December 15, 2009, 12:00 - 2:00 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
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The Problem of Doing Good:
Irving Kristol's Philanthropy
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.
"It is possible to do good. It really is possible to do good. Doing good isn't even hard. It's just doing a lot of good that is very hard. If your aims are modest, you can accomplish an awful lot. When your aims become elevated beyond a reasonable level, you not only don’t accomplish much, but can cause a great deal of damage."
These words, spoken by the late Irving Kristol to the annual meeting of the Council on Foundations in 1980, shaped his own giving as well. His generosity's "modest aims" are embodied in several generations of young editors and writers who flourished under his personal instruction at the Public Interest, an influential journal of public affairs. At the same time, however, he arguably succeeded in the "very hard" task of doing "a lot of good." For few individuals have influenced the flow of so many dollars to so many scholars, projects, and institutions, with such a profound impact on the course of American public policy.
Lenkowsky, Wildavsky, Schambra,
Piereson, and Hertog
On Tuesday, December 15, the Bradley Center hosted a panel discussion of the full range of Irving Kristol's philanthropy. Panelists included JAMES PIERESON of the William E. Simon Foundation, Indiana University's LESLIE LENKOWSKY, RACHEL WILDAVSKY of the Tikvah Fund, and philanthropist ROGER HERTOG. The Bradley Center's WILLIAM SCHAMBRA moderated the discussion.
- Irving Kristol, "Foundations and the Sin of Pride: The Myth of the Third Sector," a speech given before the Council on Foundations in 1980, Amy Kass, editor, Giving Well, Doing Good: Readings for Thoughtful Philanthropists (Indiana University Press, 2008), pp. 260-267.
- Irving Kristol, "On Corporate Philanthropy," The Wall Street Journal, March 21, 1977, reprint no. 65 of the American Enterprise Institute (Washington, DC), April 1977.
Program and Panel
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