James Buchanan Named National Humanities Medal Recipient

Posted: November 9, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

James Buchanan
James Buchanan

President George W. Bush announced yesterday that James Buchanan, advisory general director of the Center for Study of Public Choice and distinguished professor emeritus at George Mason who won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1986, is one of 10 recipients of the National Humanities Medal for 2006.

The award is being presented in the Oval Office of the White House today.

Buchanan, who joined George Mason in 1983, is well known for his classic text, “The Calculus of Consent,” which was published in 1962 and presented public choice theory as an innovative approach to analyzing the political process as it relates to the economy. The book, which has been translated into several languages, remains influential to this day. It is a staple in the canon of university-level economic study.

The awards ceremony will also include recipients of the National Medal of Arts. Bush will be joined by First Lady Laura Bush; Dana Gioia, chairman, National Endowment for the Arts; and Bruce Cole, chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities, to present the awards.

Other National Humanities Medal recipients are Fouad Ajami, Middle Eastern studies scholar; Nickolas Davatzes, historian; Robert Fagles, translator and classicist; the Hoover Institution; Mary Lefkowitz, classicist; Bernard Lewis, Middle Eastern studies Scholar; Mark Noll, historian of religion; former Mason professor Meryle Secrest, biographer; and Kevin Starr, historian.

National Medal of Arts recipients are William Bolcom, composer; Cyd Charisse, dancer; Roy R. DeCarava, photographer; Wilhelmina C. Holladay, arts patron; Interlochen Center for the Arts; Erich Kunzel, pops orchestra conductor; Preservation Hall Jazz Band; Gregory Rabassa, literary translator; Viktor Schreckengost, industrial designer; and Ralph Stanley, bluegrass musician.

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