Know Your Enemy: Buckley for Mayor, with Sam Tanenhaus

Know Your Enemy: Buckley for Mayor, with Sam Tanenhaus

William F. Buckley Jr. biographer Sam Tanenhaus digs into the National Review founder’s 1965 run for mayor of New York City.

William F. Buckley, Jr. campaigns for mayor of New York City in 1965. (Bettmann/Getty Images)

Know Your Enemy is a podcast about the American right co-hosted by Matthew Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell. Read more about it here. You can subscribe to, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and receive bonus content by supporting the podcast on Patreon.

Finally, a deep-dive on William F. Buckley Jr.! Matt and Sam are joined by Buckley’s biographer, Sam Tanenhaus, to talk about WFB’s 1965 campaign for mayor of New York City. Topics include how Buckley’s campaign made him the most famous conservative in America; the importance of his candidacy to the conservative movement’s rise; the hardline positions he took on policing and his inflammatory views on race; and more. Along the way, Tanenhaus offers countless details that only Buckley’s biographer would know, from WFB dropping LSD with James Burnham to the debate that changed Buckley forever.


Sources and further reading:

Sam Tanenhaus, Whittaker Chambers: A Biography, Random House

Sam Tanenhaus, The Buckley Effect, New York Times Magazine

Carl T. Bogus, Buckley: William F. Buckley Jr. and the Rise of American Conservatism, Bloomsbury

Matthew Sitman, There Will Be No Buckley Revival, Commonweal


…and don’t forget you can subscribe to Know Your Enemy on Patreon to listen to all of our bonus episodes!