Safire, William 1929–
Safire, William 1929–
PERSONAL: Born William Safir, December 17, 1929, in New York, NY; name legally changed to Safire; son of Oliver C (a thread merchant) and Ida (Panish) Safir; married Helene Belmar Julius (a jewelry maker), December 16, 1962; children: Mark Lindsey, Annabel Victoria. Education: Attended Syracuse University, 1947–49. Politics: Libertarian conservative.
ADDRESSES: Office—New York Times,, 1627 I St. N.W., Washington, DC 20006. Agent—Morton Janklow, 598 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10036.
CAREER: New York Herald-Tribune Syndicate, reporter, 1949–51; WNBC-WNBT, correspondent in Europe and Middle East, 1951; WNBC, New York, NY, radio-TV producer, 1954–55; Tex McCrary, Inc., vice president, 1955–60; Safire Public Relations, Inc., New York, NY, president, 1961–68; The White House, Washington, DC, special assistant to the President and speechwriter, 1968–73; New York Times, New York, NY, columnist in Washington, DC, 1973–2005. Member of Pulitzer Prize board, 1995–2004; Dana Foundation (a philanthropic organization in neuroscience), chairman and chief executive officer, 2000–. Military service: U.S. Army, 1952–54.
AWARDS, HONORS: Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, 1978, for articles on Bert Lance.
The Relations Explosion, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1963.
(With M. Loeb) Plunging into Politics, McKay (New York, NY), 1964.
The New Language of Politics, Random House (New York, NY), 1968, third edition published as Safire's Political Dictionary: The New Language of Politics, 1978, revised and enlarged edition published as Safire's New Political Dictionary: The Definitive Guide to the New Language of Politics, 1993.
Safire's Washington, Times Books (New York, NY), 1980.
What's the Good Word?, Times Books (New York, NY), 1982.
(Compiler, with brother, Leonard Safir) Good Advice, Times Books (New York, NY), 1982.
You Could Look It Up: More on Language, Times Books (New York, NY), 1988.
(Compiler and editor, with Leonard Safir) Words of Wisdom, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1989.
Fumblerules: A Light-hearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage, 1990.
(Compiler and editor, with Leonard Safir) Leadership, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1990
The First Dissident: The Book of Job in Today's Politics, Random House (New York, NY), 1992.
(Compiler and author of introduction) Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History, Norton (New York, NY), 1992.
(Compiler, with Leonard Safir) Good Advice on Writing: Writers Past and Present on How to Write Well, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1992.
Let a Simile Be Your Umbrella, illustrations by Terry Allen, Crown Publishers (New York, NY) 2001.
How Not to Write: The Essential Misrules of Grammar, Norton (New York, NY), 2005.
Author of political column "Essay," in New York Times, and "On Language" column in New York Times Magazine, 1979–. Contributor to Harvard Business Review, Cosmopolitan, Playboy, Esquire, Reader's Digest, Redbook, and Collier's.
On Language, Times Books (New York, NY), 1980.
I Stand Corrected: More on Language, Times Books (New York, NY), 1984.
Take My Word for It: More on Language, Times Books (New York, NY), 1986.
Language Maven Strikes Again, Holt (New York, NY), 1990.
Coming to Terms, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1991.
Quoth the Maven, Random House (New York, NY), 1993.
In Love with Norma Loquendi, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.
Watching My Language, Random House (New York, NY), 1996.
Spread the Word, Times Books (New York, NY), 1999.
No Uncertain Terms: More Writing from the Popular "On Language" Column in the New York Times Magazine, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.
The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time: Wit and Wisdom from the Popular "On Language" Column in the New York Times Magazine, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.
Full Disclosure, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1977, limited edition with illustrations by George Jones, Franklin Library, 1977.
Freedom, Doubleday, 1987.
Sleeper Spy, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.
