Charlie Rose: Remembering Bill Buckley, Part II

Last night Charlie Rose gathered several of Bill Buckley’s former protegees for a second discussion on the man and his legacy to American life. Jeff Greenfield of CBS News, Gary Wills of The New York Review of Books, Richard Brookheiser, Mona Charen and Rich Lowry of The National Review all talked about what Buckley meant to them.


Garry Wills, who broke publicly with Bill Buckley in the 1960’s over the Civil Rights movement, talked candidly about Buckley’s personal evolution on the cause of African-American equality and how the two ultimately reconciled. Wills was discovered by Buckley as a seminarian graduate student in Classics, and went on to become a respected journalist and essayist as well as a Pulitzer prize winning author for Lincoln at Gettysburg. ”We differed over the war in Vietnam and also about the Civil Rights movement, so I sent him a piece (for National Review) about the war in Vietnam and he said, finally, we can’t publish this.”

”We didn’t talk for quite a while,” Wills continued. ”Then his sister, Priscilla, said: ‘you guys have been friends for such a long time.”’ They had dinner together and resumed their friendship. Rich Lowry, Buckley’s hand-picked successor as editor at National review noted that Buckley ”always misspelled his emails” because he wrote so rapidly. Garry Wills, responding to what he will most about Buckley, said, ”I will always miss sailing with Bill.”