“This Institution supports the Constitution of the United States, its Bill of Rights and its method of representative government. Both our social and economic systems are based on private enterprise from which springs initiative and ingenuity. . . . Ours is a system where the Federal Government should undertake no governmental, social or economic action, except where local government, or the people, cannot undertake it for themselves. . . . The overall mission of this Institution is, from its records, to recall the voice of experience against the making of war, and by the study of these records and their publication, to recall man’s endeavors to make and preserve peace, and to sustain for America the safeguards of the American way of life. This Institution is not, and must not be, a mere library. But with these purposes as its goal, the Institution itself must constantly and dynamically point the road to peace, to personal freedom, and to the safeguards of the American system.”
On April 23, 1919 Herbert Hoover, then stationed in Paris following years of tireless humanitarian leadership during World War I, telegraphed home to California. Committed to ensuring that the lessons of that conflict were not lost to history, Hoover offered $50,000 to Stanford University to establish a new collection on the Great War—planting the seeds of what stands today as the nation’s preeminent center for public policy and archival research: the Hoover Institution.
The year 2019 marks the one-hundred-year anniversary of the Hoover Institution’s founding, calling us to reflect upon our remarkable past and also to invest in even greater victories for freedom, private enterprise, and limited, effective government in the years and century ahead. This year’s Annual Report centers on a new strategic plan for achieving that mission by building our core institutional strengths—our fellowship and Library & Archives—as well as leveraging them to reach those with the power to change policy in our representative democracy and sustaining them for the future.
We invite you to read more about the Hoover Institution’s work in 2018, to join us in celebrating the one-hundred-year anniversary of its founding, and to help continue its incredible story.
An interdisciplinary group of leaders from academia, government, and private industry, Hoover fellows are tasked with translating the institution’s founding principles into applied solutions to today’s most serious policy challenges. The caliber of our fellowship—the core component of Hoover’s human capital—is a reflection of the generosity of our supporters and the key to our success in advancing freedom.
This year Joshua Rauh, a senior fellow at Hoover and professor of finance at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, was appointed director of research and charged with developing the Hoover fellowship and expanding its impact. A senior fellow since 2012 and author of landmark works on unfunded public pension liabilities and the risks they pose to taxpayers, Rauh has already overseen outstanding new additions to the fellowship and helped develop a pipeline of other promising scholars with potential for the future.
“The Hoover fellowship, and its ability to produce world class, cutting edge research that is applicable in the world of policy making, is critical to our impact as an institution.”
Following thirty-four years of service in the US Army and leadership in the Trump administration as the twenty-sixth national security adviser, H. R. McMaster has rejoined the Hoover Institution as the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow. Made possible by the generosity of Overstock.com CEO Dr. Patrick M. Byrne, this new fellowship is named in honor of Hoover fellow and influential Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami, who passed away in 2014.
This year award-winning author and historian Andrew Roberts, a longtime member of Hoover’s Military History Working Group, joined the institution in a newly created visiting fellowship made possible by Overseer Roger Mertz and his wife, Martha. Roberts is the author or editor of nineteen books whose work has been translated into twenty-two languages. He is the recipient of a 2016 Bradley Prize and holds numerous other distinctions and scholarly appointments.
The numerous research and policy conferences held at Hoover in 2018 include the second annual conference of the Macroeconomic Model Comparison Initiative (MMCI), which brought together top academic economists and officials from global central banks to discuss progress in studying, comparing, and improving the economic models used by policy makers. Another major Hoover conference, Governing in a Time of Technological Change, was chaired by Hoover fellow George P. Shultz and explored the potential implications of emerging technologies for the world economy, security climate, and political order, spawning the new book Beyond Disruption: Technology’s Challenge to Governance.
Reasonable Disagreements is a new podcast hosted by two of Hoover’s most influential legal minds: Richard A. Epstein and Adam J. White. Each episode covers a current economic or political issue with a focus on the constitution, law and economics, and points of disagreement from Epstein and White’s respective libertarian and conservative perspectives.Listen to Reasonable Disagreements
Hoover’s constantly growing catalog of online journals and podcasts has massively expanded the impact of Hoover research compared with print distribution. Online Hoover products include:
In his new book The High Cost of Good Intentions, Hoover fellow John F. Cogan provides the first comprehensive history of the federal entitlement state, documenting the growth of aid programs from Revolutionary War pensions to the New Deal to the fiscal crisis looming today. Cogan explains why, throughout our history, sensibly designed federal aid programs have expanded with striking consistency as larger and larger groups insist they too deserve benefits—what Cogan has coined the “Equally Worthy Claim.” His landmark study has earned the attention of lawmakers, popular media, and others in the think-tank world, including the Manhattan Institute, which awarded the book its 2018 Hayek Prize.
