William Volker Fund

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The William Volker Fund was active from 1932 to 1965, and was the only libertarian fund with any money during this period [1].

Under the administration of Willam Volker's nephew Harold Luhnow from 1942 onwards, it pursued a number of strategies for increasing the acceptance of Hayekian libertarian thought in the USA. The fund was instrumental in bringing Friedrich Hayek to the University of Chicago, and supported many other libertarian scholars who at the time could not obtain positions in American universities (including Ludwig von Mises and Aaron Director).

The fund helped the then small minority of libertarian scholars to meet, discuss, and exchange ideas. Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom, Leoni's Freedom and the Law, and Hayek's Constitution of Liberty all evolved from such meetings.

Volker put up the funds that enabled the North Americans to have such a strong presence at the first Mont Pelerin Society meeting in 1947.

Under the directorship of 'master recruiter' F. A. Harper, the fund also directed itself towards the systematic recruitment of young libertarian scholars, work which Harper was to continue at the Institute for Humane Studies after Luhnow fired him in 1962. Harper was replaced by Ivan Bierly, an ex-Foundation for Economic Education senior staffer, who in turn hired Rousas J. Rushdoony.

Through its front, the National Book Foundation, the Volker Fund gave away libertarian books, such as Böhm-Bawerk's, to college libraries. Writing book reviews for the Fund were Murray Rothbard and Rose Wilder Lane.

It also helped fund the formation of various complementary institutions, including:

According to John Blundell, the Volker Fund's strategic successor on its expiration was the Institute for Humane Studies. The fund itself was replaced by the short-lived Center for American Studies (CAS). A decade later, the Volker Fund's money ($7 million) went to the Hoover Institution. [2]

Staff included