Scandalmonger, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: William Safire has worn several hats in his varied career: speechwriter for President Richard Nixon, language commentator for the Sunday New York Times Magazine, political commentator for the New York Times, novelist, and historian. Safire does not pull his punches, and he has made both friends and enemies on all sides of political and linguistic issues. According to John A. Barnes in the National Review, "whether you love [Safire] or you hate him, you cannot afford to skip over him." Time contributor Paul Gray appreciated Safire's lack of rigidity: "William Safire has largely made his reputation through epigrammatic feistiness and hit-and-run repartee…. His twice-a-week columns continue to display reportorial zeal and refreshing unpredictability." Safire is also quick to alert his readers to governmental figures who run amuck. When speaking of his commentaries on English-language usage, some critics view Safire as an institution. David Thomas observed in the Christian Science Monitor that "Safire may be the closest we have to a clearinghouse for hearing, seeing, and testing how we're doing with the language."
Safire began his career as a public relations writer, took a job as speechwriter for Spiro Agnew in the 1968 presidential campaign, and eventually became a senior speechwriter for President Richard M. Nixon. He left his position, however, before the infamous bugging of Watergate and was finishing his memoir of the Nixon White House when the president resigned. Because of the timing of its completion, Before the Fall almost missed publication entirely. The book painted a fairly positive view of the administration and was rejected by William Morrow, who also demanded back the royalty advance they had paid the author. But eventually the book was published by Doubleday.
Newsweek critic Walter Clemons called Before the Fall "a puffy, lightweight concoction, served up for the faithful." Clemons noted that "Safire is protective of Nixon, reserving his harshest judgment for the deviousness and drive for power he attributes to Henry Kissinger." But Atlantic contributor Richard Todd gave the book credit for being "full of interesting data on the theme that Safire identifies as crucial to the Nixon Administration: its sense of the world as 'us' against 'them.rsquo;" And Daniel Schorr recounted in the New York Times Book Review, Safire's description of Nixon's desire for "understanding and perspective," and noted: "If Nixon gets the kind of understanding he wants, this book will surely have helped a lot. In any event [Before the Fall] … will still be an enormous contribution to understanding the phenomenon called Nixon."
Safire's first novel, Full Disclosure, also deals with a president in danger of losing his office. His fictional leader, Sven Ericson, has been blinded after a bump on the head received while closeted in a Pullman berth with a female member of the White House press corps. The plot concerns whether the Twenty-fifth Amendment, which addresses disabled presidents, will be used to oust Ericson. New Republic contributor Stephen Hess commented that Full Disclosure's strength comes from the fact that it "is about presidential politics by a man who intimately knows presidential politics." But a Saturday Review contributor questioned the work's literary value, claiming that the story's political puzzle is "the book's one redeeming feature." The critic added, however, that by exploring Ericson's uncertain position, "Safire not only cooks up a fiery stewpot of political ambitions, but produces a dramatic warning of the [Twenty-fifth Amendment's] possible abuse."
Safire's columns on language for the New York Times Magazine are widely read and enjoyed. In several books, he has reprinted column selections and his readers' replies. On Language, the first of these collections, gives examples of correct and incorrect language usage and explores word origins as well. Several reviewers enjoyed Safire's interaction with his readers. "Although what Safire has discovered about word origins and their current usage made good reading, the inclusion of what his readers have to add makes them even more so," stated Christian Science Monitor contributor Maria Lenhart. And, according to D.J. Enright in the Encounter, "Safire's relations with his Irregulars are highly interesting, and help to generate much of the comedy in this almost continuously entertaining book."
Freedom, a heavily detailed historical novel, is the author's longest work. When Safire submitted the manuscript to his publisher after working on it for seven years, the triple-spaced copy ran 3,300 pages. When Doubleday found the book too large to bind, Safire had to cut at least one section; still, the final product was 1,152 pages long. In Freedom Safire again uses his Washington experience to describe the capital between June of 1861 and January 1, 1863. The story opens with Lincoln's issue of the Emancipation Proclamation and focuses on the president's role during the early Civil War years. New York Review of Books contributor C. Vann Woodward described Safire's Lincoln as "a Lincoln racked by debilitating depression (which he called melancholia), agonizing over the daily choice of evils, and seeking relief in one of his that-reminds-me stories. He is by turns Saint Sebastian, Machiavelli, Pericles, and an oversize, countrified Puck."
