William Anthony Hay

Laying Down Crossfire

The Crusader: The Life and Tumultuous Times of Pat Buchanan

By

Thomas Dunne Books 455pp £17.49 order from our bookshop

Patrick Buchanan polarised American politics. His 1992 speech to the Republican National Convention set the terms of the ‘culture wars’, and his popular insurgency challenged the political establishment through the decade. Yet despite three attempts at the presidency, he never won elective office. He resembles Enoch Powell, who outraged the bien pensants and unnerved his own party’s leaders; like Powell, he has a propensity to shock deliberately and even repel an audience won over by oratorical force. The urge to provoke doomed Buchanan’s aspirations no less than Powell’s.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter