Talks from the Hoover Institution
Hoover Book Club: The Myth Of American Inequality

Hoover Book Club: The Myth Of American Inequality

September 30, 2022

Join the Hoover Book Club for engaging discussions with leading authors on the hottest policy issues of the day. Hoover scholars explore the latest books that delve into some of the most vexing policy issues facing the United States and the world. Find out what makes these authors tick and how they think we should approach our most difficult challenges.

In our latest installment, we will feature a discussion between former Senator Phil Gramm, John Early and John B. Taylor the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution on Senator Gramm's and Mr. Early's latest book The Myth of American Inequality: How Government Biases Policy Debate co-authored by Robert Ekelund. 


Senator Phil Gramm is an economist by training and has had a long and distinguished career in public service, academia and the private sector. Senator Gramm was the vice chairman of UBS Investment Bank, where he provided strategic economic, political and policy advice to important corporate and institutional clients. He served in the US Congress representing Texas for more than two decades, first as the 6th congressional district representative to the US House of Representatives, then later as senator. His legislative record includes landmark bills like the Gramm-Latta Budget – which reduced federal spending, rebuilt national defense and mandated the Reagan tax cut – and the Gramm-Rudman Act, which placed the first binding constraints on federal spending. As chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Gramm steered legislation modernizing banking, insurance and securities laws. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act amended the 70-year-old Glass-Steagall Act,  allowing banks, security companies and insurance companies to affiliate through a financial services holding company.  Sen. Gramm taught economics at Texas A&M University for 12 years before becoming a member of Congress. He has published numerous articles and books on subjects ranging from private property, monetary theory and policy to the economics of mineral extraction. As a visiting scholar at AEI, he will be working on a comprehensive plan to fix the US economy through reform of the tax code and entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

John F. Early is a mathematical economist, president of the consultancy Vital Few, LLC, and an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute. Early has also served twice as assistant commissioner at the Bureau of Labor Statistics where he directed the statistical design, economic analysis, and survey operations for the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES), Point of Purchase Survey (POPS), and estimates of pre‐retail price changes.


Everything you know about income inequality, poverty, and other measures of economic well-being in America is wrong. In this provocative book, a former United States senator, eminent economist, and a former senior leader at the Bureau of Labor Statistics challenge the prevailing consensus that income inequality is a growing threat to American society. By taking readers on a deep dive into the way government measures economic well-being, they demonstrate that our official statistics dramatically overstate inequality. Getting the facts straight reveals that the key measures of well-being are greater than the official statistics of the country would lead us to believe. Income inequality is lower today than at any time in post- World War II America. The facts reveal a very different and better America than the one that is currently described by policy advocates across much of the political spectrum. The Myth of American Inequality provides clear and convincing evidence that the American Dream is alive and well. 

Hoover Book Club: Barry Strauss On The War That Made the Roman Empire

Hoover Book Club: Barry Strauss On The War That Made the Roman Empire

August 16, 2022

Watch a discussion between Barry Strauss, the Corliss Page Dean Visiting Fellow and Victor Davis Hanson the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow on Barry's latest book The War That Made the Roman Empire: Antony, Cleopatra, and Octavian at Actium.


Barry Strauss is the Corliss Page Dean Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Strauss (Cornell University) is a military historian with a focus on ancient Greece and Rome. His Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece—and Western Civilization was named one of the best books of 2004 by the Washington Post. His books have been translated into ten languages.


A “splendid” (The Wall Street Journal) account of one of history’s most important and yet little-known wars, the campaign culminating in the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, whose outcome determined the future of the Roman Empire.

Following Caesar’s assassination and Mark Antony’s defeat of the conspirators who killed Caesar, two powerful men remained in Rome—Antony and Caesar’s chosen heir, young Octavian, the future Augustus. When Antony fell in love with the most powerful woman in the world, Egypt’s ruler Cleopatra, and thwarted Octavian’s ambition to rule the empire, another civil war broke out. In 31 BC one of the largest naval battles in the ancient world took place—more than 600 ships, almost 200,000 men, and one woman—the Battle of Actium. Octavian prevailed over Antony and Cleopatra, who subsequently killed themselves.

The Battle of Actium had great consequences for the empire. Had Antony and Cleopatra won, the empire’s capital might have moved from Rome to Alexandria, Cleopatra’s capital, and Latin might have become the empire’s second language after Greek, which was spoken throughout the eastern Mediterranean, including Egypt.

In this “superbly recounted” (The National Review) history, Barry Strauss, ancient history authority, describes this consequential battle with the drama and expertise that it deserves. The War That Made the Roman Empire is essential history that features three of the greatest figures of the ancient world.

India’s Opportunities In The 2020s

India’s Opportunities In The 2020s

August 2, 2022

Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Hauck Auditorium | Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Institution hosts India's Opportunities in the 2020s on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 from 6:00PM – 7:00PM PT in Hauck Auditorium at the David & Joan Traitel Building at the Hoover Institution.