Safire explained his attitude toward Lincoln to Alvin P. Sanoff for U.S. News & World Report: "It's impossible to approach Lincoln honestly with a spirit of reverence and awe. He is a secular and not a religious figure. He wasn't martyred; he was assassinated. Approaching Lincoln as a political figure, which is what he was, you can appreciate him." Still, Safire concluded that "I've come to the conclusion that he was, indeed, the greatest President, with the possible exception of Washington, because he was so complex and so purposeful. When you see him with all the warts, when you see his drawbacks and his failures and his shortcomings, then you see his greatness." The author explained to Publishers Weekly contributor Trish Todd that one of the greatest issues facing the U.S. government at that time was the contemporary problem of "how much freedom must be taken away from individuals in order to protect the freedom of the nation."
While Freedom has received much popular and critical acclaim, some reviewers dislike the book's focus. Woodward felt Safire has almost neglected the presence of blacks in the Civil War: "One book of the nine into which the novel is divided is indeed entitled 'The Negro,' but it is largely concerned with other matters, with only four or five pages on blacks, and most of that is what whites said or did about them, not what they said and did themselves." Woodward added, "as a whole [blacks] are granted fewer than twenty-five lines of their own to speak. None of their prominent leaders are introduced, and Frederick Douglass is not mentioned…. Nowhere does this huge book face up squarely to the impact of slavery and the complexities of race." Other critics have found the book too lengthy and detailed. Chicago Tribune Books contributor John Calvin Batchelor, furthermore, called Freedom "a mountain to dazzle and assault," and stated that it is "loving, cogent, bottomlessly researched, [and] passionately argued." He also claimed that the book "is guaranteed to exhaust the reader like no other intellectual endeavor, yet in the end it delivers a miracle."
Safire ventured further into new writing territory with The First Dissident: The Book of Job in Today's Politics. Safire had long been fascinated by Job, the Biblical figure whose faith was tested by his many troubles and who sought an explanation from God. Published in a U.S. presidential election year, 1992, the book led Kenneth L. Woodward to report in Newsweek: "In this campaign season's most improbable political meditation, Safire has published … a sometimes wise and frequently witty demonstration of how Job's confrontation with Ultimate Authority can illuminate the power struggles in Washington and vice versa." Safire's interpretation of Job is a far cry from the most widely held view of him. He is usually held up as a model of long-suffering patience, but Safire views him as a righteous, rebellious, "even blasphemous" figure "who demands that God explain himself or stand guilty of abusing his own authority," explained Woodward. "He is in short, the original political contrarian, a fellow who, in another era, might just find work as a brave, truth-telling columnist."
Christian Science Monitor contributor Marshall Ingwerson noted that extensive study informs the book, and he remarked that "Safire's own concept of God is of a powerful—but not all-powerful—creator who leaves it to man to carve out justice in the world." But while Ingwerson and Woodward both credited the author with serious theological intent, another reviewer, Jonathan Dorfman, found The First Dissident a disappointing, superficial book. Writing in the Washington Post Book World, he found promise in Safire's stated premise, "to discern political lessons in Job and the book's relevance to modern politics," but goes on to say: "You begin the book with high expectations. Five minutes later, you realize that the author reduces the gravity of Job to a trifle with all the moral freight of Larry King Live." Dorfman further criticized Safire for trivializing Job's suffering by comparing him to politicians such as Gary Hart and Bert Lance. The reviewer deemed Safire's discussion of Job and Lincoln more appropriate, though: "In his meditation on Lincoln and Job, Safire drops his street-smart style; the tone is somber, fit for the gravity of the subject…. [The essay is] an elegiac lament that atones for much of his frivolity on the angry howl of Job."
