National Review (NR) is an American semi-monthly editorial magazine focusing on news and commentary pieces on political, social, and cultural affairs. The magazine was founded by the author William F. Buckley Jr. in 1955. It is currently edited by Rich Lowry.
Since its founding, the magazine has played a significant role in the development of conservatism in the United States, helping to define its boundaries and promoting fusionism while establishing itself as a leading voice on the American right.
National Review cover for August 30, 2010
|Categories||Editorial magazine, conservatism|
|Publisher||E. Garrett Bewkes IV|
|First issue||November 19, 1955|
|Company||National Review, Inc.|
Before National Review's founding in 1955, the American right was a largely unorganized collection of people who shared intertwining philosophies but had little opportunity for a united public voice. They also wanted to marginalize what they saw as the antiwar, noninterventionistic views of the Old Right.
In 1953 moderate Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, and many major magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post, Time, and Reader's Digest were strongly conservative and anticommunist, as were many newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and St. Louis Globe-Democrat. A few small-circulation conservative magazines, such as Human Events and The Freeman, preceded National Review in developing Cold War Conservatism in the 1950s.
In 1953, Russell Kirk published The Conservative Mind, which sought to trace an intellectual bloodline from Edmund Burke to the Old Right in the early 1950s. This challenged the popular notion that no coherent conservative tradition existed in the United States.
A young William F. Buckley Jr. was greatly influenced by Kirk's concepts. Buckley, from a wealthy oil family, first tried to purchase Human Events, but was turned down. He then met Willi Schlamm, the experienced editor of The Freeman; they would spend the next two years raising the $300,000 necessary to start their own weekly magazine, originally to be called National Weekly. (A magazine holding the trademark to the name prompted the change to National Review.) The statement of intentions read:
Middle-of-the-Road, qua Middle of the Road, is politically, intellectually, and morally repugnant. We shall recommend policies for the simple reason that we consider them right (rather than “non-controversial”); and we consider them right because they are based on principles we deem right (rather than on popularity polls)... The New Deal revolution, for instance, could hardly have happened save for the cumulative impact of The Nation and The New Republic, and a few other publications, on several American college generations during the twenties and thirties.
On November 19, 1955, Buckley’s magazine began to take shape. Buckley assembled an eclectic group of writers: traditionalists, Catholic intellectuals, libertarians and ex-Communists. The group included: Russell Kirk, James Burnham, Frank Meyer, and Willmoore Kendall, Catholics L. Brent Bozell and Garry Wills. The former Time editor Whittaker Chambers, who had been a Communist spy in the 1930s, eventually became a senior editor. In the magazine’s founding statement Buckley wrote:
Let’s Face it: Unlike Vienna, it seems altogether possible that did National Review not exist, no one would have invented it. The launching of a conservative weekly journal of opinion in a country widely assumed to be a bastion of conservatism at first glance looks like a work of supererogation, rather like publishing a royalist weekly within the walls of Buckingham Palace. It is not that of course; if National Review is superfluous, it is so for very different reasons: It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no other is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.
As editors and contributors, Buckley especially sought out intellectuals who were ex-Communists or had once worked on the far Left, including Whittaker Chambers, William Schlamm, John Dos Passos, Frank Meyer and James Burnham. When James Burnham became one of the original senior editors, he urged the adoption of a more pragmatic editorial position that would extend the influence of the magazine toward the political center. Smant (1991) finds that Burnham overcame sometimes heated opposition from other members of the editorial board (including Meyer, Schlamm, William Rickenbacker, and the magazine's publisher William A. Rusher), and had a significant effect on both the editorial policy of the magazine and on the thinking of Buckley himself.
In the United States at this time liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition. For it is the plain fact that nowadays there are no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation... the conservative impulse and the reactionary impulse do not... express themselves in ideas but only... in irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas.
William Buckley Jr., on the purpose of National Review:
[National Review] stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it… it is out of place because, in its maturity, literate America rejected conservatism in favor of radical social experimentation…since ideas rule the world, the ideologues, having won over the intellectual class, simply walked in and started to…run just about everything. There never was an age of conformity quite like this one, or a camaraderie quite like the Liberals’.
