How the founders are the fathers of Lincoln

Richard Brookhiser

In an appearance on campus, Richard Brookhiser, the author of several best-selling studies of the founding fathers, will explore the timeless ideas and principles of the true “greatest generation”—the founders—and their chief epigone, Abraham Lincoln.

Far from being an antiquated relic or mere historical curiosity, the founders’ vision of a “new order for the ages” deserves to be reinvigorated in today’s political thought as much as it did in Lincoln’s time, Brookhiser contends.

Brookhiser will make this case at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, in Duane Physics G1B20 on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. His talk is titled: “Founders’ Son: How the Founding Fathers Inspired Abraham Lincoln.”

(See his recent Wall Street Journal feature, “What Would Lincoln Do?” for a preview.)

Brookhiser is the author most recently of Founders’ Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln, and of eight books on revolutionary America: Founding Father, Rediscovering George Washington; Rules of Civility—the 110 Precepts That Guided Our First President in War and Peace; Alexander Hamilton, American; America’s First Dynasty: The Adamses 1735-1918; Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution; What Would the Founders Do? Our Questions, Their Answers; George Washington on Leadership, and James Madison.

He is author and host of two films by Michael Pack: Rediscovering George Washington (PBS, 2002) and Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton (PBS, 2011). He was the historian curator of “Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America,” a 2004 exhibition at the New York Historical Society. In 2008 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal.

Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review.

Noted authors to address ‘eco-modernism’ at CU

Contemporary environmentalism, in its failure to evolve, has become an obstacle to addressing the most serious environmental challenges, a pair of thinkers who will appear at CU-Boulder contends.

Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus

A political movement founded on shrinking the human footprint is doomed to fail in a world of 7 billion going on 10 billion souls seeking to live energy-rich modern lives, say Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger.

The environmental movement needs to rethink its traditional embrace of constraint and develop a new paradigm for the 21st century, they say.

Nordhaus and Shellenberger will make this case in a public lecture on Thursday, March 20, at 6:30 p.m. in Eaton Humanities room 1B50. Their presentation is titled “Eco-modernism: The New Environmental Politics for the 21st Century.”

They appear at the invitation of Steven Hayward, the inaugural Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Nordhaus and Shellenberger are the founders of The Breakthrough Institute (, a center-left think tank based in Oakland, Calif., and authors of Break Through: Why We Can’t Leave Saving the Planet to Environmentalists.

Their articles have appeared in Time, The New Republic, The Atlantic and other publications. They recently appeared in “Pandora’s Promise,” a documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Stone that argues that environmentalists should support nuclear power as a leading option to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Why the Obamacare legal battles are far from over

Jonathan Adler

The constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) was thought to have been settled at the Supreme Court in June 2012, but Jonathan Adler begs to differ.

Adler and other legal scholars have noticed several additional legal defects that are currently making their way through the federal courts.  An adverse ruling on the provision of state subsidies could unravel the entire edifice, but additional defects await legal scrutiny.

Adler will make this case at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, in Atlas 100 on the University of Colorado Boulder campus. His talk is titled: “It’s Not Over ‘Till It’s Over: Why The Legal Battles Over Obamacare Will Continue for Years to Come.”

Adler appears at the invitation of Steven Hayward, CU-Boulder’s Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy.

Adler is the Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland.  A specialist in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law, he is the author or editor of four books on environmental policy and more than a dozen book chapters.

His articles have appeared in publications ranging from the Harvard Environmental Law Review and Supreme Court Economic Review to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Adler is a contributing editor to National Review Online and a regular contributor to the popular legal blog “The Volokh Conspiracy” (, how hosted by the Washington Post.

A 2007 study identified Adler as the most cited legal academic in environmental law under age 40.

Five named finalists for visiting-scholar post

The University of Colorado Boulder has announced five finalists for Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy. Within the next five weeks, four of the finalists will make one-day campus visits during which they will hold public forums.

