Cover image for Miles gone by : a literary autobiography
Miles gone by : a literary autobiography
Buckley, William F., Jr., 1925-2008.
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : Regnery Pub. ; Lanham, Md. : Distributed to the trade by National Book Network, [2004]

Physical Description:
xii, 594 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3552.U344 Z465 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
PS3552.U344 Z465 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



Here is a unique collection of fifty years of essays chosen to form an unconventional autobiography and capstone to his remarkable career as the conservative writer par excellence. Included are essays that capture Buckley's joyful boyhood and family life; his years as a conservative firebrand at Yale; the life of a young army officer; his love of wine and sailing; memories of his favourite friends; the great influences of music and religion; a life in politics; and exploring the beauty, diversity, and exactitude of the English language

Author Notes

Editor and writer William F. Buckley, Jr. was born in New York City on November 24, 1925. While at Yale University, he studied political science, history and economics and graduated with honors. In 1955, he founded the weekly journal National Review where he was editor in chief. He began his syndicated newspaper column in 1962 and his weekly television discussion program, Firing Line was syndicated in 1966.

Buckley wrote "God and Man at Yale" (1951) which was an indictment of liberal education in the United States, "Up from Liberalism" (1959), "The Unmaking of a Mayor" (1966), which tells of his unsuccessful mayoral campaign as the Conservative Party candidate for New York City in 1965, and "Quotations from Chairman Bill" (1970).

Buckley also wrote best selling stories of international intrigue whose titles include "Saving the Queen" (1976), "Stained Glass" (1978), "Who's on First" (1980), "Marco Polo, If You Can" (1981), and "See You Later, Alligator" (1985). He died on February 27, 2008.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The conservative writer and Firing Line host has published so many millions of words in five decades of polemics and public musing that amassing a sort of autobiography required little more than sandwiching a selection of 50 essays between a brief preface and epilogue. The extracts range in subject from his silver-spoon boyhood and boarding-school days to the lives and deaths of the many prominent people he has known. Fame came early, with Buckley's 1951 God and Man at Yale, excerpted here, which lambasted liberal bias at elite American colleges. (Far superior, though, is the sparkling memoir of his war-veteran class of 1950 at Yale.) An instant darling of conservatives who needed a spirited new voice, Buckley founded the National Review, whose writers became the core of his widening circle of influential acquaintances. While sailing, touring and media punditry take up much of the collection, the most memorable pieces are about such offbeat friends as the tragic Whittaker Chambers. Nevertheless, some portraits are merely laudatory epitaphs. Approaching 80, Buckley notes that his sporting days are about over, but "[s]o to speak, I can still ski on a keyboard." Like skiing, his keyboard has its ups and downs. B&w photos. Agent, Lois Wallace. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xiii
At Home
Life at Great Elm: Where summer seemed gloriously endlessp. 3
Life at Great Elm II: Learning about music, as a boyp. 11
St. John's, Beaumont: Going off to school in England, 1938p. 17
The "Distinguished" Mr. Buckley: Introducing my son, the speaker, 1986p. 36
Wine in the Blood: A legacy of learned pleasurep. 39
Wine: One Man's Happy Experiences: The challenge of collecting affordable winesp. 42
William Frank Buckley, 1881-1958: A word about my fatherp. 48
Aloise Steiner Buckley, 1895-1985: And a word about my motherp. 51
God and Man at Yale: A controversy revisitedp. 57
A Toast to the Class of 1950: Remarks at a fortieth reunionp. 95
Reflections on Life after Yale: A self-interview for a fiftieth-reunion yearbookp. 104
Army Life: At Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgiap. 115
Sailing (and Skiing, and One Fly-By)
We Must Sail across the Ocean! The resolve that led to a passage, Miami-Bermuda-Azores-Gibraltarp. 123
Christmastime in the Caribbean: A folksy cruise, aboard my schooner, Cyranop. 145
Gulf Stream Musings: A navigator's thoughts, preoccupations, alarumsp. 164
Meet Me at K Club: Misadventures on a charter sailp. 174
A Quickie, Bahamas to Charleston: Coming upon a mystery boat at sea, in a stormp. 179
Pleasure on Skis: The prospect of a single run down the Videmanette in Rougemont, Switzerlandp. 191
Alta, My Alta: And how we learned about short skisp. 197
Six Freshmen and an Ercoupe: A bright undergraduate idea: buy an airplane!p. 206
The Angel of Craig's Point: An adventure in New Brunswick, featuring the only unpleasant person in the provincep. 217
A Sail across the Pacific: From Honolulu to New Guinea-an account written for Life magazinep. 228
Aweigh: An inquiry: Why, after a lifetime at sea, give it all up?p. 240
Ten Friends: On crossing paths with David Niven, Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, Clare Boothe Luce, Tom Wolfe, Vladimir Horowitz, Roger Moore, Alistair Cooke, Princess Grace, and John Kenneth Galbraithp. 255
Five Colleagues: On working as colleagues with editors Willi Schlamm, Willmoore Kendall, Frank Meyer, James Burnham, and Priscilla Buckley...p. 282
And a Sixth: ...and with William A. Rusher, publisherp. 292
Whittaker Chambers, 1901-1961: Underneath the gloom was tenderness and, even, a kind of gaiety
Murray Kempton, 1917-1997: A friend to anyone who was down, even Roy Cohnp. 318
Henry Regnery, 1912-1996: When book publishing was funp. 330
National Review, b. 1955: The hour is late, and the printer's messenger is already waiting...p. 338
Blackford Oakes, b. 1975: First of all, I needed a protagonistp. 343
William Shawn, 1907-1992: His geniality was a matter of decorump. 354
Firing Line, 1966-1999: Debating with Ronald Reagan over the Panama Canalp. 362
The Dictionary, Ready at Hand: An auxiliary use of the computer, wonderfulp. 391
The Conflict over the Unusual Word: Should discouraging the use of unusual words be a national mandate?p. 395
On Writing Speedily: If Trollope had had a word processor, would he have written five times as much?p. 400
Getting About
1001 Days on the Orient Express: A lifetime, traveling from Peking to Moscowp. 409
Definitive Vacations: "There is never a convenient time for a vacation"p. 421
A Pilgrimage to Lourdes: Does this thing really work?p. 427
The Stupefaction of the New England Coastline: As seen under full sailp. 443
A Performance with the Symphony, Coming Up: Did I really promise to do that?p. 446
The Life of the Public Speaker: Fifty years on the lecture circuitp. 455
Going Down to the Titanic: A nine-hour dive, round tripp. 469
Aboard the Sea Cloud: Sailing, with others at the helm, to Pitcairn and Easter Islandsp. 482
My Own Secret Right-Wing Conspiracy: My adventure in politics at the seedling levelp. 501
Running for Mayor of New York City: Sort ofp. 518
Social Life
Querencia: On Coping with Social Tedium: Recall that historian Harold Nicolson said uninteresting people are...interestingp. 545
The Threatened Privacy of Private Clubs: Are they a refuge? How to defend them?p. 553
Why Don't We Complain?: The end of the line, without complaintp. 558
Epilogue: Thoughts on a Final Passagep. 569
Acknowledgmentsp. 575
Indexp. 577