Hello, New Yorker

From Thomas Mallon’s very fine review of Kevin M. Schultz’s somewhat less fine (but still worth reviewing) Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship That Shaped the Sixties:

Rather than giving his subjects the hook, Schultz would have been better off with a coda that looks beyond the Reagan years—less transformative than Buckley wished and Mailer no doubt feared—to the current moment. A half century beyond the sixties, when the self-actualizing plea to be “a name and not a number” first attained urgency, Everyman, with each click of the keyboard, now embraces his digitization, sells his privacy for a mess of algorithms used to orchestrate a world neither libertarian nor socialist, an app-happy Cloud of anesthetized convenience. If one is going to evaluate Mailer’s and Buckley’s complementary opposition to the liberal ethos of their time, one ought to carry the examination toward a conclusion as grim as it is inescapable: both men lost.

It’s always such a pleasure to read well-written things. I can’t understand why I keep forgetting that, and more importantly, why I don’t seek it out more often.


  1. Interestingly, for those who don’t know and speaking of Buckley, NR recently embraced it’s inner child of the 60s by proclaiming itself on the side of Sodomite history:


    I have a secret hope this will lead to a precipitous rise in subscriptions to Chronicles, but kinda think it won’t…


    • Also, I ask again:


    • Quin Finnegan says

      Oh yes, I saw it. There might be good arguments to be made for gay marriage, or civil unions, but that sure as hell wasn’t it. I read up to his turgid and irrelevant misappropriation of Hume before giving up on the rest.

      Never mind being on this or that side of Sodomite history—what about being on the side of a clear and direct argument?

    • Quin Finnegan says

      I should add that it was not an NR editorial. That it was written by no less than the managing editor might be disappointing (and surprising), but NR is still the place to find Ramesh Ponnuru, Yuval Levin, David French, Jonah Goldberg, Victor Davis Hanson, Kevin Williamson, Kathryn Jean Lopez …

      But yeah. Sheesh. They would have done better to hire Andrew Sullivan. Really.

  2. Quin Finnegan says

    Wow, I’ll say (that it is well written). Great observation on the digitized Cloud.

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