National Review promoted Barry Goldwater heavily during the early 1960s. Buckley and others involved with the magazine took a major role in the "Draft Goldwater" movement in 1960 and the 1964 presidential campaign. National Review spread his vision of conservatism throughout the country.
The early National Review faced occasional defections from both left and right. Garry Wills broke with N.R. and became a liberal commentator. Buckley’s brother-in-law, L. Brent Bozell Jr., who ghostwrote The Conscience of a Conservative for Barry Goldwater, left and started the short-lived traditionalist Catholic magazine, Triumph in 1966.
Buckley and Meyer promoted the idea of enlarging the boundaries of conservatism through fusionism, whereby different schools of conservatives, including libertarians, would work together to combat what were seen as their common opponents.
Buckley and his editors used his magazine to define the boundaries of conservatism—and to exclude people or ideas or groups they considered unworthy of the conservative title. Therefore, they attacked the John Birch Society, George Wallace, and anti-Semites.
Buckley's goal was to increase the respectability of the conservative movement; as Rich Lowry noted: "Mr. Buckley's first great achievement was to purge the American right of its kooks. He marginalized the anti-Semites, the John Birchers, the nativists and their sort."
In 1957, National Review editorialized in favor of white leadership in the South, arguing that "the central question that emerges... is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race." By the 1970s National Review advocated colorblind policies and the end of affirmative action.
In the late 1960s, the magazine denounced segregationist George Wallace, who ran in Democratic primaries in 1964 and 1972 and made an independent run for president in 1968. During the 1950s, Buckley had worked to remove anti-Semitism from the conservative movement and barred holders of those views from working for National Review. In 1962 Buckley denounced Robert W. Welch Jr. and the John Birch Society as "far removed from common sense" and urged the Republican Party to purge itself of Welch's influence.
After Goldwater was defeated by Lyndon Johnson in 1964, Buckley and National Review continued to champion the idea of a conservative movement, which was increasingly embodied in Ronald Reagan. Reagan, a longtime subscriber to National Review, first became politically prominent during Goldwater's campaign. National Review supported his challenge to President Gerald Ford in 1976 and his successful 1980 campaign.
During the 1980s N.R. called for tax cuts, supply-side economics, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and support for President Reagan's foreign policy against the Soviet Union. The magazine criticized the Welfare state and would support the Welfare reform proposals of the 1990s. The magazine also regularly criticized President Bill Clinton. It first embraced, then rejected, Pat Buchanan in his political campaigns. A lengthy 1996 National Review editorial called for a "movement toward" drug legalization.
Victor Davis Hanson, a regular contributor since 2001, sees a broad spectrum of conservative and anti-liberal contributors:
In 2015, the magazine published an editorial entitled "Against Trump," calling him a "philosophically unmoored political opportunist" and announcing its opposition to his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president. Since Trump's election to the presidency, the National Review editorial board has continued to criticize him.
However, contributors to National Review and National Review Online take a variety of positions on Trump. Liberal commentator Peter Beinart criticized Lowry and Hanson for "breez[ing] by Trump’s blatant assaults on long-held conservative values in their rush to find something, anything, to congratulate him for," while National Review contributors such as Ramesh Ponnuru and Jonah Goldberg have remained critical of Trump. In a Washington Post feature on conservative magazines, T.A. Frank noted: "From the perspective of a reader, these tensions make National Review as lively as it has been in a long time."
A popular feature of National Review is the web version of the magazine, National Review Online ("N.R.O."), which includes a digital version of the magazine, with articles updated daily by National Review writers, and conservative blogs. The on-line version is called N.R.O. to distinguish it from the paper magazine. It also features free articles, though these deviate in content from its print magazine. The site's editor is Charles C. W. Cooke.
Each day, the site posts new content consisting of conservative, libertarian, and neoconservative opinion articles, including some syndicated columns, and news features.
