Audio interviews of William F. Buckley, Steve Forbes, Milton Friedman, Newt Gingrich, Barry Goldwater, Edwin Meese III, and Ronald Reagan are among the more than two hundred cassette tapes that have been digitized for preservation and access by Hoover’s audio lab. The interviews were conducted by Lee Edwards, an adjunct professor of politics at the Catholic University of America and a former Hoover media fellow. Edwards used the interviews as source material for his many books, including biographies of Goldwater, Meese, and Reagan ands histories of the Heritage Foundation and the conservative movement. The inventory of the Lee Edwards papers contains a list of these recordings.
In one interview of Buckley, in 1996, Edwards focused on the conservative movement. During the interview Buckley listed some of the turning points of that movement during the preceding fifty years, including the Taft-Hartley Act, the conviction of Alger Hiss, the election of Reagan, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Buckley went on to explain why he considers Reagan the most important conservative figure of the period and argue that, aside from being crowd-pleasers, Goldwater and Reagan were not very similar. Other topics covered are Gingrich, the National Review, libertarianism versus conservatism, and the possibility of a purely libertarian president. When Edwards attributed the recent success of conservatives to their focus on two concepts, communism as evil and the welfare state as out of control, Buckley added a third, belief in a transcendent God.
Edwards is a prolific interviewer, so there are many more audiotapes in the collection that are being digitized by the audio lab. To make an appointment to listen to any of the presently digitized recordings or to purchase copies, click on Audiovisual Services.