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Book Review: Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship that Shaped the Sixties

by Kevin M Schultz (WW Norton, £17.99)bib4

One of the scourges of contemporary publishing is the genre of books that declare that this meeting or that chance encounter changed the course of history. More often than not, such claims turn out to be threadbare. Sometimes, though, the gambit pays off. Kevin M Schultz’s Buckley and Mailer is a case in point.

Schultz’s argument is that the unlikely friendship between the conservative intellectual William F Buckley and the novelist Norman Mailer “shaped the sixties,” as the book’s subtitle puts it. That may be overstating things a…

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