Thursday, May 4, 2023

A Look Back At William F. Buckley's Spy Thrillers

I’ve been watching old videos of William F. Buckley’s TV program Firing Line. 

The program aired on PBS from 1966 to 1999. There was nothing else on TV quite like Firing LineI thought that William F. Buckley was brilliant, and he was a huge influence on my thinking. 

You can watch an episode of Firing Line via the below link:

 Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr.: War Crimes: Part II - YouTube 

In addition to his TV program, newspaper columns, political books and editing his conservative magazine, National Review, William F. Buckley also wrote spy thrillers. 

His series of pro-American and pro-CIA spy thrillers (Buckley served briefly as a CIA officer in Mexico) featured his fictional CIA officer Blackford Oakes involved with actual historical events and real historical figures. 

I enjoyed the novels immensely.

I reviewed his final thriller, Last Call for Blackford Oakes, for the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2005. 

You can read the review below:  

Note: You can click on the above to enlarge: 

You can also read about his spy thriller series via the below link: 

Blackford Oakes Series by William F. Buckley Jr. ( 

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