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📙 Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography by William F. Buckley, narrator William F. Buckley


In this autobiography, woven from personal pieces composed over the course of a celebrated writing life of more than 50 years, you'll meet William Buckley the boy, growing up in a family of 10 children; Buckley the daring young political enfant terrible, whose debut book, God and Man at Yale, was a shocking New York Times best seller; Buckley the editor of National Review, widely hailed as the founder of the modern conservative movement; Buckley the husband and father; Buckley the spy and novelist of spies; and Buckley the bon vivant. You'll also meet Buckley's friends: Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, Clare Boothe Luce, Tom Wolfe, John Kenneth Galbraith, David Niven, and many others. Along the way, the listener will be treated to Buckley's romance with wine, his love of the right word, his intoxication with music, and his joy in skiing and travel. ©2004 William F. Buckley, Jr.; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks

About book:



"Insight into Mr. Buckley"

Bill Buckley has been a titan of political thought for the last half century and was seminal to my own adult political formation. Therefore, my personal veneration of the man may lend to a biased view of this book. That said, because this book is actually a conglomeration of previously published material, it occasionally suffers from a lack of flow. However, if you are interested in the man himself, then this book is for you. The fact that it is narrated by the author, adds greatly to the experience. While there are passages on subjects that I would not consider cynosure (I am not a sailor and am not particularly interested in that pastime), I still give the audio book a 5-star rating based on the overall experience.


I knew of Buckley from his appearances on Firing Line, his newspaper columns, and occasional speeches and essays. I read this book immediately upon concluding Christopher Buckley's "Losing Mum and Pup" to see why Christo (if I may be so familiar) was so fond of his father. The book is a series of, for the most part, apolitical essays about life -- interesting people he has known, places he has traveled, and his two favorite outdoor pursuits, sailing and skiing. He shows himself to have been warm, witty, considerate, and a boon companion on his adventures. I found myself wishing the book could go on and on. Having the author narrate a personal book like this is helpful because he can add an arch tone to suggest a humorous jab that might be missed by the casual reader. Doubtless my favorite story was about the "Angel of Craig's Point," about which I will say no more. Read the book. I intend to read more of his work. I also see where Christopher got his wicked sense of humor. Great book, particularly for those not familiar with his body of work. The cover photo is a poor choice -- it makes Buckley appear weak, querulous, and pensive, qualities which simply don't exist in the book.

"Buckley, reading Buckley's writing about Buckley"

This book is Buckley's reading of Buckley's writing on Buckley's life experience, from childhood onward. I could imagine no better book, save God Himself reading the King James Bible.

"Buckley narrating is great"

Fun memoir, good anecdotes... occasionally starts to drag, but Buckley's voice is great nostalgia. Occasional uncorrected slip-ups do not detract but rather make it seem as though you're having a conversation with him.

"If you like Buckley, you'll love this"

What made the experience of listening to Miles Gone By the most enjoyable?

"Must Listen"

What made the experience of listening to Miles Gone By the most enjoyable?

"Buckley reads his life stories"

Would you listen to Miles Gone By again? Why?

"The sound of paint drying."

Given Mr. Buckley's reputation as a raconteur, I thought this book would be an entertaining read (listen?). Granted, some of the anecdotes from his childhood, his thumbnail sketches of famous people he has known, and his sailing adventures make good reading, but the bulk of the book is like listening to paint dry. The book reaches its nadir when Buckley whines on for over an hour tearing into the critics who panned his first book (God and Man at Yale, 1951). 1951!!! I will grant you, Mr. Buckley, that we are all entitled to flog a dead horse now and then, but endlessly flogging your dead critics is an act of literary onanism. I expected better from you. I keep this book by my bedside -- it is an admirable soporific -- decidedly not habit forming and it will not leave you feeling groggy in the morning.

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