The Crusader

If being a conservative always led to a life like that of William F. Buckley Jr., there would be no more liberals. The mansions and yachts, the cocktails and champagne and cigars, the fabulous wife, the Who's Who of friends and, somehow wedged in, enough career for five large lives.

For a half-century, Buckley, who died Wednesday at the age of 82, was chief spokesman for the signal political phenomenon of late 20th century America: the rise of conservatism. The son of an oilman, he leveraged his wealth with energy, passion and cheerful relentlessness. He wrote books laying out the conservative...

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