You are cordially invited to a special event marking the launch of the Hoover Institution's new program on Strengthening US-India Relations India's Opportunities in the 2020s A Dialogue between Condoleezza Rice Tad and Dianne Taube Director,  Hoover Institution, and N. Chandrasekaran Chairman, Tata Sons, with questions to follow.

Condoleezza Rice is the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy. In addition, she is a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm. Rice served as the sixty-sixth secretary of state of the United States (2005-2009) and as President George W. Bush’s national security adviser (2001 to 2005).

Natarajan Chandrasekaran is Chairman of the Board at Tata Sons, the holding company and promoter of all Tata Group companies. Chandra joined the Board of Tata Sons in October 2016 and was appointed Chairman in January 2017. He also chairs the Boards of several group operating companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Air India, Tata Chemicals, Tata Consumer Products, Indian Hotel Company and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) – of which he was Chief Executive from 2009-17.

Paper Money in the Late Qing and Early Republic, 1820-1935

Paper Money in the Late Qing and Early Republic, 1820-1935

July 24, 2022

Hoover Institution, Stanford University
July 21, 2022 

This chapter examines the Chinese private paper money from the Qing into the early Republic. I argue that both state and civil institutions were crucial for the integrity of China’s paper notes. The state did not actively support paper notes, but nonetheless upheld a legal regime that honored the sanctity of contracts. For their part, business associations acted as gatekeepers, allowing only financially sound firms to issue notes. These privately issued notes thus circulated through the rural marketing system, stitching together neighboring agrarian and commercial economies far better than unwieldy copper coins. 


Matthew Lowenstein studies the economic history of modern China from the late imperial period to the early People’s Republic. His dissertation, which he is currently turning into a book, is a study of northern China’s indigenous financial system from the late Qing to the early Republican period (1820–1911). He received his PhD in history from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Lowenstein previously worked as a securities analyst in Beijing and New York covering the Chinese financial sector. His nonacademic works have appeared in the Diplomat and Foreign Policy


This talk is part of the History Working Group Seminar Series. A central piece of the History Working Group is the seminar series, which is hosted in partnership with the Hoover Library & Archives. The seminar series was launched in the fall of 2019, and thus far has included six talks from Hoover research fellows, visiting scholars, and Stanford faculty. The seminars provide outside experts with an opportunity to present their research and receive feedback on their work. While the lunch seminars have grown in reputation, they have been purposefully kept small in order to ensure that the discussion retains a good seminar atmosphere.

A Virtual Exhibition Tour Of Fanning The Flames: Propaganda In Modern Japan

A Virtual Exhibition Tour Of Fanning The Flames: Propaganda In Modern Japan

July 11, 2022
Thursday, July 7, 2022
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Institution Library & Archives presents the Fanning the Flames Speaker Series. This twelfth and final session is moderated by Kaoru (Kay) Ueda, Curator of the Japanese Diaspora Collection. The event will feature a video screening of “A Virtual Exhibition Tour of Fanning the Flames: Propaganda in Modern Japan.” For the first time we will reveal to our virtual audience a view of the physical exhibition, located in the Lou Henry Hoover gallery at Hoover Tower, Stanford University. Dr. Ueda will also be joined by Library & Archives colleagues to talk about the processes involved with developing exhibitions like Fanning the Flames. Join us on July 7, 2022 (Thursday) at 4:00 pm PDT | 7:00 pm EDT (60 minutes).

To learn more about the accompanying book (edited by Kay Ueda, curator of the Japanese Diaspora Collection at Hoover) and to see past events, videos, and highlights, please visit our interactive online exhibition website, Fanning the Flames: Propaganda in Modern Japan. Please also visit our exhibition, now open through July 15, in Hoover Tower at Stanford University.  For complete details please visit our exhibition web page.


Kaoru (Kay) Ueda is the curator of the Japanese Diaspora Collection at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives. She curated many of the materials used in the Fanning the Flames book and exhibition. Ueda manages the Japanese Diaspora Initiative, endowed by an anonymous gift to promote the study of overseas Japanese history during the Empire of Japan period. She is the editor of On a Collision Course: The Dawn of Japanese Migration in the Nineteenth Century (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2020).

Fireside Chat With Secretary DeVos And Secretary Rice

Fireside Chat With Secretary DeVos And Secretary Rice

June 30, 2022
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Hoover Institution hosts a Fireside Chat with Secretary DeVos  and Secretary Rice on Tuesday, June 28 from 5:15 - 6:00PM PT.