It also features two blogs:
Markos Moulitsas, who runs the liberal Daily Kos web-site, told reporters in August 2007 that he does not read conservative blogs, with the exception of those on N.R.O.: "I do like the blogs at the National Review—I do think their writers are the best in the [conservative] blogosphere," he said.
The N.R.I. works in policy development and helping establish new advocates in the conservative movement. National Review Institute was founded by William F. Buckley Jr. in 1991 to engage in policy development, public education, and advocacy that would advance the conservative principles he championed.
As with most political opinion magazines in the United States, National Review carries little corporate advertising. The magazine stays afloat by donations from subscribers and black-tie fund raisers around the country. The magazine also sponsors cruises featuring National Review editors and contributors as lecturers.
Buckley said in 2005 that the magazine had lost about $25,000,000 over fifty years.
National Review sometimes endorses a candidate during the primary election season. Editors at National Review have said, "Our guiding principle has always been to select the most conservative viable candidate." This statement echoes what has come to be called "The Buckley Rule". In a 1967 interview, in which he was asked about the choice of presidential candidate, Buckley said, "The wisest choice would be the one who would win... I'd be for the most right, viable candidate who could win."
The following candidates were officially endorsed by National Review:
The magazine's current editor-in-chief is Rich Lowry. Many of the magazine's commentators are affiliated with think-tanks such as The Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute. Prominent guest authors have included Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Peter Thiel, and Ted Cruz in the on-line and paper edition.
Current and past contributors to National Review (N.R.) magazine, National Review Online (N.R.O.), or both:
In June 2008, six days after Hillary Clinton conceded to Obama in the Democratic primary, National Review correspondent Jim Geraghty published an article encouraging the Obama campaign to release the candidate's birth certificate in order "to squash all the conspiracy theories once and for all." Geraghty's column notes that it was unlikely that Obama was born in Kenya. Attorney Loren Collins, who has tracked the origins of birtherism for years, says that Geraghty may have "unwittingly shined a national spotlight on a fringe internet theory." Geraghty's article "became fodder for cable television." In a 2009 editorial, the National Review editorial board called conspiracies about Obama's citizenship "untrue," writing: "Like Bruce Springsteen, he has a lot of bad political ideas; but he was born in the U.S.A."
One National Review article said that Obama's parents could be communists because “for a white woman to marry a black man in 1958, or ’60, there was almost inevitably a connection to explicit Communist politics”.
By 2018, Dinesh D'Souza was on the National Review masthead, despite stirring controversy for a number of years making inflammatory remarks and promoting conspiracy theories. D'Souza had shared a meme calling former President Barack Obama a “gay Muslim” and suggesting Michelle Obama was a man. In comments that earned rebukes from National Review colleagues, D'Souza said that Hungarian-born George Soros was a "collection boy for Hitler and the Nazis," attacked Roy Moore accuser Beverly Young Nelson, said that accusations against Roy Moore were “most likely fabricated,” and described Rosa Parks as an "overrated Democrat".
According to Philip Bump of The Washington Post, National Review "has regularly criticized and rejected the scientific consensus on climate change". In 2015, the magazine published an intentionally deceptive graph that suggested that there was no climate change. The graph set the lower and upper bounds of the chart at -10 and 110 degree Fahrenheit and zoomed out so as to obscure warming trends.
In 2017, National Review published an article alleging that a top NOAA scientist claimed that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) engaged in data manipulation and rushed a study based on faulty data in order to influence the Paris climate negotiations. The article largely repeated allegations made in The Daily Mail without independent verification. The scientist in question later rebuked the claims made by the National Review, noting that he did not accuse NOAA of data manipulation but instead raised concerns about "the way data was handled, documented and stored, raising issues of transparency and availability".
In 2014, climate scientist Michael E. Mann sued the National Review after columnist Mark Steyn accused Mann of fraud and referenced a quote from Competitive Enterprise Institute writer Rand Simberg that called Mann "the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data." Civil-liberties organizations such as the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation and several publications such as The Washington Post expressed support for National Review in the lawsuit, filing amicus briefs in their defense. There is no evidence that Mann has engaged in fraud.
