Richard Brookhiser wrote his first cover story for National Review at age fourteen, and became the magazine's youngest senior editor at twenty-three. William F. Buckley Jr. was Brookhiser's mentor, hero, and admirer; within a year of Brookhiser's arrival at the magazine, Buckley tapped him as his successor as editor-in-chief. But without warning, the relation ship soured—one day, Brookhiser returned to his desk to find a letter from Buckley unceremoniously informing him “you will no longer be my successor.”
Brookhiser remained friends and colleagues with Buckley despite the breach, and in Right Time, Right Place he tells the story of that friendship with affection and clarity. At the same time, he provides a delightful account of the intellectual and political ferment of the conservative resurgence that Buckley nurtured and led.
Witty and poignant, Right Time, Right Place tells the story of a young man and a political movement coming of age—and of the man who inspired them both.
In 1969, the precocious 14-year-old Brookhiser wrote a cover story for National Review and began to correspond with founding editor William F. Buckley Jr., who serves as both hero and, sometimes, villain of this wistful memoir. After graduating from Yale, the author became Buckley's designated successor, his rapid ascendancy mirroring the prodigious gains of the conservative movement as championed by the magazine and led by Ronald Reagan. The book, like the author's life, takes an abrupt turn when the mercurial Buckley writes him a letter to say that he no longer considers Brookhiser an appropriate candidate to succeed him. Brookhiser offers accounts of writing his book on Washington, Founding Father, and his struggle with testicular cancer, but the book becomes less focused as the relationship between the author and his mentor becomes strained. Nevertheless, the author deftly sets his personal and professional biography in a sharply observed historical and intellectual context, while sharing his deep affection for and occasional resentment of Buckley with compelling candor.