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On The Redhunter by William F. Buckley

I have just five minutes to write this book review. It was pretty good – probably the best Buckley novel of the five or six I’ve read thus far. I checked out Redhunter and Getting It Right from the library when he died as a way of saying Thanks. In the 1950’s, Buckley wrote a book called McCarthy and his Enemies, defending the senator’s pursuit of communists. In fact, one wonders why he didn’t just devote his efforts towards a work of history, although by writing historical fiction he’s able to have it both ways. The main character is an academic in the process of writing standard history.

The fictional element is interesting (at least I hope it’s fictional, since there’s some pretty frightening sex involved), although this brings about a kind of San Andreas Fault in the novel. The history is very historical, and the fictional elements are fairly obviously fictional. Not without room for questions, but it isn’t like Deadwood, for example, in which the fiction, and indeed the mythical, is almost inseperable from the historiographical elements … whoops, that’s more like ten minutes. Gotta run! Read it yourself!

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