Bill Buckley was many things, but centrally he was one of the great American journalists, whose historic achievement was the creation of National Review. Historians will look to his magazine when they seek to explain much that has happened to the America of our time. During the 1930s, Walter Lippman was an important journalist, and like Buckley wrote many useful books. But whereas Lippman explained and defended something that already existed, the reformist Progressive movement and the New Deal, Buckley brought into being something new, something that had no existence before—the modern conservative movement.
Through his public personality, and his distinctive prose style, he also gave conservatism a new public face—no longer Sen. Robert Taft, a man of integrity and intellect but someone who made Herbert Hoover look like Rudolph Valentino.