Subttitled “The Life and Tumultous Times of Pat Buchanan,” The Crusader is a near-350 page tome tracing the life of the controversial conservative. It’s a biography that is both fascinating and revolting.
Stanley traces Buchanan’s life as a young thug in a Washington D.C.’s lower income neighborhoods through his time with the disgraced President Nixon and beyond. Buchanan is amazing survivor who spends time with the politically vile yet whose career never seems to suffer.
A historical revisionist and extreme isolationist (he considers Churchill and FDR warmongers who “dragged” the allies into WWII), Buchanan’s political and writing career has attracted admiration from neo-confederates, Nazis fighting extradition for trial, and people like David Duke. He has aligned himself with anyone and everyone he thought would help his “crusade.”
Stanley has managed to write an admirably nonjudgemental book on such a figure. However, Stanley ‘lets the side down’ a bit with misplaced attempt to compare the “Buchanan Brigades” and the Tea Party movement. In fact Stanley completely ignores the most obvious comparison for Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul. Both Paul and Buchanan (and their supporters) are isolationist, anti-free trade, anti-Israel, and anti-immigration. In fact many of Ron Paul’s senior staffers have written for and worked with Buchanan at one time or other.
Stanley’s ability to be so objective about the subject matter no doubt stems from the fact he is British. The writing style flows nicely and never bogs down. The Crusader is not a turgid biography by any manner. It will have the reader wondering how anyone could admire Pat Buchanan.