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Entry from March 26, 2015
“I would rather be governed by the first hundred names in the telephone book”

American conservative author and journalist William F. Buckley, Jr. (1925-2008)—who went to Yale University—didn’t think that academics necessarily made great legislators. The New York (NY) Times stated in a 1963 book review:

“William F. Buckley Jr., publisher of the weekly, The National Review, says that he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Boston telephone book than by the Harvard faculty.’

Buckley said in 1965 on the television news show Meet the Press:

“I have often been quoted as saying I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Boston telephone directory than by the 2,000 people on the faculty of Harvard University.”

Buckley’s quotation quickly became famous, although versions often state a few hundred people rather than 2,000. Buckley specifically mentioned Harvard, but the substance of the quotation has also been applied to other elite universities (including Yale).


Wikiquote: William F. Buckley, Jr.
William Frank Buckley Jr. (November 24 1925 - February 27 2008) was an American author, conservative journalist, who founded the conservative political magazine National Review in 1955 and hosted the award-winning television show Firing Line from 1966 until 1999.

Sourced
I am obliged to confess I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.
. 1963 statement, as quoted in (2006) by Ralph Keyes, p. 82
. Variant: I would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University.
..Meet the Press (1965), as quoted in The Quote Verifier : Who Said What, Where, and When (2006) by Ralph Keyes, p. 82
. .The numbers cited in paraphrases of this quote often vary from 100 to 2000.
. Unsourced variant: I would rather be governed by the first 2000 names in the Boston phone book than by the 2000 members of the faculty of Harvard University.

New York (NY) Times—Books
April 28, 1963
All That Is Out of Joint and Needs Setting Right
By RICHARD L. STROUT
RUMBLES LEFT AND RIGHT By William F. Buckley Jr.
William F. Buckley Jr., publisher of the weekly, The National Review, says that he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Boston telephone book than by the Harvard faculty. Nor is it merely Harvard. “Academic folk appeared almost in body,” he says, “to accept the hysterical myth that Senator McCarthy has ushered in a reign of terror.” Actually, McCarthy was “the most considerate of men,” Mr. Buckley adds, although he did employ “chronic exaggerations.”

9 September 1965, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), “GOP, Democrats Vie for Eggheads at Convention” by Paul Hope, pg. A-9, cols. 5-6:
One professor wanted to know how the Republicans expected to attract intellectuals to the party when a person like William Buckley makes a statement that he would rather be governed by the first 400 names in the Boston telephone book than by the Harvard faculty.

William Y, Elliott, a professor emeritus at Harvard, arose to help Morton (Senator Thruston B, Morton, a Republican from Kentucky—ed.) with that one. Confessing he has been around Harvard for 40 years, the professor said, “Buckley and I disagree on many things but on this I tend to go along with him.”

YouTube
Buckley
Teri O’Brien
Uploaded on Feb 28, 2008
Here in one of my favorite Buckley quotes he describes how he’d rather be governed by the first 2000 people in the phone book than by the faculty of Harvard.
WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY (video clip from Meet the Press in 1965—ed.): “I have often been quoted as saying I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Boston telephone directory than by the 2,000 people on the faculty of Harvard University.”

Steve Pieczenik Talks
THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2015
Republican Senator Ted Cruz, Presidential Contender: A Study in Narcissistic Solipsism.
(...)
Let me end with the witticism of the former Journalist/CIA operative, William F. Buckley:
“I would rather be governed by the first three hundred names in the Boston telephone book than by the Faculty of Harvard University.”
Posted by Steve Pieczenik at 2:27 PM

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Thursday, March 26, 2015 • Permalink


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