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Hoover Institution Press


Hoover Institution Press

This article is about the American public policy think tank. For the research library, see Hoover Institution Library and Archives.
Hoover Institution
Motto ...Ideas defining a free society
Formation 1919
Type Public policy think tank
Location Stanford, California, U.S.
Director John Raisian
Budget $39 million (2010)[1]

The Hoover Institution is a conservative[2][3][4] American public policy think tank located at Stanford University in California. It is part of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, a library founded in 1919 by Republican Herbert Hoover, Stanford's self-proclaimed first student,[5] before he became President of the United States. The library, known as the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, houses multiple archives related to Hoover, World War I, World War II, and other world history.

The Hoover Institution is a unit of Stanford University[6] but has its own board of overseers.[7] It is located on the campus. Its mission statement outlines its basic tenets: representative government, private enterprise, peace, personal freedom, and the safeguards of the American system.[8]

The Hoover Institution is an influential voice in American public policy. The Institution has long been a place of scholarship for individuals who previously held high-profile positions in government, such as Edwin Meese, Condoleezza Rice, George Shultz, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, and Amy Zegart—all Hoover Institution fellows. In 2007, retired U.S. Army General John P. Abizaid, former commander of the U.S. Central Command, was named the Institution's first Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow.[9]

The Institute is housed in three buildings on the Stanford campus. The most prominent facility is the landmark Hoover Tower, which is a popular visitor attraction. The tower features an observation deck on the top level that provides visitors with a panaromic view of the Stanford campus and surrounding area.

Mission statement

Herbert Hoover's 1959 statement to the Board of Trustees of Stanford University on the purpose of the Hoover Institution continues to guide its ideology and define its activities:

This Institution supports the Constitution of the United States, its Bill of Rights and its method of representative government. Both our social and economic systems are based on private enterprise from which springs initiative and ingenuity ... Ours is a system where the Federal Government should undertake no governmental, social or economic action, except where local government, or the people, cannot undertake it for themselves ... The overall mission of this Institution is, from its records, to recall the voice of experience against the making of war, and by the study of these records and their publication, to recall man's endeavors to make and preserve peace, and to sustain for America the safeguards of the American way of life. This Institution is not, and must not be, a mere library. But with these purposes as its goal, the Institution itself must constantly and dynamically point the road to peace, to personal freedom, and to the safeguards of the American system.

According to the Hoover Institution's website: "By collecting knowledge, generating ideas, and disseminating both, the Institution seeks to secure and safeguard peace, improve the human condition, and limit government intrusion into the lives of individuals."[8]


The Institution was set up by Herbert Hoover, one of Stanford's first graduates, who would later become the 31st President of the United States. He had been in charge of American relief efforts in Europe after World War I. Hoover's express purpose was to collect the records of contemporary history as it was happening. Hoover's helpers frequently risked their lives to rescue documentary and rare printed material, especially from countries under Nazi or Communist rule. Their many successes included the papers of Rosa Luxembourg, the Goebbels Diaries, and the records of the Russian secret police in Paris. Research institutes were also set up under Hoover's influence, though inevitably there were to be clashes between the moving force, Hoover, and the host university.[10]

In 1919, Hoover donated $50,000 to Stanford University to support the collection of primary materials related to World War I, a project that became known as the Hoover War Collection. Supported primarily by gifts from private donors, the Hoover War Collection flourished in its early years. In 1922, the Collection became known as the Hoover War Library. The Hoover War Library was housed in the Stanford Library, separate from the general stacks. By 1926, the Hoover War Library was known as the largest library in the world devoted to the Great War. By 1929, it contained 1.4 million items and was becoming too large to house in the Stanford Library. In 1938, the War Library revealed building plans for Hoover Tower, which was to be its permanent home independent of the Stanford Library system. The tower was completed in 1941, Stanford University's fiftieth anniversary.[11]

By 1946, the agenda of the Hoover War Library had expanded to include research activities; thus the organization was renamed the Hoover Institute and Library on War, Revolution and Peace. At this time, Herbert Hoover was living in New York City but remained integrally involved in the Hoover Institute and Library as a benefactor, fundraiser, and consultant.

In 1956 former President Hoover, under the auspices of the Institute and Library, launched a major fundraising campaign that allowed the Institute to realize its current form as a think tank and archive. In 1957, the Hoover Institute and Library was renamed the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace—the name it holds today.[12]

In 1960, W. Glenn Campbell was appointed director and substantial budget increases soon led to corresponding increases in acquisitions and related research projects. Despite student unrest in the 1960s, the institution continued to thrive and develop closer relations with Stanford. In particular, the Chinese and Russian collections grew considerably. The Institute increasingly became a conservative think tank, with ties to Washington, especially since 1980. The Institute remains a component of Stanford University.[13]


Below is a list of Hoover Institution directors and prominent fellows, former and current.


  • Ephraim D. Adams, 1920–1925
  • Ralph H. Lutz, 1925–1944
  • Harold H. Fisher, 1944–1952
  • C. Easton Rothwell, 1952–1959[14]
  • W. Glenn Campbell, 1960–1989[15]
  • John Raisian, 1989–present

Honorary Fellows

Distinguished Fellows

Senior Fellows

Research Fellows

Distinguished Visiting Fellows

Media Fellows


The Hoover Institution's in-house publisher, Heritage Foundation in 2001.

In addition to these periodicals, the Hoover Institution Press publishes books and essays by Hoover Institution fellows and other Hoover-affiliated scholars.

Task forces

The following Hoover Institution task forces are made up of both Hoover Institution fellows and scholars from other academic institutions. Hoover task forces encourage collaborative work in specific areas of public policy:[26]

  • K–12 Education
  • National Security and Law
  • Virtues of a Free Society
  • Energy Policy
  • Economic Policy
  • Property Rights, Freedom, and Prosperity
  • Islamism and the International Order
  • Health Care Policy


The Hoover Institution is funded by multiple sources. It receives nearly half of its funding from private gifts, including corporate charitable foundations, and the other half from its endowment.[27]

Past corporate donors have included:

See also

  • List of Stanford University Centers and Institutes
  • Hoover Institution Library and Archives


Further reading

  • Paul, Gary Norman. "The Development of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace Library, 1919–1944". PhD dissertation U. of California, Berkeley. Dissertation Abstracts International 1974 35(3): 1682-1683-A, 274p.

External links

  •, the Hoover Institution's official website
  •, the Hoover Institution Library and Archives official website
  •, the Hoover Institution Press's official website
  •, the Hoover Institution's blog of research and opinion on current policy matters
  •, a Hoover Institution online journal
  • at YouTube
  • Video of Hoover Institution events at
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