Extraordinary Joe: Joseph Sobran Had a Golden Pen and the Common Touch
Lynch, Kevin, The American Conservative
THE NEW YORK TIMES obituary of Joe Sobran (1946-2010) described him as "one of the conservative whiz kids" who came to National Review at the invitation of William Buckley. There were indeed others, with Garry Wills and David Brooks being perhaps the best known. But those whiz kids were different from Joe. For them, NR was a stepping stone to other things. For Joe, NR was home, and he intended to stay.
He came to New York City and NR in 1972, by way of Ypsilanti, Michigan, and this ever loyal son of the Midwest never gave a sense of being awed by place or company. Why should he be? He came armed. He knew his Burke, his Chesterton, his Dr. Johnson, not to mention his beloved Shakespeare--on whom he had lectured at Eastern Michigan University--and was always ready to fire off a quote from any of them. His timing was exquisite. He would, at the perfectly appropriate moment, offer the perfectly apt quote to illuminate the moral or political point under discussion. I preceded Joe by three years at NR, and editorial sessions in the pre-Sobran days were far from somber affairs, especially when Bill Buckley was presiding. But with Joe on board they frequently became hilarious. He would come up with a quip or quote that would cause the room to erupt, and Buckley's laughter was invariably the heartiest. No one could …
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Publication information: Article title: Extraordinary Joe: Joseph Sobran Had a Golden Pen and the Common Touch. Contributors: Lynch, Kevin - Author. Magazine title: The American Conservative. Volume: 9. Issue: 9 Publication date: December 2010. Page number: 32+. © 2009 The American Conservative LLC. COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group.
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