries, is a thoroughly enjoyable read. As with anything Buckley, you'll find wit, humor, pointed comments, and a healthy portio [...]

    3. A nice, succinct education in an interesting period of our history. Who knew you could learn from eulogies?

    4. This book, a collection of eulogies and obituaries written by William F. Buckley, Jr was enjoyable because of Buckley's writing style, his wealth of anecdotes, the fact that it touches on the lives of notable and sometimes obscure Americans, and it reminds us of a time when people could disagree with each other and still have respect for a life well lived. I should also say that just about the time you're ready to give up on this, you get to the pieces about his adversaries, when it gets really [...]

    5. One of the more enjoyable, well-written books I've read in a long time. I would recommend this book to all comers.

    6. It's a tough time to be a conservative intellectual in this country given the current right-wing regime's Khmer Rouge-like opposition to facts, science, and critical thinking. I wonder what Buckley would make of the Republican party in 2017. This collection, of all things a cross-section of obituaries and eulogies, gives us more insight into the life and intellectual development of its author than his subjects. What's interesting about Buckley is that he was utterly inflexible when it came to hi [...]

    7. A collection of Buckley's eulogies and obituaries. Reveals just how much of a socialite the Buckleys were, and how broad their circle of friends was in terms of ideology. Hard to imagine today. WFB's ability to perceive and describe the unique characteristics of a person is impressive, and inspires me to be more studious of the people in my life. Another takeaway from this book is the fleeting quality of fame. So many of these people were considered important figures in their day, and are now al [...]

    8. Kurt Vonnegut called Buckley "a man who has won the decathlon of human existence". A patrician par excellence, he rubbed shoulders with an unbelievable array of 20th century luminaries. He was expert in the art of friendship. He had a gift for the form of eulogy and a writing style is inimitable. So the book was a very engaging read, a wonderful history lesson, in brief eminently consumable bites. And evoking for me all the emotions and solemnity that a collection of eulogies should.

    9. A wonderful collection of WFB eulogies/obituaries. Reminds you of his unique style and wit but also his historic role in American public life. His personal interactions and historic perspective make each of these fascinating and informative. A must read obviously for Buckley fans but a great gift for those who simply enjoy great writing and historic personalities.

    10. A unique and interesting way to learn about many of the great (and not so great) characters of the 20th Century through the entertaining and insightful lens of William F Buckley's eulogies for them. In the process, one learns quite a bit about Buckley, one of those great characters himself.

    11. A unique and interesting way to learn about many of the great (and not so great) characters of the 20th Century through the entertaining and insightful lens of William F Buckley's eulogies for them. In the process, one learns quite a bit about Buckley, one of those great characters himself.

    12. When I saw this book, I knew I was going to have to read it. William F. Buckley is one of my favorites but the fact that James Rosen edited it, clinched it for me. I'm a huge James Rosen fan and knew that he would add greatly to this book and I was right. The book is worth reading for the introduction written so well by Mr. Rosen. This is a book of eulogies written by Mr. Buckley for friends and people of note. They are eloquent and informative and make for great reading about some of the well k [...]

    13. William F. Buckley  Jr. died in 2008, but a new book has been just released, "A Torch Kept Lit", put together by James Rosen, his editor over many years. It has 50 eulogies that Buckley had wrote. They are presented in 3 main categories. Close friends and family, successful people in general, and then those he didn't like. I found it particularly interesting to read some of those from the "not liked" group". His life long support for his own Catholic Faith never changed and is impressive [...]

    14. An excellent collection of obituaries written by William F. Buckley Jr. mostly written for National Review but some for such diverse publications as the New Yorker. Buckley was well known as a great eulogist and once said you needed two things to write an obituary; know your subject and either love them or hate them. He certainly fulfilled both requirements in this collection.Two of the essays in this collection caught my attention. His obituary of Winston Churchill was surprisingly negative. He [...]

    15. Honestly this book is worth reading just for the delight of Buckley's prose.In his life William F Buckley wrote about 250 obituaries - mostly for his magazine National Review. I have read that one of Buckley's virtues was that he formed friendships incredibly easily. This is a wonderful trait. Many of the obituaries are for people who were simultaneously dear friends and political opposites. Many of his obits are really classic - like those for Elvis Pressley, Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, Whi [...]

    16. William F. Buckley, Jr. was the eloquent voice of American conservatism from the 1950s until his death in 2008, and this book contains several National Review eulogies that he wrote for the magazines from the 1960s until the first decade of the 2000s. The eulogies are always well-written and elegant, often complimentary and often barbed, (from Eleanor Roosevelt's in 1962: "Mrs. Roosevelt looked at the world as her own personal slum project.") but almost always conciliatory to a point, ("a great [...]

