Radio’s Greatest of All Time: Rush Limbaugh - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Radio’s Greatest of All Time: Rush Limbaugh
by
Rush Limbaugh in 2018 (Fox News/YouTube)

Rush lives.

In a wonderful, newly published tribute to the late Rush Limbaugh, his wife, Kathryn Adams Limbaugh, and Rush’s brother, David Limbaugh, have gathered Rush’s friends and colleagues — and not least, transcripts of Rush’s words of wisdom — to “reflect on what made him ‘America’s Anchorman.’”

The book is titled Radio’s Greatest of All Time.

The book, with ample contributions from Rush’s broadcasts and brimming with beautiful color photographs of Rush at various stages of his life, is not simply a fabulous tribute to Rush.

The book is a serious reminder of just why Rush became “America’s Anchorman.” It is filled with observations and tributes from, among others, former President Donald Trump, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and, in a tribute from 1992, former President Ronald Reagan.

The unchallenged heart of the book is the many excerpts from Rush’s thousands of shows themselves. What’s interesting to know is that the book was begun by Rush and Kathryn a few years back. Kathryn notes this of Rush’s irrepressible sense of humor when they began the research:

Rush thought it would be an overwhelming task to select individual transcripts from countless words said on and off the air. He would say with a memorable grin, “After all, they are all pearls of wisdom, right?”

For Rush fans, here is but a sampling of what the book contains:

A transcript of a tape recording he made with Kathryn in the hospital on Jan. 12, 2021, in which he reflects on his early days in radio.

A career timeline of Rush’s life, from his birth on Jan. 12, 1951, to his last show on Feb. 2, 2021, with his show becoming “the number one most-listened-to radio show for more than thirty-two years.”

Here is Rush recalling meeting his beloved mentor two years after his radio show began — the legendary founder of National Review, William F. Buckley Jr. Interestingly, Rush’s description of one of the founding fathers of America’s conservative movement could, in fact, be applied to Rush himself. Rush writes of Buckley:

Bill Buckley is indescribable. He’s irreplaceable. There will not be another one like him. And although that’s true of all of us, once you take the time to learn about Buckley and his life and look at what all he did with it — he did not waste a moment, did not waste a moment.… He was prolific in output, but it was his intellect and it was his good humor that [were] literally inspiring to me.

“Rush’s Heroes: Reagan and Thatcher” begins another section of the book. Published here is a note from the then–former president after Rush’s show had gone national and taken off in popularity. Reagan wrote in his 1992 “Dear Rush” note:

I know liberals call you “the most dangerous man in America,” but don’t worry about it; they used to say the same thing about me.

As Rush knew, I myself had worked for Reagan, and I agreed completely when Rush said this on his May 19, 2011, show. What Rush said then of Reagan is every bit as relevant today, if not more so:

We are now fighting to save our own country from itself. We are fighting within our own country to preserve our freedom. Reagan was exactly right. This is why the era of Reagan will never be over, because it is the era of our founding. It is the era of individual freedom, American exceptionalism. These are crucial times, and we are in an ascendancy here in winning this battle, at least in the hearts and minds of the American people, which I’ve always believed is where it starts.…

People like me, who love and appreciate Ronald Reagan, have no cult-like appreciation for Reagan. This is not an attachment to a personality. It’s an attachment to leadership and ideals and principles, ideals and principles [that] will never die, because freedom will never die. Therefore, the era of Reagan will never be over.

As I recall, my response out loud at the time, listening at home? “Ditto, Rush. Ditto!”

And, of course, the book contains an equally fulsome tribute to then–former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whom Rush had the great good fortune, as he says, to know.

On and on go Rush’s words of wisdom as he talks about topics as various as America’s “Early Patriots,” George Washington, John Adams, “The True Nature of Liberty and Thomas Jefferson,” and America’s “Founding Documents and Values.” There are sections devoted to his views on “American Exceptionalism,” “Freedom of Speech,” and oh so much more, from an address to Congress by Netanyahu to a thank you to rocker Chrissie Hynde. The latter’s song with the Pretenders, “My City Was Gone,” was the iconic opener for Rush’s show.

The book is also brimming with color photographs of Rush at various stages of his life with all manner of people, from wife Kathryn and brother David to Sean Hannity, Presidents Trump and George H.W. Bush, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, American troops in Afghanistan, and rocker Elton John — who sang at Rush and Kathryn’s wedding.

And full disclosure, to my surprise, there is an excerpt from yours truly and a tribute I wrote of Rush in this space a year after his passing.

It’s not for nothing that his friend and fellow radio star Sean Hannity described Rush this way:

You can never replace Babe Ruth, but I’d take it a step further. Rush Limbaugh was Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Hank Aaron, Derek Jeter, and everyone in between. You want to talk about the greatest in radio of all time, the GOAT? It is definitely Rush.

And so it is.

Radio’s Greatest of All Time is a book for the political ages, an incredible collection of the words and wisdom of an American Great as spoken and written over the course of a spectacular 32 years at the very center of American political life.

This book is not just important in the middle of today’s turmoil and strife. It will become an eternally valuable resource for future generations as long as there is an America.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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