Safire tried another new genre in 1995 with Sleeper Spy, a novel of espionage. New Yorker reviewer David Remnick characterized it as "an old-fashioned Washington-Moscow thriller. It features a hundred billion dollars, a sexy network newsie, a K.G.B. mole, lots of secret agents, and a hero who is … 'the world's greatest reporter.'" In the story, a Russian spy who has been working in finance in the United States is given a small fortune to invest and increases it many times over. With the breakup of the Soviet Union and the deaths of his spymasters, however, the agent is left on his own to be pursued by various factions. Reviewers were mixed in their assessment of Safire's skill in handling this type of thriller. "Interesting as all this is conceptually, it makes for a highly cerebral and talky novel—a mind game," remarked Morton Kondracke in the New York Times Book Review, adding, "Toward the end the reader is made to feel that the writer is having most of the fun, some of it at the expense of the reader, who's suddenly told without warning that things presumed to be facts simply aren't." Yet Kondracke allowed that Sleeper Spy "certainly does engage the mind and, on a few occasions, stir the pulse." New York Times reviewer George Stade was critical of Safire's handling of plot and dialogue, asserting that the author "has the skills of a reporter but not those of a storyteller." Remnick was more generous, however, calling Sleeper Spy "a great big ice-cream cone of a book: predictable, sweet fun."
Safire attracted considerable media attention himself in 1996, after he made a comment in his New York Times column about the firing of the travel workers in the White House by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Safire wrote in his column that Mrs. Clinton was a "congenital liar" for claiming that she "hadn't personally insisted on firing the seven-man White House Travel staff," reported William F. Buckley Jr. in the National Review. "In fact, according to her exemployee and Clinton pal Mr. Watkins, she did want them fired." President Clinton took umbrage at Safire's remarks and responded (through White House spokesman Mike McCurry) that, were he not president, he would punch Mr. Safire in the nose. "What fascinates is that this episode and a few others … invite the formal scrutiny of investigating panels, and theoretically, the courts themselves, because perjury is contingently involved," Buckley explained. "To get to the White House one promises one thing, does another. Or else one reaffirms on Monday what one repudiates on Tuesday? Some would go so far as guess that if he were simply 'Mr.' Clinton even then he wouldn't actually go to Mr. Safire's office and poke him in the Republican Party, or Congress, or the voters who vote for the wrong people."
The author reexamined some of the same issues surrounding the Clintons and their relationship with the media in his historical novel Scandalmonger. The book details the life and career of journalist James Thomson Callender, who at Thomas Jefferson's instigation first broke the story of Alexander Hamilton's extramarital affair, then a few years later released the story of Jefferson's decades-long affair with his slave Sally Hemings. "In light of the recent White House brouhaha," declared a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "it's fascinating to learn that in the days of the founding fathers, politicians were just as licentious and newspapermen even more scurrilous than some players in contemporary media." "Drawing on letters and historical records," Daisy Maryles and Dick Donahue stated in Publishers Weekly, "Safire shows how media invasion of private lives—as well as politicians' manipulation of the press—are as old as the Constitution itself." Booklist contributor Brad Hooper wrote, "For any who still believe that sexual scandalmongering is something new in Washington, DC, or that bitter partisanship did not exist in those hollowed days of the Founding Fathers, or that First Amendment issues are something only we in the present day wrestle with, let them read this novel and think again." "This meaty, profoundly engrossing novel," Barbara Conaty commented in Library Journal, "vividly illustrates episodes in the history of American journalism and government."
Safire's collections of his language columns continued to be popular with readers as the millennium drew to a close and the new one opened. Spread the Word, published in 1999, celebrates the twentieth anniversary of his "On Language" column. Among the terms and concepts Safire grapples with are alpha male; the new feminist power of the word "babe"; and how words related to cleaning, such as "ethnic cleansing," can stand in for genocide. Safire also considers the political metaphor of "left wing and right wing" and how it does not have much relation to birds. The proper use of among, betwixt, and between can also be found in these pages. "With energy and wit, he takes us for a spin around the linguistic turf of politics, the media, and popular culture," observed Booklist reviewer Philip Herbst.
