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William H. Brady
AEI has established a major new program of research, conferences, student fellowships, and publications concerned with issues of freedom and culture in contemporary society. The W. H. Brady Program in Culture and Freedom has been endowed with a $15 million gift from the W. H. Brady Foundation and from Mr. Brady’s daughter, Elizabeth Brady Lurie.
The Brady Program will support the work of several AEI scholars, including Charles Murray, who has been appointed to the W. H. Brady Chair, and also Lynne V. Cheney, Leon R. Kass, John R. Lott Jr., Michael Novak, Sally Satel, and Christina Hoff Sommers.
AEI president Christopher DeMuth described the conception and purposes of the program as follows: “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.”
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 has 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 will enable AEI to consolidate and expand this vital intellectual tradition.
Senior Fellow Charles Murray
In announcing the new program, Mr. DeMuth said, “My colleagues and I are profoundly grateful to Elizabeth Lurie; to Elizabeth P. Pungello, Mr. Brady’s granddaughter and president of the W. H. Brady Foundation; and to the directors of the foundation for their magnificent generosity and active collaboration in designing the Brady Program. The program will support some of America’s most original and courageous scholars and social critics. It will greatly bolster their work and influence, and provide a worthy and productive memorial to the life and accomplishments of Bill Brady. It is particularly fitting that the Brady Chair should be held by Charles Murray, whose research and writings have addressed problems of culture and freedom at the highest levels of scholarly rigor.”
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 foundation that bears his name has been a leading supporter of policy research and social criticism.
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