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National Review
National Review
(NR) is an American semi-monthly conservative editorial magazine focusing on news and commentary pieces on political, social, and cultural affairs. The magazine was founded by the author William F. Buckley Jr.
William F. Buckley Jr.
in 1955.[3] It is currently edited by Rich Lowry. Since its founding, the magazine has played a significant role in the development of conservatism in the United States, helping to define its boundaries[3] and promoting fusionism while establishing itself as a leading voice on the American right.[3][4][5] The online version, National Review
National Review
Online, is edited by Charles C. W. Cooke and includes free content and articles separate from the print edition.[6]


1 History

1.1 Background 1.2 Early years 1.3 Contributors 1.4 Mission to conservatives 1.5 Defining the boundaries of conservatism 1.6 After Goldwater

2 Political views 3 National Review
National Review
Online 4 National Review
National Review
Institute 5 Finances 6 Presidential primary endorsements 7 Editors and contributors

7.1 Notable current contributors 7.2 Notable past contributors 7.3 Washington editors

8 Notes 9 Bibliography 10 External links

History[edit] Background[edit] See also: Conservatism
in the United States Before National Review's founding in 1955, the American right
American right
was a largely unorganized collection of people who shared intertwining philosophies but had little opportunity for a united public voice. They also wanted to marginalize what they saw as the antiwar, noninterventionistic views of the Old Right.[7] In 1953 moderate Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
was president, and many major magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post, Time, and Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest
were strongly conservative and anticommunist, as were many newspapers including the Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
and St. Louis Globe-Democrat. A few small-circulation conservative magazines, such as Human Events
Human Events
and The Freeman, preceded National Review
National Review
in developing Cold War
Cold War
in the 1950s.[8] Early years[edit] In 1953, Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk
published The Conservative Mind, which sought to trace an intellectual bloodline from Edmund Burke[9] to the Old Right in the early 1950s. This challenged the popular notion that no coherent conservative tradition existed in the United States.[9]

William F. Buckley Jr., the founder of National Review
National Review
(pictured in 1985)

A young William F. Buckley Jr.
William F. Buckley Jr.
was greatly influenced by Kirk's concepts. Buckley, from a wealthy oil family, first tried to purchase Human Events, but was turned down. He then met Willi Schlamm, the experienced editor of The Freeman; they would spend the next two years raising the $300,000 necessary to start their own weekly magazine, originally to be called National Weekly.[10] (A magazine holding the trademark to the name prompted the change to National Review.) The statement of intentions read:[11]

Middle-of-the-Road, qua Middle of the Road, is politically, intellectually, and morally repugnant. We shall recommend policies for the simple reason that we consider them right (rather than “non-controversial”); and we consider them right because they are based on principles we deem right (rather than on popularity polls)... The New Deal revolution, for instance, could hardly have happened save for the cumulative impact of The Nation
The Nation
and The New Republic, and a few other publications, on several American college generations during the twenties and thirties.

Contributors[edit] On November 19, 1955, Buckley’s magazine began to take shape. Buckley assembled an eclectic group of writers: traditionalists, Catholic intellectuals, libertarians and ex-Communists. The group included: Russell Kirk, James Burnham, Frank Meyer, and Willmoore Kendall, Catholics L. Brent Bozell, Harry V. Jaffa
Harry V. Jaffa
and Garry Wills. The former Time editor Whittaker Chambers, who had been a Communist spy in the 1930s, eventually became a senior editor. In the magazine’s founding statement Buckley wrote:[12]

Let’s Face it: Unlike Vienna, it seems altogether possible that did National Review
National Review
not exist, no one would have invented it. The launching of a conservative weekly journal of opinion in a country widely assumed to be a bastion of conservatism at first glance looks like a work of supererogation, rather like publishing a royalist weekly within the walls of Buckingham Palace. It is not that of course; if National Review
National Review
is superfluous, it is so for very different reasons: It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no other is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.

As editors and contributors, Buckley especially sought out intellectuals who were ex-Communists or had once worked on the far Left, including Whittaker Chambers, William Schlamm, John Dos Passos, Frank Meyer and James Burnham.[13] When James Burnham
James Burnham
became one of the original senior editors, he urged the adoption of a more pragmatic editorial position that would extend the influence of the magazine toward the political center. Smant (1991) finds that Burnham overcame sometimes heated opposition from other members of the editorial board (including Meyer, Schlamm, William Rickenbacker, and the magazine's publisher William A. Rusher), and had a significant effect on both the editorial policy of the magazine and on the thinking of Buckley himself.[14] Mission to conservatives[edit] National Review
National Review
aimed to make conservative ideas respectable,[3] in an age when the dominant view of conservative thought was expressed by Lionel Trilling in 1950:[15]

In the United States at this time liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition. For it is the plain fact that nowadays there are no conservative or reactionary ideas in general circulation... the conservative impulse and the reactionary impulse do not... express themselves in ideas but only... in irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas.

William Buckley, Jr., on the purpose of National Review:

[National Review] stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it… it is out of place because, in its maturity, literate America rejected conservatism in favor of radical social experimentation…since ideas rule the world, the ideologues, having won over the intellectual class, simply walked in and started to…run just about everything. There never was an age of conformity quite like this one, or a camaraderie quite like the Liberals’.[16]

National Review
National Review
promoted Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
heavily during the early 1960s. Buckley and others involved with the magazine took a major role in the "Draft Goldwater" movement in 1960 and the 1964 presidential campaign. National Review
National Review
spread his vision of conservatism throughout the country.[17] The early National Review
National Review
faced occasional defections from both left and right. Garry Wills
Garry Wills
broke with N.R. and became a liberal commentator. Buckley’s brother-in-law, L. Brent Bozell Jr., who ghostwrote The Conscience of a Conservative for Barry Goldwater, left and started the short-lived traditionalist Catholic magazine, Triumph in 1966. Defining the boundaries of conservatism[edit] See also: Conservatism
in the United States Buckley and Meyer promoted the idea of enlarging the boundaries of conservatism through fusionism, whereby different schools of conservatives, including libertarians, would work together to combat what were seen as their common opponents.[3] Buckley and his editors used his magazine to define the boundaries of conservatism—and to exclude people or ideas or groups they considered unworthy of the conservative title. Therefore, they attacked the John Birch Society, George Wallace, and anti-Semites.[3][18] Buckley's goal was to increase the respectability of the conservative movement; as Rich Lowry
Rich Lowry
noted: "Mr. Buckley's first great achievement was to purge the American right
American right
of its kooks. He marginalized the anti-Semites, the John Birchers, the nativists and their sort."[19] In 1957, the National Review
National Review
editorialized in favor of white leadership in the South, arguing that "the central question that emerges... is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race."[20][21] By the 1970s the National Review
National Review
advocated colorblind policies and the end of affirmative action.[22] In the late 1960s, the magazine denounced segregationist George Wallace, who ran in Democratic primaries in 1964 and 1972 and made an independent run for president in 1968. During the 1950s, Buckley had worked to remove anti-Semitism from the conservative movement and barred holders of those views from working for National Review.[23] In 1962 Buckley denounced Robert W. Welch Jr. and the John Birch Society as "far removed from common sense" and urged the Republican Party to purge itself of Welch's influence.[24] After Goldwater[edit] After Goldwater was defeated by Lyndon Johnson
Lyndon Johnson
in 1964, Buckley and National Review
National Review
continued to champion the idea of a conservative movement, which was increasingly embodied in Ronald Reagan. Reagan, a longtime subscriber to National Review, first became politically prominent during Goldwater's campaign. National Review
National Review
supported his challenge to President Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
in 1976 and his successful 1980 campaign. During the 1980s N.R. called for tax cuts, supply-side economics, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and support for President Reagan's foreign policy against the Soviet Union. The magazine criticized the Welfare state
Welfare state
and would support the Welfare reform
Welfare reform
proposals of the 1990s. The magazine also regularly criticized President Bill Clinton. It first embraced, then rejected, Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan
in his political campaigns. A lengthy 1996 National Review
National Review
editorial called for a "movement toward" drug legalization.[25] In 1985, the National Review
National Review
and Buckley were represented by attorney J. Daniel Mahoney during the magazine's $16 million libel suit against The Spotlight.[26] Political views[edit] Victor Davis Hanson, a regular contributor since 2001, sees a broad spectrum of conservative, anti-liberal and pro-western contributors:

