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The Good Times Rolled

Almost 50 years ago, William F. Buckley, Jr., made what was undoubtedly the shrewdest and most audacious move of his life.  He invited his sister Priscilla to quit her job and join the staff of a magazine he had just started.  To appreciate fully the depths of his brotherly nerve, it should be understood that, at the time, the young woman was living happily in Paris, which, in the mid-50’s, had recovered from the war and was, well, Paris.  What’s more, she was a rising star at the Paris bureau of the United Press news agency.  In the years since, United Press, now known as United Press International, has fallen on hard times, but back then, it was considered the writer’s news agency and was the envy of hacks who worked for the AP and Reuters.  And what would she get in return for abandoning UP and the City of Light?  Why, the chance to be part of a magazine that just about everyone predicted would flop.  Yet the sister was as nervy as her brother.  She accepted his offer, which he sweetened by granting her six weeks’ vacation per year in partial compensation for a minuscule salary.  So began, in 1956, Priscilla Buckley’s career at National Review, where she would remain for more than 40 years.  Living It Up at National Review is her memoir of those years.

At the start, she had to have had a few qualms about her decision. ...

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