Ralph McInerny is among the most noted Catholic philosophers and authors of our day. He has taught at the University of Notre Dame since 1955, and since 1978 has been the Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies. He also serves as Director of the Jacques Maritain Center at Notre Dame. McInerny has written a number of important works on St. Thomas Aquinas and helped found Crisis magazine, a publication that addresses problems facing contemporary society from the standpoint of the Catholic tradition. Alongside his academic work, McInerny authored the best-selling and internationally acclaimed Father Dowling Mysteries, which were also made into a series for public television, and he was appointed to President Bush’s Council for Arts and the Humanities.
Richard Cornuelle has greatly impacted how we think about voluntary institutions in the United States. Through such works as Reclaiming the American Dream and De-Managing America, and through his work with the Foundation for Economic Education and the Volker Fund, he has called important attention to the needs and possibilities of those organizations that exist to address social problems through nongovernmental means. His latest work points to what he believes is a great liberating social transformation that is already under way.
A self-described “broker of ideas,” Richard Ware has been deeply influential in his role as a discoverer and supporter of intellectuals interested in the foundations of a free society. During World War II, Ware served with the lend/lease administration in the Pentagon. Following the war, he began work with the Earhart Foundation, becoming President and Trustee of the Foundation in 1970. As President, his guidance helped the Earhart Foundation pursue its mission of sponsoring the study of modern political systems by providing funds for the development of both scholars and scholarly works. As such, Dick Ware developed a unique perspective on the influence of intellectual thought on political systems.
Ronald H. Coase received the 1991 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. His articles “The Problem of Social Cost” and “The Nature of the Firm” are among the most important and most often cited works in the whole of economic literature. He has taught at the University of Chicago since 1964 and was editor of the very influential Journal of Law and Economics from 1964 until 1982. He recounts how he used the journal during that time to encourage “economists and lawyers to write about the way in which actual markets operate and about how governments actually perform in regulating or undertaking economic activities.”
As economic advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Sir Alan Walters was an important figure in the transformation of economic policy, and resulting unprecedented boom, that took place in the United Kingdom during the 1980s. Walters also served as an economic advisor to Prime Minister Edward Heath and has served as an advisor to the World Bank. He has written influential articles on public-sector pricing, economic statistics, and cost-benefit analysis, and has taught at the University of Birmingham, the London School of Economics, and Johns Hopkins University.
One of the most dynamic and insightful theorists writing on property rights, Svetozar “Steve” Pejovich reflects here on his experience in economics. With characteristic sagacity and humor, he demonstrates the power that empirical cases can bring to bear on theoretical problems.
Raoul Berger was the foremost scholar of constitutional law to defend the doctrine of originalism in our day. His works Impeachment, Executive Privilege, and Government by Judiciary set the standards for subsequent work in the field of constitutional interpretation and influenced both expert and public opinion during some of the worst constitutional crises of the late twentieth century. In this program, Berger’s thought is set in the context of his long and rich life from his earliest days as a young Russian emigre in Chicago, to his first career in music, and his eventual fascination with the legal underpinnings of a free society. Combining original footage of his life, his personal reflections, and commentary, Liberty Fund presents a Profile in Liberty: Raoul Berger.
The twentieth century witnessed the unparalleled expansion of government power over the lives and livelihoods of individuals. Much of this was the result of two devastating world wars and totalitarian ideologies that directly challenged individual liberty and the free institutions of the open society. Other forms of expansion in the provision of social welfare and the regulation of the economy, while more benign in their objectives, nevertheless posed significant challenges to personal freedom. Few individuals did more to both extend our understanding of the economic processes of the free society and alert us to the dangers inherent in the growth of political power than the Nobel laureate economist and social theorist Friedrich A. Hayek. In over half a century of writing and teaching, he showed why national socialism was the very antithesis of capitalism, why communism was an economic and political philosophy ultimately doomed to failure, and why we must be wary of government intervention if we are to preserve the freedoms that make democracy and prosperity possible.