A debate at the Cambridge Union in 1963 between James Baldwin and William Buckley, Jr. on the motion "Has the American dream been achieved at the expense of the American Negro."
A period piece that seems to belong to another age and yet all the issues with which we wrestle today are there in one form or another in this archival relic of two generations ago.
How wonderfully civilized is the whole event. A respectful exchange of ideas, an attentive audience. Articulate. Insightful. Much truth from all parties. The elegance of structured arguments in contrast with the passion of human arguments. Notice the close attention being paid and the sustained focus. No fidgeting, whispering, texting, disrespect.
I have always heard very positive things about Buckley as a writer and speaker. I am not seeing it in this performance. Command of language - absolutely. Effective rhetoric - I am not so sure. And yet, he does also make some telling points. Baldwin and his partner David Heycock had the better of the evening. What a treasure to come across this.