Lee Edwards on ‘William F. Buckley Jr.—The Maker of a Movement’: Buckley Was ‘The Most Important Action Intellectual of Last Half of 20th Century’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | June 24, 2010 | 2:29 PM EDT

William F. Buckley Jr. - "The Maker of a Movement" by Lee Edwards

CNSNews.com - Historian Lee Edwards, author of the new biography “William F. Buckley Jr.—The Maker of a Movement,” says National Review founder Bill Buckley was the most important American “action intellectual” of the last half of the 20th century and perhaps of the entire 20th century.

Edwards discussed his biography of Buckley in a video interview with CNSNews.com. When asked where he ranked Buckley among intellectuals, writers and popular figures of the 20th century for his influence on American culture, Edwards said:
“Well, I think he was the most important action intellectual of the last half of the 20th century, and maybe even of the whole century,” said Edwards. “No question about that. Nobody wrote more, debated more, was on television, public television for 33 years, left behind him this magazine that is still the most popular journal of public opinion in America, National Review, who did so many favors and acts of friendship for so many people that will live on, and live on and live on. So, I think it’s quite clear—influence on The Conservative Movement, influence on this great president, Ronald Reagan--that he was the most important action intellectual of the last half of the 20th century."

Watch the full CNSNews.com interview here to see Edwards discuss Buckley’s life, including Buckley's upbringing and education, his founding of National Review, his influence on Ronald Reagan, and why Edwards believes he was such an important figure in the life of our country.