The Press: God and Man in Bloomington

One day in 1966, National Review Editor William F. Buckley Jr. opened his mail to find a check for $264,000. The sender was R. (for Robert) Emmett Tyrrell, a graduate student about to launch the Alternative, a right-wing campus newspaper at Indiana University. Tyrrell had perhaps $27 in his bank account at the time, but he liked Buckley's magazine and was stirred by a notice to subscribers that the weekly was $264,000 in debt.

Buckley never cashed the check, but he made the acquaintance of his whimsical would-be benefactor. When Tyrrell decided to go...

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