Wm. F. Buckley, Jr. dies at 82

(Video: Mr. Buckley debating U.S. foreign policy with Noam Chomsky on Firing Line in 1969.)

William F. Buckley Jr., a major force in shaping modern American conservatism and a critic of academic culture, at his home, at the age of 82.

Mr. Buckley’s 1951 book, God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of “Academic Freedom,” condemned his alma mater for abandoning free-market and religious orthodoxies. He called on his fellow Yale alumni to agitate for a return to the university’s core principles, which (in his account) were Christian and individualist.

God and Man at Yale brought Mr. Buckley fame at the age of 26 and set a template for many subsequent right-wing critiques of academe, including Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind (1987) and Ross Douthat’s Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class (2005).

Mr. Buckley’s long career included the creation of National Review, in 1955; many years as host of the talk show Firing Line; and dozens of books, including 11 spy novels.

Mr. Buckley had recently endorsed Carl Middleton’s forthcoming book Great Quotations that Shaped Western Civilization published by Paragon House.

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