The Institute for American Values began its work on thrift-—the ethic of wise use—-in 2004, when they were invited to partner with the John Templeton Foundation in a scholarly exploration of thrift as an American value. What they discovered was a forgotten history–but more importantly, IAV’s research uncovered limitless contemporary possibilities in an irreplaceable virtue.
“We see thrift as a comprehensive and transformative lens to inspire and measure the aspirations of more productive, self-reliant, imaginative and resilient—in short thriving—individuals and communities,” says the Institute. “In the area of thrift education, our dream is for every young American to benefit from at least one module of high-quality thrift education before reaching age 18, through a school, library, youth-serving organization, or financial services organization.”
With American Thrift: A Reader, David Blankenhorn and Andrew F. Kline provide a key resource in the pursuit of that goal.
Anonymity in donor conception hides the truth but anonymity in story-telling helps reveal it.
The Anonymous Us Project is a safety zone for real and honest opinions about reproductive technologies and family fragmentation. We aim to share the experiences of voluntary and involuntary participants in these technologies, while preserving the dignity and privacy for story tellers and their loved ones.
The Anonymous Us Project aims to fill out the conversation on reproductive technologies. The hope is that it will inspire more truth and transparency and help share healthier families and happier people.
Conversations on Philanthropy: Emerging Questions on Liberality and Social Thought aim is to promote inquiry and reflection on the importance of liberality—in the dual sense of generosity and of the character befitting free individuals—for the flourishing of local communities, political societies, and humanity in general. As such we seek to open new perspectives on the roles, theories, and practices of philanthropic activities ranging from charitable giving, the actions of eleemosynary organizations, trusts, foundations, voluntary associations, and fraternal societies to volunteerism, mutual aid, social entrepreneurship and other forms of social action with beneficent intention (whether or not also combined with commercial and/or political purposes). To facilitate conversations among traditional academic disciplines, Conversations on Philanthropy will include papers from a number of fields, including history, political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, philanthropic studies, religious studies, belles lettres, law, and the physical sciences, as well as from philanthropic practitioners. Published comments on feature essays are a means of providing a transparent peer-review process to enhance interdisciplinary understanding.
While conservatives are presumed to be critical of Darwin’s theory, many on the right, such as George Will, James Q. Wilson, and Larry Arnhart, have mounted a vigorous defense of Darwinism. As Discovery Institute's John West explains in his book, Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest, their attempts to reconcile conservatism and Darwinian biology misunderstand both.
In this small but incisive book, Dr. West addresses how Darwin’s theory, contrary to its conservative champions, manifestly does not reinforce the teachings of conservatism. According to West, Darwinism promotes moral relativism rather than traditional morality. It fosters utopianism rather than limited government. It is corrosive, rather than supportive, of both free will and religious belief. Finally, and most importantly, Darwinian evolution is in tension with the scientific evidence, and conservatism cannot hope to strengthen itself by relying on Darwinism’s increasingly shaky empirical foundations. This book issues a challenge to conservatives they cannot afford to ignore. According to Prof. J. Budziszewski of the University of Texas, Austin, hails the book for “showing clearly that Darwinism is not a source of conservative insight into human nature, but only a source of confusion.”
In Educating for Virtue, five scholars address one of the most pressing issues of our time: the relationship between education and the development of moral character. With essays by Claes G. Ryn, Russell Kirk, Paul Gottfried, Peter J. Stanlis, Solveig Eggerz.
From the Foreword:
“If there is a single thread that runs through these essays, it is the recognition of a universal order that transcends the flux of human life and gives meaning to it. Insofar as men act in accordance with this order, they experience true happiness and are brought into community with others who are similarly motivated. But men are afflicted with contrary impulses that are destructive of universal order. When acted upon, these impulses bring suffering and a sense of meaninglessness and despair; the result is disintegration and conflict--within both the personality and society at large. Yet so tempting are the attactions of these impulses that they frequently prevail and must be taken into account in any realistic assessment of human affairs. This tension within the person between competing desires--the conflict between what Plato called the One and the Many--is the ultimate reality of human experience. To apprehend this reality, and to act in the light of the transcendent purpose with appropriate reverence and restraint, is the essence of wisdom; and to help deepen and strengthen this apprehension--through philosophy, history, literature, and the arts and sciences--is the overarching purpose of any education worthy of the name.”
In Generosity Unbound, Claire Gaudiani mounts a spirited defense of philanthropic freedom addressed to conservatives, liberals and centrists. She acknowledges the good intentions of those who favor greater regulation of private philanthropy, but powerfully demonstrates the dangers of this approach.