In other words, a wide conservative spectrum—paleo-conservatives, neo-conservatives, tea-party enthusiasts, the deeply religious and the agnostic, both libertarians and social conservatives, free-marketeers and the more protectionist—characterizes National Review. The common requisite is that they present their views as a critique of prevailing liberal orthodoxy but do so analytically and with decency and respect.[27]

The magazine has been described as "the bible of American conservatism".[28] National Review
National Review
Online[edit] A popular feature of National Review
National Review
is the web version of the magazine, National Review
National Review
Online ("N.R.O."), which includes a digital version of the magazine, with articles updated daily by National Review writers, and conservative blogs. The on-line version is called N.R.O. to distinguish it from the paper magazine (sometimes referred to as "N.R.O.D.T." or National Review
National Review
On Dead Tree). It also features free articles, though these deviate in content from its print magazine. The site's editor is Charles C. W. Cooke.[29] Each day, the site posts new content consisting of conservative, libertarian, neoconservative, and neoliberal opinion articles, including some syndicated columns, and news features. It also features two blogs:

The Corner[30] – postings from a select group of the site's editors and affiliated writers discussing the issues of the day Bench Memos[31] – legal and judicial news and commentary

Markos Moulitsas, who runs the liberal Daily Kos
Daily Kos
web-site, told reporters in August 2007 that he does not read conservative blogs, with the exception of those on N.R.O.: "I do like the blogs at the National Review—I do think their writers are the best in the [conservative] blogosphere," he said.[32] National Review
National Review
Institute[edit] The N.R.I. works in policy development and helping establish new advocates in the conservative movement. National Review
National Review
Institute was founded by William F. Buckley Jr.
William F. Buckley Jr.
in 1991 to engage in policy development, public education, and advocacy that would advance the conservative principles he championed.[33] Finances[edit] As with most political opinion magazines in the United States, National Review
National Review
carries little corporate advertising. The magazine stays afloat by donations from subscribers and black-tie fund raisers around the country. The magazine also sponsors cruises featuring National Review
National Review
editors and contributors as lecturers.[28][34] Buckley said in 2005 that the magazine had lost about $25,000,000 over fifty years.[35] Presidential primary endorsements[edit] National Review
National Review
sometimes endorses a candidate during the primary election season. Editors at National Review
National Review
have said, "Our guiding principle has always been to select the most conservative viable candidate."[36] This statement echoes what has come to be called "The Buckley Rule". In a 1967 interview, in which he was asked about the choice of presidential candidate, Buckley said, "The wisest choice would be the one who would win... I'd be for the most right, viable candidate who could win."[37] The following candidates were officially endorsed by National Review:

1956: Dwight Eisenhower 1960: no endorsement[38] 1964: Barry Goldwater 1968: Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
[38] 1972: John M. Ashbrook
John M. Ashbrook
[38] 1976: Ronald Reagan 1980: Ronald Reagan 1984: Ronald Reagan 1988: George H.W. Bush 1992 1996 2000: George W. Bush 2004: no endorsement; incumbent was unopposed 2008: Mitt Romney[39] 2012: no endorsement[38] 2016: Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz

Editors and contributors[edit]

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The magazine's current editor-in-chief is Rich Lowry. Many of the magazine's commentators are affiliated with think-tanks such as The Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute. Prominent guest authors have included Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Peter Thiel, and Ted Cruz in the on-line and paper edition. Notable current contributors[edit] Current and past contributors to National Review
National Review
(N.R.) magazine, National Review
National Review
Online (N.R.O.), or both:

Elliott Abrams Richard Brookhiser, senior editor Mona Charen Charles C. W. Cooke, editor of N.R.O.. Frederick H. Fleitz David A. French John Fund, N.R.O. national-affairs columnist Jim Geraghty Jonah Goldberg, N.R. senior editor Victor Davis Hanson Paul Johnson Roger Kimball Charles Krauthammer Larry Kudlow Stanley Kurtz Yuval Levin James Lileks Rob Long, N.R. contributing editor Kathryn Jean Lopez Rich Lowry, N.R. editor Andrew C. McCarthy John J. Miller N.R. national political reporter Stephen Moore, financial columnist Deroy Murdock Jay Nordlinger Michael Novak John O'Sullivan, N.R. editor-at-large Ramesh Ponnuru David Pryce-Jones Tom Rogan Reihan Salam Ben Shapiro Katherine Timpf George F. Will Kevin D. Williamson, "roving correspondent" at N.R.