Two days after the 9/11 attacks, National Review published a column by Ann Coulter where she wrote of Muslims, "This is no time to be precious about locating the exact individuals directly involved in this particular terrorist attack. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That’s war. And this is war." National Review later called the column a "mistake" and fired Coulter as a contributing editor.
Ann Hart Coulter (; born December 8, 1961) is an American far-right conservative social and political commentator, writer, syndicated columnist, and lawyer.
Born in New York City, Coulter was raised in New Canaan, Connecticut. She deepened her conservative interests while studying history at Cornell University, where she helped found The Cornell Review. She subsequently embarked on a career as a law clerk before rising to prominence in the 1990s as an outspoken critic of the Clinton administration. Her first book concerned the Bill Clinton impeachment, and sprang from her experience writing legal briefs for Paula Jones's attorneys, as well as columns she wrote about the cases.Coulter's syndicated column for Universal Press Syndicate appears in newspapers, and is featured on conservative websites. Coulter has written 12 best-selling books.Byron York
Byron York (born c. 1955) is an American conservative columnist for the Washington Examiner, Fox News contributor, and author who lives in Washington, D.C.Dinesh D'Souza
Dinesh Joseph D'Souza (; born April 25, 1961) is an Indian-born conservative political commentator, author, filmmaker, and conspiracy theorist, often described as a far right provocateur by media sources. Born in Bombay, D'Souza moved to the United States as an exchange student and graduated from Dartmouth College. He became a naturalized citizen in 1991. From 2010 to 2012, he was president of The King's College, a Christian school in New York City. Many of his works discuss Christian apologetics and are critical of New Atheism.On May 20, 2014, D'Souza pleaded guilty in federal court to one felony charge of using a "straw donor" to make an illegal campaign contribution to a 2012 United States Senate campaign. On September 23, he was sentenced to eight months in a halfway house near his home in San Diego, five years probation, and a $30,000 fine. On May 31, 2018, D'Souza was issued a full pardon by President Donald Trump.D'Souza is the author of several New York Times best-selling books. In 2012, D'Souza released his film 2016: Obama's America, an anti-Obama polemic based on his 2010 book The Roots of Obama's Rage; according to Entertainment Weekly "the highest-grossing conservative documentary of all time". In 2016, he released a documentary-style film and book, both entitled Hillary's America, which offers his perspective on the history of the Democratic Party. D'Souza's films and commentary have generated considerable controversy due to their promotion of multiple conspiracy theories.James Burnham
James Burnham (November 22, 1905 – July 28, 1987) was an American philosopher and political theorist. Burnham was a prominent Trotskyist activist in the 1930s, as well as a well-known isolationist. In later years Burnham left Marxism and became a public intellectual of the American conservative movement. His book The Managerial Revolution, published in 1941, speculated on the fate of capitalism. Burnham was also an editor and a regular contributor to the American conservative publication National Review on a variety of topics.John Derbyshire
John Derbyshire (born June 3, 1945) is a British-American computer programmer, writer, journalist and political commentator. He formerly wrote a column in National Review before moving to a staff position at the white supremacist website VDARE, where he continues to work. He has also written for the New English Review. His columns cover a broad range of political-cultural topics, including immigration, China, history, mathematics, and race. Derbyshire's 1996 novel Seeing Calvin Coolidge in a Dream was a New York Times "Notable Book of the Year". His 2004 non-fiction book Prime Obsession won the Mathematical Association of America's inaugural Euler Book Prize. A political book, We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism, was released in September 2009. Derbyshire has been described as a figure within the alt-right movement, and also considers himself to be part of it.John Podhoretz
John Mordecai Podhoretz (; born April 18, 1961) is an American writer. He is the editor of Commentary magazine, a columnist for the New York Post, the author of several books on politics, and a former speechwriter for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.Jonah Goldberg
Jonah Jacob Goldberg (born March 21, 1969) is an American conservative syndicated columnist, author, political analyst, and commentator. Goldberg has written about politics and culture for the Los Angeles Times, where he is a weekly opinion columnist, and is a senior editor at National Review. He is slated to depart National Review during the summer of 2019, while continuing his fellowship at the National Review Institute, in order to become founding editor at a competing online opinion and news entity. Goldberg is the author of Liberal Fascism, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller shortly after its release in January 2008, The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, released in 2012, and Suicide of the West, which was published in April 2018 and also became a New York Times bestseller, reaching #5 on the list the following month.Goldberg is also a regular contributor on news networks such as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, appearing on various television programs including Good Morning America, Nightline, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Real Time with Bill Maher, Larry King Live, Your World with Neil Cavuto, the Glenn Beck Program, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Goldberg is an occasional guest on a number of Fox News shows such as The Five, The Greg Gutfeld Show, and Outnumbered. He is also a frequent panelist on Special Report with Bret Baier. From 2006 to 2010, Goldberg was a frequent participant on bloggingheads.tv. Goldberg also makes an appearance in Dinesh D'Souza's 2016 film Hillary's America.Joseph Sobran
Michael Joseph Sobran Jr. (; February 23, 1946 – September 30, 2010) was an American journalist. He wrote for the National Review magazine and was a syndicated columnist. Pat Buchanan called Sobran "perhaps the finest columnist of our generation".Katherine Timpf
Katherine Clare "Kat" Timpf (; born October 29, 1988) is an American television personality and comedian. Since May 2015, she has played a recurring, on-air role on Fox News Channel's The Greg Gutfeld Show and made frequent guest appearances on various other Fox News shows. In 2017, Timpf co-hosted The Fox News Specialists alongside Eric Bolling and Eboni Williams.Larry Kudlow
Lawrence Alan Kudlow (born August 20, 1947) is an American financial analyst and former television host serving as Director of the National Economic Council under President Donald Trump since 2018.Kudlow began his career as a junior financial analyst at the New York Federal Reserve. He soon left government to work on Wall Street at Paine Webber and Bear Stearns as a financial analyst. In 1981, after previously volunteering and working for left-wing politicians and causes, Kudlow joined the administration of Ronald Reagan as associate director for economics and planning in the Office of Management and Budget.After leaving the Reagan Administration during the second term, Kudlow returned to Wall Street and Bear Stearns, serving as the firm's chief economist from 1987 until 1994. During this time, he also advised the gubernatorial campaign of Christine Todd Whitman on economic issues. In the late 1990s, after a publicized battle with cocaine and alcohol addiction, Kudlow left Wall Street to become an economic media commentator – first with National Review, and later hosting several shows on CNBC.
Kudlow returned to politics in 2018, serving as Gary Cohn's replacement at the National Economic Council.Mark Levin
Mark Reed Levin (; born September 21, 1957) is an American lawyer, author, and radio personality. He is the host of syndicated radio show The Mark Levin Show, as well as Life, Liberty & Levin on Fox News. Levin worked in the administration of President Ronald Reagan and was a chief of staff for Attorney General Edwin Meese. He is chairman of the Landmark Legal Foundation, has authored seven books, and contributes commentary to various media outlets such as National Review Online. Since 2015, Levin has been editor-in-chief of the Conservative Review.He has been described as a political "conservative", "right-wing" and "pro-Trump". Levin is known for his incendiary commentary. He is known for strongly criticizing Democrats, as well as encouraging primary challenges to a number of incumbent congressional Republicans. He endorsed Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican presidential primary but reluctantly endorsed Donald Trump after Trump won the Republican nomination for the presidency despite continual harsh criticism of him.Mark Steyn
Mark Steyn (; born December 8, 1959) is a Canadian author and cultural commentator. He has written numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It and After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. Steyn has been published by magazines and newspapers around the world, and is a regular guest host of the nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh Show. He also guest hosts Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News, on which he regularly appears as a guest.Rich Lowry
Richard A. Lowry (; born August 22, 1968) is an American writer and the editor of National Review, an American conservative news and opinion magazine. He is also a syndicated columnist, author, and political pundit.Steve Sailer
Steven Ernest Sailer (born December 20, 1958) is an American journalist, movie critic, and columnist. He is a former correspondent for UPI and a columnist for Taki's Magazine and VDARE.com. He writes about race relations, gender issues, politics, immigration, IQ, genetics, movies, and sports. As of 2014, Sailer stopped publishing his personal blog on his own website and shifted it to the Unz Review, an online publication by Ron Unz that described itself as an "alternative media selection".VDARE.com has been associated with white supremacy, white nationalism, and the alt-right. Sailer's writing for VDARE has described black people as inherently lacking judgment, and claimed that Jews control the media to demoralize and divide other groups.His writing for both VDARE and Unz Review have endorsed eugenics and scientific racism. Sailer has been credited with coining the term "human biodiversity" in the 1990s, with the term later becoming popular among the alt-right as a euphemism for scientific racism.Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell (; born June 30, 1930) is an American economist and social theorist who is currently a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Sowell was born in North Carolina, but grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of high school and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He received a bachelor's degree, graduating magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1958 and a master's degree from Columbia University in 1959. In 1968, he earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago.