In this timely discussion, DeVos will provide her candid thoughts about serving as Secretary of Education, her battles to put students first, the urgent need to transform America’s approach to education to meet the realities of the 21st century, and the dangers of "woke" ideology being force-fed to our kids. She will explain why she believes we are on the verge of finally shifting the balance of power in education in America to expand parental authority and put the unique needs of each individual student first.


Condoleezza Rice is the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy. From January 2005 to 2009, Rice served as the sixty-sixth Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001 to January 2005, the first woman to hold the position.

Betsy DeVos is a leader, an innovator, a disruptor, and a champion for freedom. She is the nation’s leading advocate for education freedom for students of all ages, having served as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education from 2017-2021. For more than three decades, she has been tireless in her pursuit of public policy reforms that get government out of the way and allow all students the freedom, flexibility, resources and support they need to choose where, when and how they learn. Her advocacy has helped create new educational choices for K-12 students in more than 25 states and the District of Columbia and expanded post-high school education options for students and adult learners alike. Betsy is also an accomplished business leader. She served as Chairman of The Windquest Group, a privately held investment and management firm based in Michigan. She is the former chair of the American Federation for Children, The Philanthropy Roundtable, and the Michigan Republican Party. Betsy is a graduate of Calvin College and is married to entrepreneur, philanthropist and community activist Dick DeVos. Together, they have four children and ten grandchildren.

Long before she was tapped by President Trump to serve as secretary of education, DeVos established herself as one of the country’s most influential advocates for education reform, from school choice and charter schools to protecting free speech on campus. She’s unflinching in standing up to the powerful interests who control and benefit from the status quo in education – which is why the unions, the media, and the radical left made her public enemy number one. Now, DeVos is ready to tell her side of the story after years of being vilified by the radical left for championing common-sense, conservative reforms in America’s schools.
In Hostages No More, DeVos unleashes her candid thoughts about working in the Trump administration, recounts her battles over the decades to put students first, hits back at “woke” curricula in our schools, and details the reforms America must pursue to fix its long and badly broken education system. And she has stories to tell: DeVos offers blunt insights on the people and politics that stand in the way of fixing our schools. For students, families and concerned citizens, DeVos shares a roadmap for reclaiming education and securing the futures of our kids – and America.

California Homelessness: New Policies To Address An Intractable Problem

California Homelessness: New Policies To Address An Intractable Problem

June 22, 2022
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Virtual Meeting

The Hoover Institution Economic Policy Working Group invites you to a panel discussion, California Homelessness: New Policies to Address an Intractable Problem, with Lee Ohanian, Kevin Kiley, and Michael Shellenberger.

This virtual event brings together three experts on California’s homelessness crisis to focus on understanding why this problem continues to worsen, despite spending record amounts every year, and on how alternative policies will reduce homelessness and more broadly improve the quality-of-life for all Californians.

The event will be structured as a panel discussion, moderated by Hoover Senior Fellow Lee E. Ohanian, who writes frequently about California homelessness in his weekly Hoover column, “California on Your Mind”. His columns focus on understanding why the more we spend, the more homeless we have, and how we must change policies, ranging from opioid abuse tolerance to affordable housing business costs, to make progress.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R, Rocklin) is one of our panelists, and who is one of the state legislators who created the Republican Legislative Caucus’s plan consisting of 15 new bills to address homelessness. These ideas range from conducting data analytics to understand just who the homeless are, where they live, and how many have mental health and substance abuse problems, to reforming existing state laws to reduce the cost of building new housing, which currently exceeds $1,000 per square foot for cookie-cutter studio apartment units. Kevin is one of the young leaders within the Republican party. He has fought continuously to reverse AB 5, which makes it illegal for some Californians to work as an independent contractor, and he has written several commonsense Assembly bills to reduce living costs in the state, including suspending the State’s gasoline tax to address our extremely high gasoline prices.

Gubernatorial candidate and author Michael Shellenberger is our other panelist. Michael’s recent book San Fransicko: Why Progessives Ruin Cities has been on the bestseller list since its publication last year. The book powerfully and persuasively describes how well-intentioned policies, such as San Francisco’s willingness to tolerate illegal drug use and its refusal to prosecute drug-related crimes is damaging the city beyond recognition.

A review summarized the book’s theme as follows:

Progressives have embraced 'victimology,' a belief system wherein society’s downtrodden are subject to no rules or consequences for their actions. This ideology, cultivated in cities like San Francisco for decades and widely adopted over the past two years, is the key to understanding, and thus solving, our crises of homelessness, drug overdoses and crime.

This unique event will highlight how and why California has gone off track in addressing one of California’s most important issues and will show how California can constructively and humanely address this issue with new ideas. The first hour will be devoted to the panel discussion, followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A.

Hoover Book Club: Terry Anderson On Renewing Indigenous Economies

Hoover Book Club: Terry Anderson On Renewing Indigenous Economies

June 21, 2022

Join the Hoover Book Club for engaging discussions with leading authors on the hottest policy issues of the day. Hoover scholars explore the latest books that delve into some of the most vexing policy issues facing the United States and the world. Find out what makes these authors tick and how they think we should approach our most difficult challenges. 