For several months, an advisory committee has been working to identify finalists. The committee has sought “highly visible” scholars who are “deeply engaged in either the analytical scholarship or practice of conservative thinking and policymaking or both.”

The potential visiting scholars named this year could serve either in 2014-15 or in subsequent school years. The college is streamlining the search process to save resources.

The four new finalists are Terry L. Anderson, president of the Property and Environment Research Center and senior fellow of the Hoover Institution; Bradley J. Birzer, Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies and professor of history at Hillsdale College; Arthur Herman, author of Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age; and Gary D. Libecap, professor of corporate environmental management at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and Department of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Ron Haskins, who was named a finalist for the position last year, is again a finalist but will not be brought to campus again this year.

“The College of Arts and Sciences is again pleased that the committee has chosen an outstanding set of candidates,” said Steven Leigh, dean of the college. “Their scholarly accomplishments will add significant strengths to our campus.”

Each finalist will visit campus for a day, during which the finalist will meet privately with the search committee, the chancellor, provost and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Each will also teach a class—but that activity will not be open to the media.

Finally, each will hold a public forum, which will consist of a presentation followed by a question-and-answer session. The finalists’ visiting days, in chronological order, are as follows:

Terry L. Anderson: His public forum is March 13 at 6 p.m. in ECCR Engineering Center room 200. His presentation is titled “Markets vs. Politics: The Next Generation of Environmentalism.”

Bradley J. Birzer: His public forum is April 2 at 3 p.m. in Eaton Humanities Building room 250. His presentation is titled “Conserving What is Humane: From the American Founding to T.S. Eliot?”

Gary D. Libecap: His public forum is April 10 at 4 p.m. in Hale Science Building room 230. His presentation is titled “Why is Confronting Global Environmental Problems So Difficult? What Can We Learn From Examining Many Different Cases?”

Arthur Herman: His public forum is April 17 at 4 p.m. in Eaton Humanities Building room B150. His presentation is titled “Arsenal of Democracy: The Business of Victory in World War II.”

Anderson holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington. He and P.J. Hill are co-authors of The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier, which won the 2005 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award. Previously, he served as professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University.

Birzer holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from Indiana University. His most recent book is American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll, which was named National Book of the Month by the Knights of Columbus. He is co-founder and senior contributor to The Imaginative Conservative blog.

Herman holds a Ph.D. in history from The Johns Hopkins University. He was named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for Gandhi and Churchill and he is the author of the New York Times bestselling work How the Scots Invented the Modern World. He is a regular contributor to the New York Post, Wall Street Journal and Commentary magazine.

Libecap holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions on the Economics Faculty at Cambridge University. He has served as president of the Economic History Association, Western Economics Association International and the International Society for New Institutional Economics.

Haskins holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been a senior fellow and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution since 2001. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a sergeant from 1963 to 1966.

The visiting scholar search committee is chaired by Ann Carlos, associate dean for social sciences at the CU-Boulder College of Arts and Sciences. The committee includes both internal and external members.

Non-university committee members include David Pyle, founder and CEO of American Career College; Mike Rosen, long-time radio host on AM 850 KOA and Denver Post columnist and political commentator; Bob Greenlee, former Boulder City Council member and mayor and current president of Centennial Investment & Management Company Inc.; CU President Emeritus Hank Brown; and Earl Wright, CEO of AMG National Trust Bank.

CU faculty members on the committee include David S. Brown, professor and chair of political science; Daniel Kaffine, associate professor of economics; Susan K. Kent, professor and chair of history; and Bradley Monton, associate professor of philosophy.

Steven Hayward, now serving in the position, was appointed last year as the inaugural Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy.

“I am looking forward to the selection of the next Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy after a successful inaugural year,” said CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “This campus is committed to the exchange of ideas, to robust debate and civil exchange on issues across the spectrum, and to challenging our students to think critically, all of which we want our Visiting Scholar—and indeed, our entire faculty—to continue to do.”

The Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy is a pilot program supported by private funds. More than 20 donors have raised $1 million to support the program.