William F. Buckley Jr.: three ways of looking at an icon

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William F. Buckley Jr., who died in February, launched his career -- and the modern conservative movement -- with a broadside against his alma mater: the 1951 book God and Man at Yale.

In this special section, three writers remember Buckley and the Yale that formed him.

Pundit David Frum offers a new interpretation of Buckley's legacy—one that would have surprised the man himself.

History professor Gaddis Smith, a friend of Buckley's but a critic of his politics, recounts the Yale administration's attempts to contain the fallout from his book.

And Sam Tanenhaus, who is writing Buckley's biography, looks back at a Yale where Skull and Bones was still the apex of campus life, where the Daily News board chugged martinis at Mory's, and where, as a new-moneyed Catholic, Buckley fit in and yet didn't fit in. But he made the place his own, and there he found his voice as a conservative.

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