Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship

June 4th, 2015
safe_image.jpegToday we have talking heads and pundits.  But back in the second half of the 20th Century we had writers and public intellectuals, whose ideas, attitudes and personalities became a part of our public discourse.

Two of those that were the touchstones of the times were William F.Buckley and Norman Mailer.  Both wrote about history, about sex, about politics and sometimes all at once.  They were the guests you wanted to have at any dinner party.

They were also, each in his own way, bad boys of American letter.  Buckley with his rapier wit and insults, pushed away as many people as admired him.  Mailer with his pugilistic persona, further showed that with complex figures, the public surfaces were only part of the story.

Kevin Schultz gives us a kind of conjoined biography of the two in Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship That Shaped the Sixties.

My conversation with Kevin Schultz: