Speaking up

William F. Buckley Jr. recently described what riding the lecture circuit meant for him (New Yorker, October 12). "Your agent discloses . . . where exactly the lectures will take place. . . . I do not actually examine, until the plane has set down, . . . my exact destination and the name of the body sponsoring my lectures." Buckley imagines that his experiences in the lecture circuit are fairly typical. He acknowledges that, among other rewards, there is the "economic factor": "There is no journalistic or pedagogical activity more re­mun­erative. . . . The compensation . . . consists not only of the fee and the satisfaction of passing along the Word but of the relative ease of preparation." Buckley says he has a standard lecture that he updates regularly, so he has "in hand a speech that, as far as the audience is concerned, might have sprung full-blown from my imagination that morning."


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