Let a Simile Be Your Umbrella finds Safire "in fine form," noted Herbst in another Booklist review. With a diverse range of resources "he dissects curious coinages, trends, and flubs in English usage," Herbst stated. Much of the language in this volume concerns political terminology and concepts from the Bill Clinton presidency and Newt Gingrich's tenure as speaker of the house. As much as Safire delights in pointing out the linguistic gaffes of others, particularly politicians, he is equally demanding of himself, and demonstrates several instances in which his precision of language was in need of calibration. Although Library Journal reviewer Paul D'Allessandro felt the author's analysis of political terms is better than of popular phrases, he declared, "Safire never fails to prick the interest of word lovers." A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that Safire "proves that there is no wittier, more gracious stickler for correct usage and grammar" than himself.
No Uncertain Terms: More Writing from the Popular "On Language" Column in the New York Times Magazine concentrates on words and word usage from the last years of the Clinton presidency and the beginning of the Bush era. There are terms that figured large in Clinton's impeachment proceedings, as well as words that were important to Al Gore's ultimately failed presidential campaign, Safire points out. He covers word misuse, the development of slang terms, the evolutions of words and their meanings over time, and particularly creative uses of words or phrases. He also continues to print letters and feedback from his readers, establishing communications between himself and those who peruse his column. Collections of Safire's columns permit readers to "move from essay to essay and get a full sense of the breadth and depth of his work," observed Necia Parker-Gibson in the Library Journal. "If you are a fan of language or worried about your grammar, William Safire is your touchstone, whatever your political persuasion," commented Bob Trimble in the Dallas Morning News.
The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time: Wit and Wisdom from the Popular "On Language" Column in the New York Times Magazine once again collects a series of "On Language" columns, with Safire's crisp commentary. In this edition, however, "he does more than elucidate the origins of slang or correct common grammatical mistakes: he alerts readers to the rhetorical maneuvers of our politicians and public figures as only a former speechwriter can," observed a reviewer in Publishers Weekly. The subtle meaning of the Bush doctrine of "No Child Left Behind" is methodically analyzed, as are the important distinctions between "antiterrorism" and "counterterrorism" functions. Safire also looks carefully at the wording of a number of Supreme Court rulings, which resulted in a spirited response from Justice Antonin Scalia. "There is a lot to think about here for the language lover, for there is much subtlety in Satire's examinations of word usage," noted Booklist reviewer Brad Hooper.
Safire further indulges his love for words in Safire's New Political Dictionary: The Definitive Guide to the New Language of Politics, a collection of 1,100 definitions covering 1,800 terms in common use in politics and related pursuits. "It is a treasury of practical, curious, incidental and entertaining knowledge," commented Jay W. Stein in the Defense Counsel Journal. The words and phrases covered in the book consist largely of material that were notably used or introduced by presidents. From the Reagan years, Safire gleans evil empire, star wars, and Reaganomics. The first President Bush introduced America to voodoo economics, read my lips, and a thousand points of light. The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet empire brought to prominence words such as glasnost and perestroika. Each brief definition also includes a longer and more detailed word history. "For working journalists, the appeal of Safire's book isn't so much the definitions but its rich array of anecdotes and quotes that beg for use in one's next feature, column, or editorial," observed James E. Casto in American Journalism Review. A Booklist reviewer called the book a "highly readable, informative work."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 10, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1979.
American Journalism Review, March, 1993, Dennis McCann, review of The First Dissident: The Book of Job in Today's Politics, p. 49; May, 1994, James E. Casto, review of Safire's New Political Dictionary, p. 46.
America's Intelligence Wire, November 15, 2004, Pat Milton, "The New York Times' William Safire Announces Retirement as Op-ed Page Columnist."
Ascribe Higher Education News Service, September 13, 2002, "Pulitzer Prize Winning Essayist William Safire to Launch Fall 2002 University Lectures at Syracuse University."
Atlantic, July, 1975, Richard Todd, review of Before the Fall.
Booklist, January 15, 1994, review of Safire's New Political Dictionary, p. 971; August, 1994, Denise Perry, review of In Love with Norma Loquendi, p. 2004; September 1, 1995, George Needham, review of Sleeper Spy, p. 47; September 1, 1997, Alice Joyce, review of Watching My Language, p. 43; October 15, 1999, Philip Herbst, review of Spread the Word, p. 401; December 15, 1999, Brad Hooper, review of Scandalmonger, p. 739; October 15, 2000, Leah Sparks, review of Scandalmonger, p. 472; April 1, 2001, Karen Harris, review of Scandalmonger, p. 1490; October 15, 2001, Philip Herbst, review of Let a Simile Be Your Umbrella, p. 363; May 15, 2003, Gavin Quinn, review of No Uncertain Terms: More Writing from the Popular "On Language" Column in the New York Times Magazine, p. 1623; April 15, 2004, Brad Hooper, review of The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time: Wit and Wisdom from the Popular "On Language" Column in the New York Times Magazine, p. 1404.
Business Wire, November 15, 2004, "The New York Times to Run Final Op-ed Column by William Safire."
Christian Science Monitor, January 12, 1981, Maria Lenhart, review of On Language, p. B3; December 31, 1984, David Thomas, review of I Stand Corrected: More "On Language," p. 16; January 11, 1993, Marshall Ingwerson, review of The First Dissident, p. 15.
Columbia Journalism Review, January, 2000, Evan Cornog, review of Scandalmonger, p. 77; November-December, 2001, "The Rise of the Conservative Voice: William Safire, George Will Win Pulitzer Prizes for Column-Writing," p. 84.
Commentary, April, 1993, Edward N. Luttwak, review of The First Dissident, p. 56.
Daily News (New York, NY), November 16, 2004, Paul D. Colford, profile of William Safire.
Dallas Morning News, July 24, 2003, Bob Trimble, review of No Uncertain Terms.
Defense Counsel Journal, October, 1994, Jay W. Stein, review of Safire's New Political Dictionary, p. 597.
Economist, November 21, 1992, review of Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches in History, p. 107.
Encounter, April, 1981, D.J. Enright, review of On Language..
Entertainment Weekly, November 10, 1995, Gene Lyons, review of Sleeper Spy, p. 55.
Forbes, October 26, 1992, Steve Forbes, review of The First Dissident, p. 26.
Insight on the News, February 12, 1996, Alan L. Anderson, "The White House and the Liberal, Lawyer, Liar Label," p. 30.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2003, review of No Uncertain Terms, p. 594; April 1, 2005, review of How Not to Write: The Essential Misrules of Grammar, p. 407.
Library Journal, June 1, 1997, Peter A. Dollard, review of Lend Me Your Ears, p. 90; July, 1997, Cathy Sabol, review of Watching My Language, p. 83; November 15, 1999, Lisa J. Cihlar, review of Spread the Word, p. 78; January, 2000, Barbara Conaty, review of Scandalmonger, p. 162; February 15, 2001, Joseph L. Carlson, review of Scandalmonger, p. 217; October 1, 2001, Paul D'Allessandro, review of Let a Simile Be Your Umbrella, p. 99; June 15, 2003, Necia Parker-Gibson, review of No Uncertain Terms, p. 81.
Nation, June 21, 1999, David Sarasohn, "On Safire's Language," p. 10.
National Catholic Reporter, February 5, 1993, Michael J. Farrell, review of The First Dissident, p. 25.
National Review, November 28, 1980, John A. Barnes, review of Safire's Washington, p. 1472; March 29, 1993, Jerold S. Auerbach, review of The First Dissident, p. 66; February 12, 1996, William F. Buckley, Jr., "This 'Liar' Business," p. 62; December 13, 2004, "After More than Thirty Years, William Safire Is Relinquishing His Spot on the New York Times Op-ed Page," p. 14.
New Republic, July 9, 1977, Stephen Hess, review of Full Disclosure.
Newsweek, March 3, 1975, Walter Clemons, review of Before the Fall; November 9, 1992, Kenneth L. Woodward, review of The First Dissident, p. 81; January 31, 1994, Jonathan Alter, "Where There's Smoke, There's Safire," profile of William Safire, p. 41.