In our latest installment, watch a discussion with Terry Anderson who is the John and Jean De Nault Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

A discussion with Terry Anderson on his latest book, Renewing Indigenous Economies moderated by Bill Whalen at 10AM PT/1:00PM ET.


Terry L. Anderson has been a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution since 1998 and is currently the John and Jean De Nault Senior Fellow. He is the past president of the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, MT, and a Professor Emeritus at Montana State University where he won many teaching awards during his 25-year career.


The history of Indigenous economies in the Americas presents a puzzle: When Europeans first encountered Indigenous peoples, they discovered societies with high standards of living, vast trading networks, and flourishing markets. But colonizers changed the rules of the game, and by the twentieth century, most Indians had been forced onto reservations and saddled with institutions inimical to their customs and cultures, and incompatible with wealth creation.

As a result of being wrapped in the federal government’s “white tape,” these once thriving societies are today impoverished and dependent. This volume charts a course for reversing the decline in Indigenous economies and establishing a path to prosperity based on secure tribal property rights, clear jurisdiction and governance, and fiscal and financial power. It explains how the rules of the game promote or hinder the development of wealth; gives an overview of institutional conditions in Indian Country today; and identifies improvements with significant potential to renew Indian economies. Both data and contemporary stories of success and failure illustrate how revitalizing institutional frameworks can restart the engine of economic growth to generate business and employment, raise living standards in Indian communities, and, most importantly, restore the dignity Native Americans once had and still deserve.

Hoover Fellows Commemorate Juneteenth Freedom Day

Hoover Fellows Commemorate Juneteenth Freedom Day

June 17, 2022

Juneteenth celebration focusing on the themes of education, celebration, and strengthening relationships.

Taiwanese At The UN: The Use And Abuse Of UN Resolution 2758

Taiwanese At The UN: The Use And Abuse Of UN Resolution 2758

May 31, 2022

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

On behalf of Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region, and its National Security Task Force the Hoover Institution invites you to Taiwanese at the UN: The Use and Abuse of UN Resolution 2758​ on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 from 11:30am-12:45pm PDT. 

In 1971, UN Resolution 2758 granted the seat occupied by the Republic of China in the General Assembly and the Security Council to the People's Republic of China (PRC). In recent years, the PRC has attempted to reinterpret this resolution as an endorsement of its "One China Principle," and it has promoted the fallacy that UN member states came to a determination that Taiwan was a part of the PRC. Yet, as the historical official records show, member states made no such determination about Taiwan's international status.

This effort around Resolution 2758 is part of a broader campaign by the PRC to expand its influence in UN-affiliated bodies. Taiwan remains the foremost target of this campaign. Since 2016, at Beijing's behest, Taiwanese representatives have been blocked from participating even as observers in international organizations such as the World Health Assembly (WHA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The PRC has institutionalized and normalized its stance on Taiwan within these organizations by signing secret agreements, restricting the access of Taiwan nationals to the UN and its facilities, and embedding PRC nationals across various levels of UN staff. The UN and its specialized agencies have not made the texts of these agreements available to the public or to any entity beyond the main signatories, though leaked guidance memos provide insights into the scope of MOU contents.

In this event, Jessica Drun will discuss Beijing’s efforts to “internationalize” its “One China Principle" and to conflate it with UN Resolution 2758. Her remarks will draw on a recent report, co-authored with Bonnie Glaser of the German Marshall Fund, that documents Beijing’s expanding influence in UN-linked organizations. She will be joined by Chih-Fu Yeh, a PhD candidate in biology at Stanford University, who in December 2020 was improperly barred from joining a UNESCO-backed winter school session because of his Taiwanese nationality. Mr. Yeh will describe his own experience and highlight how overly strict interpretations of UN regulations and guidelines continue to impose real costs on Taiwanese citizens.


Jessica Drun is a Nonresident Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global China Hub. She has also held positions in the defense contracting space and the National Bureau of Asian Research. Ms. Drun specializes in cross-Strait relations, Taiwan politics, and U.S.-Taiwan relations and regularly provides commentary on these issues. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Chih-Fu Yeh is a PhD candidate studying microbial community ecology and evolution in Department of Biology at Stanford University. He was born and raised in Taiwan. In Winter 2020, Chih-Fu applied to a ICTP/UNESCO winter school session on quantitative systems biology, and was denied permission to attend the event because of his Taiwanese nationality.

Kharis Templeman is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and part of the Project on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific. Templeman is a political scientist (Ph.D. 2012, Michigan) with research interests in Taiwan politics, democratization, elections and election management, party system development, dominant party systems, and politics and security issues in Pacific Asia, among other topics.

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