William F. Buckley’s humor and profound love of the sea are evident everywhere in this account of his voyage across the Atlantic in his sailboat, Sealestial. Full of wit, adventure, and a passionate love of life, this account is sure to fascinate fans of seafaring lore—and anyone who yearns to get lost beyond the horizon.

Atlantic High is ostensibly the tale of Buckley’s 1980 voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, a recond of Buckley’s meditations on the pleasures of sailing and the importance of good company. Not surprisingly, as much thought seems to have gone into stocking the wine cellar as to charting the route across the high seas. This is an essay on appreciation, and a chance for Buckley to exercise his unique sense of humor and share his spirited point of view.

fter a leisurely aside-filled discussion of other trips, Buckley sets out with several close friends and a photographer to make his second trans-Atlantic crossing. The first crossing provided the basis for his popular book, Airborne. When asked by People magazine why he chose to make the crossing for a second time, Buckley replied with characteristic drollness, “the wedding night is never enough.” It is a passion for sailing that motivates Buckley and enlivens these pages.

The book ranges easily from observation to speculation, from humorous character sketch to wry editorial commentary. It is peppered with anecdotes, including one in which Buckley, armed with a hacksaw, breaks into a boatyard to steal his own boat back from an unscrupulous repairman. In another, President Reagan calls to discuss a conflict that is brewing in Africa, but all Buckley can think about is the weather ahead of him and his crew.

From the Mujeres Islands to Fiji to Bermuda, to Sao Miguel and Gibraltar and beyond, the reader is treated to Buckley’s observations of the places he visits and the people he encounters. A work as hard to categorize as Buckley himself, Atlantic High offers a real glimpse into Buckley’s philosophical meanderings as well as the good life on the high seas.

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Author Description

Author, public speaker, political candidate and television personality, William F. Buckley, Jr. was one of America's most prominent public figures. Born in 1925 in New York City, Buckley graduated with honors from Yale University. In 1955 he founded the conservative journal The National Review, and seven years later launched his syndicated column, "On The Right," which appeared in over three-hundred newspapers. In 1968 he began hosting Firing Line on PBS. Buckley won numerous awards for his journalism, including an Emmy and a TV Guide award for best interviewer on television.

Buckley's work as an author has been wide-ranging. Perhaps his most well-known work is 1951's God and Man at Yale, but Buckley authored other novels including Saving the Queen (1976), A Very Private Plot (1994), and a fictional account of Senator Joseph McCarthy, The Red Hunter (1999). Buckley's spy novel, Stained Glass, won the American Book Award for Best Mystery in 1980. He has also written two accounts of his sailing voyages, Airborne and Atlantic High.

In 1992 Buckley was awarded the National Institute of Sciences Gold Medal Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H.W. Bush.


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ROSETTABOOKS BY WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY