Irving Kristol Award

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The Irving Kristol Award is the highest honor conferred by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.

The award is given for "notable intellectual or practical contributions to improved public policy and social welfare" and named in honor of Irving Kristol. It replaced the Francis Boyer Award in 2003. The award was named for Kristol as a tribute to his influence on public issues and as an intellectual mentor to several generations of conservatives. According to Christopher DeMuth, "In our sixty years of labors, no one has had a more profound influence on the work of the American Enterprise Institute, or on American political discourse, than Irving Kristol. Combining philosophical depth with intense practicality and constant good cheer, [Kristol] has, as President Bush has put it, 'transformed political debate on every subject he approached, from economics to religion, from social welfare to foreign policy.'"[1]

George W. Bush speaks at AEI's Annual Dinner in 2003.

The Kristol Award is presented at AEI's Annual Dinner, a gala dinner in Washington, D.C., that is well-attended by conservative leaders and is a major event on the Washington social scene.[2][3] President George W. Bush spoke at the first Kristol Award presentation in 2003. Bush's speech, only days before the commencement of the Iraq War, laid out his promise to launch military action even if the United Nations Security Council did not authorize it.[4] Former vice president Dick Cheney[5] and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar[6] have also presented the award.

Kristol Award recipients occasionally make news with their speeches. John Howard, who had a few months before been defeated in the Australian elections, criticized his successor as prime minister, Kevin Rudd, over industrial relations and the Iraq War.[7][8]

All recipients are given a token of esteem engraved with a citation for their achievements.

List of recipients[edit]

Year Recipient Nationality Citation Lecture title
2003 Allan H. Meltzer  American

"To Allan H. Meltzer
Pioneer of political economy and policy reform
Teacher to students, scholars, and statesmen
Intellectual leader in the causes of liberty and progress"

"Leadership and Progress"
2004 Charles Krauthammer  American

"To Charles Krauthammer
Fearless journalist, wise analyst, and militant democrat
Who has shown that America's interests and ideals are indivisible
And that the promotion of freedom is hard-headed realism"

"Democratic Realism"
2005 Mario Vargas Llosa  Peruvian

"To Mario Vargas Llosa
Whose narrative art and political thought
Illumine the universal quest for freedom--
Which the virtues love and the follies require."

"Confessions of a Liberal"
2006 David Hackett Fischer  American

"To David Hackett Fischer
Student, teacher, and storyteller
Whose histories revivify the American past
And teach us that her future is a story we are telling"

2007 Bernard Lewis  British

"To Bernard Lewis
Who has stood at the Bosporus for seventy years
Historian and interpreter across the great divide
Sage of our pasts, presage of our future."

"Europe and Islam"
2008 John Howard  Australian

"To John Winston Howard
Stalwart all-rounder of politics and policy
Who made good government a popular cause
And advanced Australia fair and free"

"Keeping Faith with Our Common Values"
2009 Charles Murray  American

"To Charles Murray
Exemplary social scientist
Whose measurements are means to moral understanding
Engaged Aristotelian
Who teaches of human heritage and pursuit"

"The Happiness of the People"
2010 David Petraeus  American

"The Surge of Ideas: COINdinistas and Change in the U.S. Army in 2006"

2011 Martin Feldstein[9]  American

External links[edit]


  1. ^ DeMuth, Christopher (March 4, 2003). "Leadership and Progress (Introductory Remarks)". AEI Annual Dinner. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  2. ^ Graff, Garrett (March 8, 2007). "A Night Out: AEI's Gala". The Washingtonian.
  3. ^ Mullins, Anne Schroeder (March 12, 2009). "The AEI Dinner last night". Politico.
  4. ^ Bush, George W. (March 4, 2003). "President George W. Bush Speaks at AEI's Annual Dinner". Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  5. ^ Cheney, Richard B. (February 10, 2004). "Introduction of Charles Krauthammer by Vice President Cheney". AEI Annual Dinner. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  6. ^ Aznar, Jose Maria (March 2, 2005). "Irving Kristol Award and Lecture for 2005 (Introductory Remarks)". AEI Annual Dinner. Retrieved July 9, 2009.
  7. ^ Nason, David (March 6, 2008). "John Howard wins American Enterprise Institute award". The Australian.
  8. ^ AAP (March 6, 2008). "Howard defends legacy". Sydney Morning Herald.
  9. ^