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MEMBER DIARY

ISI: Worthy of support

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute was founded in 1953 by William F. Buckley, Jr., and Frank Chodorov. Its purpose is to reorder the American university toward liberty, rather than the gaggle of derangements into which it has descended, and thereby to “sustain a free and virtuous society.” With particular emphasis on the rising generation of students, the good folks at ISI undertake their charge with vigor and imagination.

Speaking plainly, some of the very best books available anywhere are published by ISI. I am partial to their ongoing series of short biographies on lesser-known American Founders. They also recently reissued an excellent volume of Churchill’s early writings, which I reviewed here. Another recent favorite of mine is a collection of essays by the unjustly neglected writer Agnes Repplier, a native daughter of Philadelphia, with whom all Americans should be familiar, and now, thanks to ISI, all can be. These are but couple examples off the top of my head of the outstanding work that ISI does.

The Institute also houses a number of first rate journals, including Russell Kirk’s old quarterly Modern Age, and the premier conservative academic journal of political philosophy, The Political Science Reviewer. A considerable amount of the archive history of these excellent journals is available online. Years ago, when I worked a night shift, I recall browsing these archives in amazement at the richness of thought and argument at my fingertips.

The Institute’s academic programs, lecture series, academic fellowships, college guides, and a variety of other resources, are also very highly-regarded.

Like most organizations that rely on donations, ISI is struggling under the burden of recessionary times. In this season of taxation, when we are all forced to lay bear before agents of the state in exquisite detail every dash and dot of our economic activity for the previous year, with the burden on us get everything right (an outrage which our monomaniacs of privacy countenance with remarkable aloofness), I ask that you would consider among the recipients of your charitable giving this fine Institute. Few organizations in the country put in more hard work to establish the scholarly basis by which, now illumined by the wisdom of our ancestors, our descendants might one day recover the vision and understanding to see the modern managerial state, and its lifeblood in debt and taxation, for the imposture it is.

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