Books, Arts, and Manners

NRI sponsors National Review’s popular Books, Arts & Manners section—an explicitly nonpolitical section of the magazine. Since its founding, National Review has made coverage of and commentary on the culture an integral part of its mission. Bill Buckley had a deep understanding of the essential role of culture in realizing a life well lived. NRI has embraced this aspect of his legacy, hosting and supporting a variety of cultural events.

NRI Fellows

The NRI Fellows are a distinguished group of voices who play a vital role in NRI’s mission of educating the public and promoting conservative principles. Each of them brings years of experience and expertise to the Institute. They headline our Regional Partnership Events and NRI On Campus events, serve as guest interlocutors at our Regional Fellow dinners, and mentor our William F. Buckley journalism fellows. NRI also supports the expertise and scholarship of its fellows by supporting various thought centers based around their work.

Regional Partnership Events

Part of NRI’s mission is to “draw from and support other conservative institutions.” In that spirit, in December 2013, NRI began this initiative to co-sponsor events with state-based think tanks, civic groups, and other educational organizations across the United States. National Review Institute partners with organizations to co-host regional events across the country that feature NR’s best talent. By co-sponsoring these events, NRI and local groups are able to meet each other’s friends and supporters, and introduce them to NR writers. NRI’s Regional Partnership Events program aims to both help strengthen partner groups and build a larger National Review community around the country. It is a strategic—and mutually beneficial—relationship that invigorates the conservative movement at the grassroots level.

NRI On Campus

William F. Buckley Jr. understood how vitally important young people are to the future of our country, and he frequently spoke on college campuses throughout his illustrious career to promote the principles of classical liberalism and limited government. It was Buckley’s unyielding dedication to these principles that united the freedom movement and launched conservatism back into the political mainstream.

In this spirit, the National Review Institute brings the National Review mission to college campuses, where it provides opportunities for college students to learn about the principles and ideas of a free society and empowers them to “stand athwart history.” Through events, social media, and disseminating of NR magazine, NRI reaches today’s students with timeless conservative ideas rooted in Buckley’s own powerful campus legacy.

Regional Fellowship

The goal of NRI’s Regional Fellowship program is to introduce succeeding generations to the conservative movement’s most important thinkers, institutions, and writings, and to build a network of talented, like-minded individuals who can assist one another professionally and personally for years to come. Each class of Regional Fellows meets for a series of eight weeknight dinner seminars. The Regional Fellowship program follows a syllabus that fosters a rigorous examination of conservative principles and how they apply to the issues of the day. Incorporating readings from Burke to Buckley, the syllabus focuses on the foundations of conservative thought.

 Originally known as the NRI “Washington Fellows,” the program has been conducted in Washington, DC since 2009. In February 2014, with a new curriculum and new focus on mid-career professionals, the renamed Regional Fellows program expanded to New York City. NRI has since expanded the program to Dallas, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and, launching this fall, Chicago.

William F. Buckley Jr. Fellows in Political Journalism

William F. Buckley Jr. nurtured two generations of conservative journalists. His enormous legacy includes scores of conservative editors and writers. The annual William F. Buckley Jr. Fellowship in Political Journalism is a unique opportunity for two recent college graduates to work as a writer/reporter with National Review for a one year term.

Center for Unalienable Rights

William F. Buckley Jr. strongly believed that preserving the constitutional rights and liberties enshrined in our founding documents was fundamental to the success of the conservative project and devoted his life to this cause. National Review Institute carries on Buckley’s legacy of boldly fighting back against liberty’s staunchest opponents through The Center for Unalienable Rights.  

The Center for Unalienable Rights is built around NRI senior fellow David French’s vast experience and legal expertise. It acts as a bastion for First Amendment freedom and thought at a time when the erosion of these rights seems to have reached a critical point.

Center for Religion, Culture, and Civil Society

National Review Institute’s Center for Religion, Culture, and Civil Society furthers William F. Buckley Jr.’s mission to bring conservative thought and ideals to a national audience by putting a special focus on personal faith and how it positively influences society and culture. The Center does this by hosting private, invitation-only salons for NRI members, intellectuals, and opinion-leaders, and giving them the opportunity to discuss critical issues of importance with NRI Senior Fellow Kathryn Jean Lopez; hosting meetings that unite religious and conservative leaders, working together on specific issues involving an array of policy issues; and representing NRI at key conferences and gatherings. The purpose of the Center is in the tradition of Mr. Buckley’s life of faith, which enlivened his undertaking with a passionate commitment to virtue, to human life and dignity, and to liberty against any whisper of godlessness or tyranny that threatened these religious principles.

Center for the Defense of Western Civilization

William F. Buckley Jr. advocated for a strong Western Civilization, free from threats against our freedoms. Indeed, at Buckley’s last official National Review board meeting, held in late 2007, he explicitly and dramatically tasked directors with making a consistent and relentless fight against Islamic terrorism and extremism a top priority. Inspired by Mr. Buckley’s call, and by current events, National Review Institute has embraced the mission to stand athwart radicalism, yelling stop, with the creation of the Center for the Defense of Western Civilization, which will connect leading conservative intellectuals with loyal followers and supporters from across the nation, all with the sole aim of protecting a free society and defeating its determined foes. The Center’s work primarily focuses on two key NRI senior fellows Victor Davis Hanson and Andrew C. McCarthy.

The Buckley Legacy Project

The Buckley Legacy Project is designed to make Buckley’s writings on crucial, relevant topics accessible to NRI supporters, our friends and allies within the conservative movement, and, importantly, a new generation of citizens and intellectual leaders. As part of an archival project, NRI will amass Buckley’s writings in specific subject areas focused on editorial priorities and produce two to four booklets each year. The material, also sorted by historical anniversary and topic, will be promoted via social media. In this way, Buckley’s legacy will impact an even greater range of American citizens.


In 1966, Buckley took his conservative message beyond the pages of National Review and directly to the American public. Through Firing Line, for over three decades he influenced the millions of Americans who tuned in weekly for intelligent discussion—of key events, of core principles, and of leading policy makers—between powerful voices on the Left and Right.

In the spring, NRI, in partnership with the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, celebrated the 50th anniversary of Firing Line and the Buckley legacy in three cities: Dallas, New York, and Washington, D.C. Our kickoff partnership event was held at Harlan Crow’s new Debate Chamber on the Old Parkland campus located in Dallas. True to Buckley’s legacy, this series of events provides a forum for civilized debate and discussion—lessons that important legacy still teaches us today. We are pleased to continue our partnership with Old Parkland.


 National Review Institute is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), journalistic think tank, established to advance the conservative principles William F. Buckley Jr. championed, and complement the mission of National Review magazine by supporting and promoting NR’s best talent. All contributions to it are deductible for income, gift, and estate tax purposes. EIN# 13-3649537