The Crusader tells the fascinating life story of Pat Buchanan, the three-time presidential candidate, Nixon confidant, White House communications director during Iran-Contra, pundit, and bestselling author.
Buchanan is one of America’s most controversial conservative rebels. After serving Nixon and Reagan, he led a revolt against the Republican establishment that was a forerunner for the Tea Party. In 1992 he tried to take away his party’s nomination from the incumbent president, George H. W. Bush. Although he lost, Buchanan set the tone for political debate for the next two decades when he declared a “cultural war” against liberalism and a jihad on Republican moderates. Throughout the 1990s, his radical, rollicking presidential campaigns tore apart the GOP and articulated the hopes and fears of a new generation of Middle American conservatives.
This balanced, and often funny, biography explores the highs and lows of Buchanan’s career, from his stunning victory in the 1996 New Hampshire primary to his humiliating “grudge match” against Donald Trump in the 2000 Reform Party contest.
At its heart is a man who embodies the contradictions of the conservative movement: a wealthy bookworm who branded himself as an everyman reactionary, a Republican insider who became a populist outsider, a patriarch whose campaigns were directed by his sister, a socially unacceptable ideologue who won the affection of liberals and conservatives alike—Rachel Maddow, Ralph Nader, Eugene McCarthy, Ron Paul, even Mel Gibson.
Timothy Stanley tells the intimate story of the man who defined the culture war for a generation of Americans with outrage and wit; the man who, when asked what he thought about gun control, replied, “I think it’s important to have a steady aim.”
"Patrick Buchanan, an ardent voice of conservatism, Washington insider, columnist, and presidential candidate, deserves a good biography. This is it. Timothy Stanley, a young English scholar and himself a former candidate for Parliament, brings a fresh, outsider’s eye to the remarkable career of Pat Buchanan."—Donald T. Critchlow, Barry Goldwater Chair of American Institutions, Arizona State University
“Stanley's biography of Pat Buchanan combines meticulous research, including the fruits of multiple interviews, with highly accessible prose and judicious judgments.”—Paul Gottfried, author of Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right
“The life story of Pat Buchanan offers a new and fascinating angle on the rise of the conservative Right. Stanley’s eye for both the telling detail and the big story insures that The Crusader is not only fascinating biography, it is also very important history.”—Lizabeth Cohen, author of A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America
“For more than three decades, Pat Buchanan has lived a fascinating, aggressive life swimming in the crosscurrents of conservative revolt. He has articulated the cause, not as a sideline commentator but as a gladiator in the arena. He has been often written off, but as a writer, moralist, candidate, and talking head, Buchanan keeps bouncing back. In The Crusader, Timothy Stanley has written a compelling, important history of this durable man and his colorful times.”—Adam Clymer, author of Edward M. Kennedy: A Biography
"An engrossing look inside an ultra-conservative mind."--Kirkus Reviews"Drawing on interviews with Buchanan’s friends, colleagues, and adversaries and with Buchanan himself, Stanley highlights the strongly held beliefs that helped launch the culture wars that sharply contrast the visions of religious, Republican conservatives and secularist, Democratic liberals. Stanley details Buchanan’s career trajectory, his rambunctious candidacies, frustration with the Republican Party, and enduring influence on a new generation of conservative Republicans."--Booklist"Stanley interviewed Buchanan extensively, which allowed him to produce a cooperative, but unauthorized biography. ... Stanley does a good job introducing Buchanan to non-movement Conservatives. For the uninitiated, The Crusader serves as a very good greatest hits album. For the initiated, there are plenty of deep tracks, too."--Human Events"The reader of Timothy Stanley’s biography, The Crusader, cannot help being impressed by the durability of Buchanan’s career."--The Washington Post