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The George W. Bush Institute Launches "Freedom Square"

July 26, 2013 3 minute Read by James K. Glassman

The post originally appeared on the Freedom Collection’s blog: Freedom Square.

“Freedom is universal.” That’s a phrase that President George W. Bush used many times in the White House, and it’s the guiding principle of the Bush Institute’s very first program—the Freedom Collection. Freedom is not just for Americans and Europeans, for the rich and educated. Everyone desires it and deserves it.

Originally, we conceived the Freedom Collection as an archive of video history for scholars: dozens, and eventually hundreds, of interviews with dissidents and freedom advocates. But we quickly expanded our notion of the Collection’s audience. All Americans—and people around the world—need to know these personal stories of courage and imagination. And perhaps the most important audience for the Collection is composed of people living under tyranny themselves today in places like Iran, Cuba, and Syria.

But the Freedom Collection is more than an archive and more than an educational platform. It is a forum, a meeting place, an educational institution, and a shining beacon—the online equivalent of Freedom Tower, which glows above the new Bush Center in Dallas.

Today, therefore, we launch the Freedom Collection blog, and we’re calling it “Freedom Square.” It’s hard to think of a time in the past 20 years when Freedom Square has been more necessary. Freedom, after advancing for so long, is now in retreat, and America threatens to curl up into isolation.

Still, there is good reason to hope. The Arab Spring holds the promise of being the most important revolution of our time; Latin America, poised between democracy and autocracy, has gained new self-confidence; and, while Iran’s great civilization remains under a cloud of a dangerous and repressive regime, the Green Movement and the recent presidential election show that vast numbers of citizens want change. Freedom Square, as we conceive it, will help shine the light of liberty and democracy into the world’s darker corners.

James K. Glassman is the Founding Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute.


Author

James K. Glassman
James K. Glassman

James K. Glassman is the Founding Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute and the interim Director of the Military Service Initiative.

He served as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs from June 2008 to January 2009, leading the government-wide international strategic communications effort. Among his accomplishments at the State Department was bringing new Internet technology to bear on outreach efforts, an approach he christened “Public Diplomacy 2.0.”

From June 2007 to June 2008, Glassman was chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). He directed all non-military, taxpayer-funded U.S. international broadcasting, including Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and Alhurra TV.  Glassman was a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., from 1996 to 2008, specializing in economics and technology.

He has been moderator of three weekly television programs: Ideas in Action and TechnoPolitics on PBS and Capital Gang Sunday on CNN.

Glassman has had a long career as a journalist and publisher. He served as president of Atlantic Monthly, publisher of the New Republic, executive vice president of U.S. News & World Report, and editor and co-owner of Roll Call, the Congressional newspaper. Between 1993 and 2004, he was a columnist for the Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune and continues to write regularly for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and Forbes. Shortly after graduating from college, he started Figaro, a weekly newspaper in New Orleans. His articles on finance, economics, and foreign policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and various other publications.

Glassman has written three books on investing, and in April 2012 was appointed to the Investor Advisory Committee of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was formerly a member of the Policy Advisory Board of Intel Corporation and a senior advisor to AT&T Corporation and SAP America, Inc.

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