But this book is more than a warning. Gaudiani also uncovers the fascinating history of philanthropy in America, showing how this nation’s distinctive tradition of citizen-to-citizen generosity has been a powerful engine of economic growth, social justice, and upward mobility.
Finally, Gaudiani calls on foundation leaders, legislators, and concerned citizens to take up anew the great challenge set forth by our nation’s Founders in the Declaration of Independence. She proposes an all-out citizen-led effort to deliver on the Declaration’s promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all of us, particularly our poorest citizens. The success of such a ‘Declaration Initiative’ would enable us to justly celebrate the nation’s 250th birthday on July 4th, 2026.
Men of amazing entrepreneurial genius, like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford, built commercial empires larger than the world had ever seen; they produced astronomical returns on investment and were rarely tricked out of their money in business deals. But when they turned to giving that money away, they failed. And as Martin Morse Wooster so finely reports in this book, many other persons of somewhat smaller wealth have also had their charitable plans go awry.
Wealthy and prestigious colleges, Wooster documents, have treated donors shamefully. The donors’ own staff and assistants have betrayed the vision of the men and women who gave them the money they now abuse. Even family members have utterly disregarded how their ancestors wanted the fruits of their labor to be used. Billions upon billions of dollars that were earned in the American marketplace by titans of industry are now in the hands of treacherous philanthropic elites who use that wealth to attack the very system that generated it.
So if you’re a donor contemplating how to structure your giving, I suggest you skim some of the detailed history in Part I of this book, which lays out the leading horror stories of American philanthropy. Then you may want to skim more slowly through Part II, where Wooster tells the stories of luckier families, who have achieved better results through careful planning and hard work.
Lastly, you should focus your attention most keenly on the final chapter, which features practical advice based on the histories in Parts I and II—because you must face the brutal fact that it is not easy to give well, even while you’re living. After you’re gone, the odds of successful giving are stacked even higher against you.
Scholars of philanthropy, on the other hand, will want to savor every word of Wooster’s fascinating history, which unearths so many little-known details of this critical aspect of American giving. Perhaps those scholars will also have a pang of guilt at their own neglect of this topic, because only four books have ever been written on this history: namely, the first, second, third, and now fourth edition of this work.
My Daddy's Name Is Donor reveals stunning findings about the lives of adult offspring of sperm donation, one of the most common reproductive technologies and one that has been practiced widely in the United States and around the world for decades. Based on first-ever representative, comparative study of adults conceived via sperm donation, it discusses how they struggle with the implications of their conception and how they fare worse than their peers raised by biological parents on important outcomes such as depression, delinquency, and substance abuse. My Daddy's Name Is Donor aims to launch an international debate on ethics, meaning, and practice of donor conception.
The Neighbor’s Kid tells the story of what twenty-four year-old Philip Brand discovered regarding American education when he drove his car cross-country during the 2008-09 school year visiting two schools in each of forty-nine states. The schools were public and private, religious and secular, urban and rural, typical and unusual. Brand wanted to learn first-hand what students, parents, teachers, and principals think about their elementary and secondary schools and what they expect from education. His principal discovery: When it comes to picking a school parents care most about the kids with whom their own children associate. Not the curriculum, not the teachers, but the other kids. That concern has important consequences for how school districts, states and the federal government set education policy. A second conclusion: Government policymakers cannot set standards of educational “achievement” because true education is intimately tied to the cultural and civic experiences of families and communities.
This magisterial study of international Communism presents the whole mighty drama of global socialism and Marxism: from its pre-Bolshevik origins through the establishment of a Communist empire over one third the world population to the shattering defeat of the Soviet state in 1991. A landmark work of history, exhaustively documented and narrated in a compelling style.
Featuring 113 primary source documents, The U.S. Constitution: A Reader was developed for teaching the core course on the U.S. Constitution at Hillsdale College. Divided into eleven sections with introductions by members of Hillsdale's Politics Department faculty, readings cover the principles of the American founding; the framing and structure of the Constitution; the secession crisis and the Civil War; the Progressive rejection of the Constitution; and the building of the administrative state based on Progressive principles.
Like previous editions, the third edition of Why Marriage Matters reviews the relevant research on family topics and comes to three fundamental conclusions: marriage is an important social good, marriage is an important public good, and the benefits of marriage extend to poor and minority communities. The third edition pays particular attention to new research on the impact of cohabitation on children and families. It concludes with a “U.S. Marriage Index,” which compiles and presents the leading indicators of marital health in the United States. These indicators include: 1) The percentage of adults marriage (ages 20-54); 2) the percentage of married persons “very happy” with their marriage (ages 18 and up); 3) the percentage of first marriages intact (ages 20-59); 4) percentage of births to married parents; and 5) the percentage of children living with own married parents.
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