Notable past contributors[edit]

Renata Adler Steve Allen Wick Allison W. H. Auden Edward C. Banfield Jacques Barzun Peter L. Berger Allan Bloom George Borjas Robert Bork L. Brent Bozell, Jr. Peter Brimelow Pat Buchanan Jed Babbin Myrna Blyth Christopher Buckley William F. Buckley Jr., founder James Burnham John R. Chamberlain Whittaker Chambers Shannen W. Coffin Robert Conquest Richard Corliss Robert Costa Ann Coulter Arlene Croce Guy Davenport John Derbyshire Joan Didion John Dos Passos Rod Dreher Dinesh D'Souza John Gregory Dunne Max Eastman Eric Ehrmann Thomas Fleming Samuel T. Francis Milton Friedman David Frum Francis Fukuyama Eugene Genovese Paul Gigot Nathan Glazer Stuart Goldman Paul Gottfried Mark M. Goldblatt Michael Graham Ethan Gutmann Ernest van den Haag Jeffrey Hart Henry Hazlitt Will Herberg Christopher Hitchens Harry V. Jaffa Arthur Jensen John Keegan Willmoore Kendall Hugh Kenner Florence King Phil Kerpen Russell Kirk Irving Kristol Dave Kopel Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn Michael Ledeen Fritz Leiber John Leonard Mark Levin John Lukacs Arnold Lunn Richard Lynn Alasdair MacIntyre Harvey C. Mansfield Malachi Martin Frank Meyer Scott McConnell Forrest McDonald Ludwig von Mises Alice-Leone Moats Raymond Moley Thomas Molnar Charles Murray Richard Neuhaus Robert Nisbet Robert Novak Michael Oakeshott Kate O'Beirne Conor Cruise O'Brien Revilo P. Oliver Thomas Pangle Isabel Paterson Ezra Pound Paul Craig Roberts Murray Rothbard William A. Rusher, publisher, 1957–88 J. Philippe Rushton Steve Sailer Pat Sajak Catherine Seipp Daniel Seligman John Simon Joseph Sobran Thomas Sowell Whit Stillman Theodore Sturgeon Mark Steyn Thomas Szasz Allen Tate Jared Taylor Terry Teachout Taki Theodoracopulos Ralph de Toledano Auberon Waugh Evelyn Waugh Richard M. Weaver Robert Weissberg Frederick Wilhelmsen Garry Wills James Q. Wilson Tom Wolfe Byron York R. V. Young

Washington editors[edit]

L. Brent Bozell, Jr. Neal B. Freeman George Will, 1973–76[41] Neal B. Freeman, 1978–81 John McLaughlin, 1981–89 William McGurn, 1989–1992 Kate O'Beirne Robert Costa, 2012–13 Eliana Johnson, 2014–16


