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The documentary film Best of Enemies (2015) is not just a compelling chronicle and contextualization of the famous 1968 television debates between William F. Buckley, Jr., and Gore Vidal. As the sequence during its closing credits makes clear, the documentary also aims to provide us with nothing less than the origin story of our current digital age of polarized politics.…

“The crisis of liberalism is a crisis due to the fact that it has abandoned its absolutist basis and is trying to become entirely relativistic.”
- Leo Strauss
 
“Strauss taught his disciples a belief in absolutes, contempt for relativism, and joy in abstract propositions.”
- Arthur M. Schlesinger
 
Lionel Trilling’s case that many great effects may be generated by an obscure but “chippy”…

A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century. William F. Buckley with James Rosen, ed. New York: Crown Forum, 2016.
 
James Rosen provides the reader with a selection of obituaries written by William F. Buckley for National Review. The cast of characters memorialized include significant political figures, family, entertainers and artists, friends, and friends who were political adversaries.
It is…