Dr. Robert Hessen, a specialist in business and economic history, served as a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, since 1974.  His major publications include Steel Titan: The Life of Charles M. Schwab (1975) and In Defense of the Corporation (1979), which, at present, is in its fifth printing.  He has published widely in scholarly journals and such mainstream media as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.  Edging to retirement, Dr. Hessen was looking for an appropriate resting place for more than “1000 books, primarily focused on Western history and culture.”  He chose the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI).

On Wednesday morning, a tractor trailer deposited the volumes in thirty-four boxes on two pallets at the rear of AHI headquarters. The books not only cover European and American history, but such specialized topics as property, family, utopias, and totalitarianism as well.  Dr. Hessen’s gift will nicely supplement the AHI’s existing collections, which include Liberty Fund’s Library of Liberty, Eugene D. Genovese’s southern history collection, and Richard Erlanger’s military history collection.

Volumes arrive at the AHI

“The AHI is deeply grateful to Dr. Hessen for this extraordinary act of generosity, said AHI Charter Fellow Robert Paquette.  “His work on the moral and legal history of the modern corporation is well known to those of us interested in securing private property rights.  The AHI’s newest senior fellow, Juliana Pilon, proved decisive in landing for the AHI this rich collection. Dr. Pilon has been a blessing to the AHI since her arrival.”