James Madison, the Father of our Constitution, explained in Federalist 55 that the moral character of a people, molded through education, is the most essential in a nation where people rule. This understanding of education no longer predominates in America.
Even as our government takes more of a hand in education than it has traditionally - or than it should constitutionally - it concerns itself primarily with regulating admissions and hiring policies according to race and gender, and with promoting "multicultural" curricula that downplay America's Western heritage. It concerns itself little, if at all, with the character of its citizens.
The fact that our government today appears indifferent, or even hostile, to the kind of education America's Founders thought vital to preserving liberty - the kind of education offered at Hillsdale College - suggests that in many ways our government has grown indifferent, or even hostile to liberty itself.
Under these circumstances, a large part of the work of Hillsdale College is devoted to promoting liberty and its underlying moral principles nationwide. Central to this mission is Imprimis, a national monthly speech digest of presentations made at Hillsdale conferences and seminars by leaders, writers, and scholars who support limited government, free enterprise, individual rights, personal responsibility and strong national defense.
Imprimis was launched thirty years ago with a circulation of only a few thousand. Ten years ago, upon the publication of In the First Place, a collection of the best of Imprimis's first twenty years, its circulation had grown to 335,000. As Imprimis turns thirty, its circulation is well over 1,000,000 - and growing.
Educating for Liberty collects thirty of the first 360 speeches published in Imprimis. Some date back to its earliest days; others are quite recent. Each is worth reading. Together they set a high standard as Imprimis looks to the future. Authors include Larry P. Arnn, Russell Kirk, Lynne V. Cheney, Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Edwin Meese III, Mark Helprin, Ronald Reagan, George Gilder, John Stossel, Malcolm Muggeridge, Michael Novak, Michael Medved, William J. Bennett, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Margaret Thatcher, and Jesse Helms.