Buckley vs. Vidal transcripts document fiery debates during the 1968 presidential conventions

Memphis, Tenn. ­– The ongoing friction found in the U.S. political system has caused long-standing debates on many stages, but it wasn’t until the legendary presidential debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley Jr. that they became a part of mainstream television in the heated way society has come to expect. In a year fraught with tragedy, including the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., tensions ran high as Americans debated their next president, and these two highly political figures found their debates giving them the undivided attention of the American people. Buckley vs. Vidal: The Historic 1968 ABC News Debates contains the only published set of complete transcripts from the debates surrounding the 1968 presidential conventions.


Memphis publisher Tom Graves of the Devault-Graves Agency was fascinated by the Buckley vs. Vidal debates while studying politics at the University of Memphis. After years of searching for recordings, he eventually discovered VHS tapes of the debates and digitally transferred them for a screening at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. A smashing success, the showing sold out and set the groundwork for the documentary “Best of Enemies.” Director Robert Gordon provides his insightful knowledge of the debates in the introduction to the Buckley vs. Vidal transcripts.

After a theatrical run, phenomenal critical reviews and an Academy Award nomination, “Best of Enemies” is headed to the small screen, showing the Buckley vs. Vidal debates in their original medium for the first time since the 1960s. The television premiere of the documentary is airing Oct. 3, 2016 on PBS.

Founded by Darrin Devault and Tom Graves, The Devault-Graves Agency specializes in reprinting the finest in American period literature through two imprints: Devault-Graves Digital Editions and Chalk Line Books.