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Speaking to the Devil: From Buckley & Vidal to the present

In 1968 at the national party conventions, William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal—two ideological and personal rivals—debated the issues of the day and traded insults. It was an explosive political spectacle that presaged the culture wars and today's polarized media landscape. Following a short screening, Rick Perlstein (author of "Nixonland") and Modern Age editor Daniel McCarthy will discuss the Buckley/Vidal debates, and their historical context and relevance today, in a moderated conversation led by Timothy Crimmins. At a time of deep division, it’s worth asking: Has there ever been civil discourse in America?

This event will feature a short screening from the Buckley/Vidal debates, followed by a discussion and Q&A.

Presented by The Point Magazine, Illinois Humanities and the Public Media Institute.