New York, December 21, 1992, William F. Buckley, Jr., "Right from the Start," profile of William Safire, p. 107.
New Yorker, August 21, 1995, David Remnick, "Spy Anxiety," review of Sleeper Spy, p. 116.
New York Review of Books, September 24, 1987, C. Vann Woodward, review of Freedom,, p. 23.
New York Times, November 5, 1992, Nicholas Lemann, review of The First Dissident, p. C20; September 4, 1995, George Stade, review of Sleeper Spy, p. A15.
New York Times Book Review, February 23, 1975, Daniel Schorr, review of Before the Fall; July 21, 1991, review of Coming to Terms, p. 18; November 8, 1992, Geoffrey Hodgson, review of The First Dissident, p. 14; October 31, 1993, Martin Walker, review of Safire's New Political Dictionary, p. 9; September 18, 1994, review of In Love with Norma Loquendi, p. 20; September 17, 1995, Morton Kondracke, review of Sleeper Spy, p. 15.
People, December 4, 1995, p. 36; January 29, 1996, Kim Cunningham, "Hell from the Chief," p. 94.
Publishers Weekly, April 30, 1982, Stella Dong, interview with William Safire, p. 12; March 29, 1987, Trish Todd, "William Safire Talks about Freedom, His New Novel," interview with William Safire; August 10, 1992, review of The First Dissident, p. 61; July 11, 1994, review of In Love with Norma Loquendi, p. 70; July 31, 1995, review of Sleeper Spy, p. 67; June 30, 1997, review of Watching My Language, p. 59; December 20, 1999, review of Scandalmonger, p. 53; February 14, 2000, Daisy Maryles and Dick Donahue, "A Scandalous Newcomer," p. 85; October 8, 2001, Let a Simile Be Your Umbrella, p. 52; April 21, 2003, review of No Uncertain Terms, p. 49; May 10, 2004, review of The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time, p. 44; May 2, 2005, review of How Not to Write, p. 185.
Saturday Review, July 9, 1977, review of Full Disclosure.
Time, August 31, 1987, Paul Gray, review of Freedom, p. 61; February 12, 1990, Walter Shapiro, "Prolific Purveyor of Punditry: As Comfortable with Wordplay as with Politics, William Safire Is the Country's Best Practitioner of the Art of Columny," p. 62; December 11, 1995, Belinda Luscombe, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Critic," p. 95; January 22, 1996, "Pugilistic Main Event of the Week," p. 11; March 18, 1996, "Verbatim," p. 33.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), August 9, 1987, John Calvin Batchelor, review of Freedom, p. 1; October 17, 1993, review of Good Advice on Writing, p. 8; September 17, 1995, review of Sleeper Spy, p. 6.
UPI Newstrack, November 15, 2004, "William Safire Ending NY Times Column."
U.S. News & World Report, August 24, 1987, Alvin P. Sanoff, "A Modern Vote for Abraham Lincoln," interview with William Safire, p. 57.
Vanity Fair, November, 1992, Marjorie Williams, "Safire and Brimstone," profile of William Safire, p. 148.
Washingtonian, August, 1991, Victor Gold, "Strong Words: Bill Safire on Truth, Consequences, and Winning in Washington," interview with William Safire, p. 66.
Washington Post, December 1, 1995, Howard Kurtz, "The Mole in the Hill: a Spy Story; How Aldrich Ames Became a Literary Critic," p. F1.
Washington Post Book World, August 27, 1995, Jonathan Dorfman, review of The First Dissident, p. 5.
Weekly Standard, November 22, 2004, Elaine Margolin, review of Lend Me Your Ears, p. 43.
Wilson Library Bulletin, March, 1994, James Rettig, review of Safire's New Political Dictionary, p. 95.
New York Times Online, http://www.nytimes.com/ (October 8, 2005), biography of William Safire.
Salon.com, http://www.salon.com/ (November 22, 2004), Eric Boehlert, "William Safire's Dubious Legacy."