Home » News » This Post

Lee Edwards Shares His Life In Pursuit of Liberty with TFAS


TFAS regent emeritus Dr. Lee Edwards shared spirited stories from his life and new memoir “Just Right: A Life in Pursuit of Liberty” at a packed TFAS Headquarters in April. TFAS students, alumni, supporters and friends gathered to hear from and meet Edwards as he revealed insights from his involvement in the modern conservative movement.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to know a lot of ‘giants’ who walked the earth here in Washington, D.C. and in America,” said Edwards.

He went on to introduce some of these ‘giants,’ sharing memories from his work with President Ronald Reagan, Senator Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley, Jr. over the years.

Dr. Edwards meets with Brenda Hafera and TFAS president Roger Ream (ICPES 76) before his remarks at TFAS Headquarters.

TFAS coordinator of alumni programs and continuing education and the event organizer, Brenda Hafera, said TFAS was proud to host such an passionate, accomplished individual. She said TFAS students and alumni had much to learn from his paramount life lessons.

“Tonight is about commemorating Dr. Edwards’ dedication and commitment to the cause of limited government and conservative principles,” said Hafera.

Edwards fascinated guests with some anecdotes that made history – and made his time with these ‘giants’  so special. He told of their common traits: their charisma, pro-free enterprise outlooks, faith in a higher power and fierce hatred of communism, something he said he especially had in common with each of them. He added that “the Constitution was their north star.”

He told guests about the time he visited Reagan’s modest California home in 1965 with his wife, Anne, when he had the unique opportunity to wait in the personal library of Ronald Reagan.

Edwards shares excerpts from his memoir “Just Right: Life in Pursuit of Memory” with TFAS students and friends.

He said he perused the spines of the books and recognized some important works of politics, history and economics. Edwards says he noticed “The Road to Serfdom” by Hayek, “Economics in One Lesson” by Hazlitt and “The Law” by Bastiat and wondered aloud to his wife, Anne, if Reagan truly had studied these works. He investigated further by peeking inside the books, and to his surprise they were “underlined, dog-eared, with notations in the margins!”

“This guy had read these books!” Edwards exclaimed. “I realized very quickly that this was not just another marionette dancing with strings. He arrived at his conservatism and philosophy the old fashioned way: one book at a time.”

Edwards shared that after this encounter in Reagan’s library, he jotted down two words in his notebook: ‘President Reagan?’

“When I wrote the first biography of him two years later, I deleted the question mark,” Edwards revealed.

Following his remarks, Dr. Edwards graciously stayed to answer questions, offer advice and sign books for TFAS students and friends.

Dr. Edwards presents a signed copy of his memoir to TFAS Capital Semester student Rachel Rohrbach.

Dr. Lee Edwards is the distinguished fellow in conservative thought at The Heritage Foundation, chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and an adjunct professor of politics at the Catholic University of America. Edwards is a leading historian of American conservatism and the author or editor of 25 books. He was also the founding director of the TFAS Institute of Political Journalism (IPJ) and a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

To learn more about Dr. Edwards and to read his memoir, “Just Right: A Life in Pursuit of Liberty,” please visit the book page at amazon.com.


Recent Posts


Young Leaders Experience World’s Freest Economy Through TFAS Program in Hong Kong

“A person starts thinking differently when their perception is challenged, and that’s what TFAS does, it challenges your perception and opens your mind.” Tafhimur Rahman (AIPE 18), a recent Eastern University law graduate and director of the social enterprise…

John Stossel Challenges TFAS Graduates to Fight for Liberty at U.S. Programs Closing Ceremony

The growing TFAS Alumni Network gained more than 350 new members during the U.S. Summer Programs Closing Ceremony at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium on July 26. As a fitting capstone to a summer studying the principles of freedom, Emmy-winning…

25 Years of Teaching Freedom in Central and Eastern Europe

More than a quarter century ago, I was involved in a mission to Eastern Europe in pursuit of an optimistic, if daunting, goal: teaching freedom to students who had spent their entire lives growing up behind the Iron Curtain of nations aligned with Soviet Russia.…