For one hundred years the Hoover Library & Archives has continued the institution’s core founding mission by acquiring, preserving, and making available the most important material documenting war, revolution, peace, freedom, and liberty across the globe.
Today the Library & Archives holds nearly one million library volumes and over 6,000 archival collections, which are brought to life through a rich array of scholarly programs, exhibitions, and digital projects. Fulfilling Herbert Hoover’s vision for an institution that far surpasses the reach of a “mere library,” the Hoover Library & Archives approaches its second century committed to building preeminent collections while transforming the digital and in-person programs that make them available around the world.
New acquisitions in 2018 include the Norman Cousins Collection, which contains rare items collected by journalist, author, and peace activist Norman Cousins, such as a copy of the papal encyclical of Pope John XXIII signed by Nikita Khrushchev; additions to the Harold Agnew Collection, which documents the work of physicist and Manhattan Project participant Harold Agnew; and the Natale Bellantoni Collection, comprising art, sketchbooks, letters, and other materials by watercolor artist and US Navy Seabee Natale Bellantoni.
Library & Archives materials made available online this year include the war-crime trial sketchbooks of Shigemitsu Mamoru, minister of foreign affairs for Japan during World War II, who was tried and sentenced at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (a.k.a. the Tokyo Trial). Additionally, in cooperation with Stanford University Libraries and East View Information Services, Hoover has launched a ten-year project to digitize and index more than thirty million pages of rare and valuable newspapers. The initiative will result in the world’s largest online collection of such materials under the name Global Press Archive.
Exploring the interrelationships between art, journalism, and politics, this exhibition featured photographs submitted to the Overseas Weekly Pacific edition newspaper—beloved by troops but reviled by the Pentagon for its controversial content—from 1966 to 1972, part of a vast collection of 20,000 film negatives acquired by the Library & Archives in 2014. Reviewed by the New York Times, the exhibition revealed the gritty realism of combat alongside sanguine moments of hope and humanity in fresh and unfamiliar ways, strengthening our understanding of the realities of wartime. Available from the Hoover Press, the new We Shot the War art book pairs images from the exhibition with essays by Overseas Weekly photojournalists.
Marking the centenary of the Russian Revolution of 1917, The Crown under the Hammer examined the political, social, and cultural upheavals that transformed Russia in the final decade of the Romanov dynasty and the first years of Soviet Communism. Jointly organized by the Hoover Institution Library & Archives and the Cantor Arts Center, this dual-site exhibition highlighted Hoover’s world-renowned Russia collections—known to be the best in the world outside of Russia itself.
An array of media outreach programs allows our fellows to maintain a commanding presence in this crucial market for ideas. This year seventeen reporters and opinion editors spent time at Hoover meeting with fellows and broadcasting live from our in-house TV/Radio studio as part of the William and Barbara Edwards Media Fellows Program, including National Review podcast host Jamie Weinstein and CNN Opinion editor Richard Galant. The extensive relationships with journalists cultivated through such programs yielded 1,000 op-ed placements and 1,000 TV and radio appearances for fellows this year, as well as an expanded presence in major outlets, including Fox News, the Washington Examiner, and CNN Digital.
“While President Trump’s statements and tweets have dominated headlines, his agencies have taken important first steps toward significantly changing the ways that federal agencies govern American life.”
“Politicians can always provide a rationale for increased spending. But over time high spending necessitates high taxes, and high taxes reduce work and restrain growth.”
From Herbert Hoover’s founding grant and the arrival of our first collections to our evolution into one of the world’s preeminent centers for policy and archival research, the Hoover Institution’s one-hundred-year history has been written through the dedication and generosity of extraordinary individuals.
We offer our deepest thanks to the supporters and scholars who stand together in defense of freedom, private enterprise, and America’s system of government, making possible our impact in 2018 and sustaining the Hoover Institution for future generations.