^ "Garrett Bewkes". Retrieved February 2, 2017.  ^ "Total Circulation for Consumer Magazines". Alliance for Audited Media.  ^ a b c d e f Perlstein, Rick (April 11, 2017). "I thought I understood the American Right". New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2017.  ^ Byers, Dylan. "National Review, conservative thinkers stand against Donald Trump". CNN. Retrieved 2017-04-05.  ^ Brooks, David (September 24, 2017). "The Conservative Mind". The New York Times. Retrieved June 11, 2017.  ^ Advertising Media Kit, National Review
National Review
Online. ^ Nash, George H. (1976, 2006). The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945. ISI Books: Wilmington, DE, pp. 186–93. ^ Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945. pp. 186–93. ^ a b Frohnen, Bruce, Jeremy Beer, and Jeffrey O. Nelson (2006) American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. ISI Books, Wilmington, DE, pp. 186–88 ^ Carl T. Bogus (2011). Buckley: William F. Buckley Jr.
William F. Buckley Jr.
and the Rise of American Conservatism. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781608193554.  ^ Gregory L. Schneider. ed. (2003). Conservatism
in America since 1930: a reader. NYU Press. pp. 195ff. ISBN 9780814797990. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Our Mission Statement, National Review
National Review
Online, November 19, 1955 ^ John P. Diggins, "Buckley's Comrades: The Ex-Communist as Conservative," Dissent July 1975, Vol. 22 Issue 4, pp. 370–86 ^ Kevin Smant, "Whither Conservatism? James Burnham
James Burnham
and 'National Review,' 1955–1964," Continuity, 1991, Issue 15, pp. 83–97; Smant, Principles and Heresies: Frank S. Meyer and the Shaping of the American Conservative Movement (2002) pp. 33–66 ^ Golden Days, National Review
National Review
Online, October 27, 2005. ^ Buckley, William (19 November 1955). "Our Mission Statement". National Review
National Review
Online. Retrieved April 27, 2012.  ^ Frohnen, Bruce, Jeremy Beer, and Jeffrey O. Nelson, eds. American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. (2006) pp. 601–04 ^ Roger Chapman, Culture wars: an encyclopedia of issues, viewpoints, and voices (2009) vol. 1 p. 58 ^ A Personal Retrospective, National Review
National Review
Online, August 9, 2004 ^ Buckley, William F. (August 24, 1957). "Why the South Must Prevail" (PDF). National Review. 4. pp. 148–49. Retrieved September 16, 2017.  ^ Quoted in John B. Judis, William F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives (2001) p. 138 ^ Laura Kalman, Right Star Rising: A New Politics, 1974–1980 (2010) p. 23 ^ Judis, William F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives pp. 283–87 ^ William F. Buckley Jr.
William F. Buckley Jr.
"Goldwater, the John Birch Society, and Me". Commentary. Archived from the original on March 8, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2008.  ^ "Nationalreview.com".  ^ Archibald, George (October 25, 1985). "Jury begged not to let Buckley 'punish and destroy' Spotlight" (PDF). The Washington Times. Washington, D.C. p. 3-A. Retrieved August 29, 2017.  ^ see Hanson, "The Home of Intellectual Populism Could Use Your Help" NRO 1 December, 2015 ^ a b Hari, Johann, Titanic: Reshuffling the Deck Chairs on the National Review
National Review
Cruise, in The New Republic, vol. 237, issue 1, July 2, 2007 (in Master File
Premier (EbscoHost) (PDF) (subscription may be required)), p. 31 ^ " Charles C. W. Cooke named Online editor at National Review". POLITICO. Retrieved 2016-06-18.  ^ "The Corner". Archived from the original on September 22, 2005.  ^ "Bench Memos".  ^ "Markos speaks", Ben Smith blog in The Politico, August 2, 2007. ^ "«".  ^ " National Review
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2017 Trans-Atlantic Crossing".  ^ Shapiro, Gary. "An 'Encounter' With Conservative Publishing", "Knickerbocker" column, The New York Sun, December 9, 2005. ^ "Nationalreview.com Romney for President".  ^ The Miami News, April 18, 1967. "A Trip into Idea Land with Bill Buckley". Retrieved October 17, 2011. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ a b c d Jonah Goldberg
Jonah Goldberg
(December 15, 2011). "The Editorial – My Take". Retrieved June 14, 2013.  ^ The Editors, December 11, 2007. "Romney for President". CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Editors (March 11, 2016). " Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz
for President". Retrieved May 20, 2016.  ^ "George F. Will: Daily Beast bio". Retrieved 2014-08-31. 


Allitt, Patrick. The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History (2010) excerpt and text search Bogus, Carl T. Buckley: William F. Buckley Jr.
William F. Buckley Jr.
and the Rise of American Conservatism
(2011) Critchlow, Donald T. The Conservative Ascendancy: How the Right Made Political History (2007) Frisk, David B. If Not Us, Who?: William Rusher, National Review, and the Conservative Movement (2011) Frohnen, Bruce et al. eds. American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia (2006) ISBN 1-932236-44-9 Hart, Jeffrey. The Making of the American Conservative Mind: The National Review
National Review
and Its Times (2005), a view from the inside Judis, John B. William F. Buckley, Jr.: Patron Saint of the Conservatives (2001) ISBN 978-0-7432-1797-2 Nash, George. The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 (2006; 1st ed. 1978) Schneider, Gregory. The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution (2009) Smant, Kevin J. Principles and Heresies: Frank S. Meyer and the Shaping of the American Conservative Movement (2002) (ISBN 1-882926-72-2)

External links[edit]

Official website NRI, National Review
National Review
Institute "President Honors Buckley at 50th Anniversary of National Review". White House. George W Bush. Oct 6, 2005. 

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