Jewish World Review August 26, 2005 / 21 Av,
Two books not to be missed
James Burnham, philosopher and senior editor of National Review
for many years, once nudged Bill Buckley, confiding, "Bill, you and I think
we are putting out a magazine, but what we actually have is Miss Buckley's
finishing school for young ladies and gentlemen of conservative persuasion."
This aside was provoked by Burnham's having overheard Priscilla Buckley shepherding one of the dozens of young editorial assistants who were lucky enough (I was one) to land in the rarefied offices of 150 East 35th Street during her long reign as managing editor. For those who could not be there in the flesh, Miss Buckley has now produced a vivid and enchanting memoir, "Living It Up at National Review," that will take readers very much inside the temple.
Best of all, readers get the incomparable pleasure of Priscilla
Buckley's company as she reminisces about her energetic life outside 35th
Street. This 5 foot 2 inch, graceful, refined anchor of NR partook of a
quite breathtaking extracurricular life: She played championship-level golf,
ballooned, went on Safari (and not armed with a camera), rafted down the
most dangerous part of the Colorado River, and visited some of the remotest
spots on the globe. Her gifts for description and for living make this
a wonderful read.
Another essential entry on the "must have" book list is JWR columnist Betsy Hart's "It Takes a Parent." (Women conservatives are so prolific these days!) Syndicated columnist and mother of four, Hart has given us a touching, funny, wise and trenchant analysis of what the modern parenting culture has wrought. Not only do many parents fail at elementary discipline and there is plenty of statistical evidence that children are misbehaving more than they once did but adults also flounder when it comes to the basic and elementary understanding of the role of the parent.
In fact, as Hart most lovingly attests, children are
unbelievably winsome and precious, but we do neither them nor our society
any favors by failing to recognize that their characters need molding by
their parents who are gasp older and wiser.
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