William F. Buckley, Jr. is an iconic figure among Conservatives. He founded National Review magazine, wrote countless essays, hosted the hit interview show The Firing Line, and is known for his nonfiction books such as God and Man at Yale. He is less known for his many fiction books including 1990’s Getting It Right: A Novel.
The novel follows one character Woodroe, who joins the anti-Communist organization John Birch Society and Leonora who joins Ayn Rand’s Objectivist Collective. From two very radical perspectives of right-wing politics, we see the Kennedy presidency from start to finish as the characters meet historical figures like Bill Buckley himself. As the Kennedy Administration struggles with a Cold War, both the Birch Society and the Objectivists face political and personal crises as they figure out what it means to be someone on the Right.
William F. Buckley was a man who influenced me and my politics in my twenties. His intelligent look on Conservatism and American politics really show in this novel as it compares the radical right to the anarcho-libertarians. He does not show which is more correct, but exposes what happens when frail humans are involved in a movement. The character development and the plot are impressive in that typical Buckley style. It is perfect for those who enjoy both political and historical fiction.
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This article was updated from a previous version.
[…] Getting It Right– Conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. writes about the days of JFK from the perspectives of the Objectives led by the libertarian thinker Ayn Rand and the anti-communists of the John Birch Society. It is a compelling read that not only explores the past, but makes predictions about the future. […]