Sowell has served on the faculties of several universities, including Cornell University and University of California, Los Angeles. He has also worked for think tanks such as the Urban Institute. Since 1980, he has worked at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He writes from a libertarian conservative perspective, advocating supply-side economics. Sowell has written more than thirty books (a number of which have been reprinted in revised editions), and his work has been widely anthologized. He is a National Humanities Medal recipient for innovative scholarship which incorporated history, economics and political science.Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson (born September 5, 1953) is an American classicist, military historian, columnist and farmer. He has been a commentator on modern and ancient warfare and contemporary politics for National Review, The Washington Times and other media outlets. He is a professor emeritus of Classics at California State University, Fresno, and is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in classics and military history at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He chairs the Hoover working group on Military History and Contemporary Conflict as well as being the general editor of the Hoover online journal, Strategika. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College where he teaches an intensive course on world, ancient or military history in the autumn semester, as the Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History since 2004. In 2019, Hanson's book A Case for Trump was released.
Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and was a presidential appointee in 2007–2008 on the American Battle Monuments Commission that oversees the cemeteries and monuments of U.S. war dead abroad.Whittaker Chambers
Jay Vivian Chambers (April 1, 1901 – July 9, 1961), known as Whittaker Chambers, was an American editor and former Communist spy who eventually denounced his Communist spying and became respected by the American Conservative movement during the 1950s.
After early years as a Communist Party member (1925) and Soviet spy (1932–1938), he defected from communism (underground and open party) and worked at Time magazine (1939–1948). Under subpoena in 1948, he testified in what became Alger Hiss's perjury (espionage) trials (1949–1950) and he became an outspoken anti-communist (all described in his 1952 memoir Witness). Afterwards, he worked briefly as a senior editor at National Review (1957–1959). President Ronald Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 1984.William Bennett
William John Bennett (born July 31, 1943) is an American conservative pundit, politician, and political theorist, who served as Secretary of Education from 1985 to 1988 under President Ronald Reagan. He also held the post of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under George H. W. Bush.William F. Buckley Jr.
William Frank Buckley Jr. (born William Francis Buckley; November 24, 1925 – February 27, 2008) was an American public intellectual and conservative author and commentator. In 1955, Buckley founded National Review, a magazine that stimulated the conservative movement in the late-20th century United States. Buckley hosted 1,429 episodes of the public affairs television show Firing Line (1966–1999), the longest-running public affairs show in television history with a single host, where he became known for his transatlantic accent and overpowering vocabulary.Buckley wrote God and Man at Yale (1951) and more than fifty other books on diverse topics, including writing, speaking, history, politics, and sailing. Buckley's works include a series of novels featuring fictitious CIA agent Blackford Oakes. He also penned a nationally syndicated newspaper column.Buckley referred to himself as either a libertarian or conservative. George H. Nash, a historian of the modern American conservative movement, said Buckley was "arguably the most important public intellectual in the United States in the past half century. For an entire generation, he was the preeminent voice of American conservatism and its first great ecumenical figure." Buckley's primary contribution to politics was a fusion of traditionalist conservatism and classical liberalism; that fusion laid the groundwork for a rightward shift in the Republican Party, as exemplified by Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.