W. H. Brady Program in Culture and Freedom

The W. H. Brady Program in Culture and Freedom at the American Enterprise Institute explores the problems of freedom and culture in contemporary society through research, publications, conferences, and student fellowships.

Many of the most urgent problems facing American society today are those of reconciling individual freedom with cultural values and habits that make freedom and progress possible. America has achieved stupendous levels of economic prosperity, technological prowess, and social equality, but these blessings have been accompanied by a range of unsettling problems--family breakdown, poor schools, high levels of crime, a coarsening of popular culture, the ethical dilemmas of bioengineering, and now the overarching threat of mass terrorism. These problems have a common root: The unprecedented power and autonomy of modern man are producing not only richer and more satisfying lives but also serious social risks. The great, enduring political question--how to achieve the right balance between the claims of individual freedom and the claims of a wider culture or polity--is being presented today in the starkest possible form.

William H. Brady
William H. Brady
This question was central to the thinking and philanthropy of William H. Brady, one of the founding fathers of the conservative intellectual movement beginning in the 1950s and an active participant in its councils until his death in 1988. It has been central, also, to the work of AEI, which has long focused not only on immediate domestic and foreign policy problems but also on issues of culture, politics, and social thought.

In 1991, AEI's work in the field was expanded by the W. H. Brady Chair, a memorial to William Brady that supported a succession of eminent scholars and intellectual activists--Leon Kass, Christina Hoff Sommers, Lynne Cheney, Hillel Fradkin, and Sally Satel. The W. H. Brady Program in Culture and Freedom, established in 2003 by Mr. Brady’s family and foundation, is designed to consolidate and expand this vital intellectual tradition. The program supports some of America’s most original and courageous scholars and social critics, and is intended to provide a worthy and productive memorial to the life and accomplishments of Bill Brady.

William H. Brady (1915-1988) was a prominent Milwaukee industrialist and philanthropist with wide-ranging interests in political philosophy, economics, foreign policy, and culture. He was for many years the chief executive officer of the W. H. Brady Company, known today as the Brady Corporation. Mr. Brady was a founding supporter of National Review, the Heritage Foundation, and the Ethics and Public Policy Center.


The Brady Program supports the work of several AEI scholars:

W. H. Brady Scholar Charles Murray
W. H. Brady Chair Charles Murray
Charles Murray, the W. H. Brady Chair, examines in his newest book, Human Accomplishment, patterns across history and across cultures to determine the conditions that nourish the greatest human accomplishments.
Selected recent work:
More of Murray's writings and events
Lynne V. Cheney
Lynne V. Cheney lectures on such topics as liberalism, feminism, and "American exceptionalism."
Selected recent events:
Hertog Fellow Leon R. Kass
Leon R. Kass
Leon R. Kass has recently published two books: The Beginning of Wisdom: Reading Genesis and Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness, the 2003 report of the President's Council on Bioethics.
Selected recent work:
More of Kass's writings
Resident Scholar John R. Lott Jr.
John R. Lott Jr.
John R. Lott Jr.'s Individual Reputations: Crime, Politics, and Professions will be published later in 2005.
Selected recent work:
More of Lott's writings
George Frederick Jewett Scholar Michael Novak
Michael Novak
Michael Novak lectures throughout the United States and Europe on topics such as business ethics, corporate governance, the environment, and religion; his latest book, The Universal Hunger for Liberty, published this September, is a bold and original investigation of the cultural and religious divisions now dominating world politics.
Selected recent work:
More of Novak's writings
Resident Scholar Sally Satel
Sally Satel

Sally Satel and Christina Hoff Sommers will publish One Nation under Therapy, a book discussing the different ways therapeutic psychology has displaced traditional ethics as a guide for many Americans in early 2005. They delivered a lecture on the subject in early 2004.

Satel's selected recent work:

More of Satel's writings

Resident Scholar Christina Hoff Sommers
Christina Hoff Sommers
Sommers's selected recent work:
More of Sommers's writings
Christopher D. Levenick is a postdoctoral fellow with the program. He has written about the Americanization of God.


"The New Neuromorality"
Speakers include Steven Pinker, Hank Greely, Philip Tetlock, and Charles Murray
Wednesday, June 1, 10:15 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

"Art, Politics, and Religion in America Today"
Speaker: Camille Paglia
May 5


Samuel Thernstrom
Program Director Samuel Thernstrom
Samuel Thernstrom
Director, W. H. Brady Program on Culture and Freedom
American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-862-5870
Assistant: 202-862-4872
Fax: 202-862-5815
E-mail: [email protected]

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
Monday, October 27, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
State income taxes and the Supreme Court: Maryland Comptroller v. Wynne

Please join AEI for a panel discussion exploring these and other questions about this crucial case.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America

Join Lerman, Wilcox, and a group of distinguished scholars and commentators for the release of Lerman and Wilcox’s report, which examines the relationships among and policy implications of marriage, family structure, and economic success in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The 7 deadly virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell

Please join AEI for a book forum moderated by Last and featuring five of these leading conservative voices. By the time the forum is over, attendees may be on their way to discovering an entirely different — and better — moral universe.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
A nuclear deal with Iran? Weighing the possibilities

Join us, as experts discuss their predictions for whether the United States will strike a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the November 24 deadline, and the repercussions of the possible outcomes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
The forgotten depression — 1921: The crash that cured itself

Please join Author James Grant and AEI senior economists for a discussion about Grant's book, "The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself" (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.