    17. "A Torch Kept Lit" promised remembrances of great individuals written by an interesting voice and delivered. If I had any complaint it would be that there were too many family members and close associates featured and not more celebrated individuals. If not for that however, the surprise of the book for me would not have come to pass. For, the way it was put together with each eulogy introduced by James Rosen, this was just as much a fascinating biography/autobiography of Buckley.I knew little a [...]

    18. In " A torch kept Lit" we can visualize and hear the erudite speaker, William F. Buckley Jr. This is a series of obituaries composed by WFB for the conservative "National Review." The editor, James Rosen, who was a Buckley protege, compiled this collection of WFB's writings. Buckley's work is well researched and carefully considered with his strong opinions. He was on "Firing Line" for 33 yearse longest running public affairs show. Rosen was the Washington correspondent for FOX News. Buckley's w [...]

    19. Edited and assembled by James Rosen, this is possibly a last work from Buckley's pen and estate. There are thousands more papers, articles, and letters housed at Hillsdale College but who knows if they'll see light. For now, this fantastic collection must suffice. A well edited, vastly insightful glance at key figures who inspired, intersected, or even opposed Buckley throughout his massive career as journalist, debater, and leader of the conservative resurgence of the 20th C. Highly recommended [...]

    20. What a great idea for a book. Wm Buckley's obituaries combined his excellent writing with his knowledge (many of which were from personal relationships) of many great figures in the 20th century. It provides great insight into history, culture, and politics. Buckley did not pull punches. I had just seen Darkest Hour, the paean to Winston Churchill, when I was stopped short by Buckley's obit. He concluded that by not stopping the Soviets after WW2, Churchill actually left Europe in worse shape th [...]

    21. I saw this in the New books section of the library and figured, this could be a good addition to my 2017 quest of "read books by and about people with whom I disagree". This was a very easy read, as James Rosen will give a 2 or 3 pages introduction of a person (e.g Nelson Rockefeller), followed by Buckley's 2 or 3 page "obituary" (very different than a traditional obituary). I became a bit tired of Buckley as I read on, but there were interesting insights into historical figures, and it was inte [...]

    22. I found this book to be effortlessly readable and a wonderful introduction to a wide variety of famous and not so famous personalities who lived during the 20th century.Furthermore, I found that I couldn't help but be sentimental for the style of prose and capacity for friendships across the political spectrum that this collection illustrates. The witty, eloquent, and respectful political debates of this era are refreshing, especially in the light of the brutish and unintellectual political warf [...]

    23. Buckley was winding down by the time I showed up, and I've heard so much about him as the original thinker for modern conservatism. This book turned out to be a great way to put a toe in the water of his writing and thinking as well as his remarkable life. The book is simply a set of Obits he wrote over his career - from famous people to not-so-famous. A unique way to get a glimpse of a truly unique figure. Recommended for students of 20th century history, for sure.

    24. An outstanding collection of top-shelf writing about dozens of people, many of whom are famous but others not at all--and the ones about people of whom you've never heard are just as good. And James Rosen did a fantastic job with the headnotes. This is a terrific sampling of WFB's skill as a writer--and it'll make you think of your own life as well. It's sometimes moving and frequently amusing. I'd give examples, but it's better to meet them cold and unexpectedly.

    25. WFB is a master of the English language, and as a friend and acquaintance of many of the great minds of the 20th Century, pays appropriate homage through the collected eulogies in this work. Fascinating, thought-provoking, and humbling - for our lives are all but a hands-breadth, and there's nothing like a eulogy to make you evaluate your existence. Highly recommended.

    26. interesting book, its about the eulogy's he gave for friends and foes alike, he seemed like a very nice man and though sometimes a little tart with those he was less than friendly with nevertheless he kept an edge of niceness to it. He is an interesting man with an interesting history. You should read and see if you to like it.

    27. The problem with a writer so prolific as Buckley is that he was so terribly wrong so often, but the only person who would take on a book like this is a true believer. From civil rights to his blind spot with Goldwater, he never walked back his considerable errors in judgment. He had a way with a phrase, and he loved his friends so this isn't a bad read. It's far from great though.

    28. A splendid collection of over fifty eulogies, mainly published in the National Review of both famous and unknown persons demonstrates Buckley's mastery of elegant prose also, his conservative bias beautifully written

    29. Buckley and I are complete opposites when it come to politics, but we both seem to agree that obituaries shouldn't gloss over the complete person with flowery praise. He's so wonderfully bitchy in this that when he does offer compliment or sentiment, it rings out loud and clear.

    30. Not all of Buckley's collected obituaries are first-rate, but none are third rate. A remarkable man, not just for his writing, but for his jubilant personality--which allowed him social accord will all but one of his political enemies: Gore Vidal outlived WFB.

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