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Letters: Vidal vs. Buckley

August 03, 2012

Re "Iconoclast wielded sharp pen, tongue," Obituary, Aug. 1

Gore Vidal "demolished"William F. Buckley Jr.? Hardly.

In response to dueling essays commissioned by Esquire in 1969, each sued the other for libel. The cases were settled, but Vidal paid the court costs in both, and Buckley, not Vidal, received a published apology from the magazine's editors. The two men had a biting, adversarial relationship, but Buckley was in every sense Vidal's intellectual and oratorical equal.

The legacy of each will survive, despite the antagonism of the other.

J.B. White



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