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Kumamoto Travel on 112). BRYAN CAPLAN, PH.D. GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY Beard, Charles Austin (1874–1948) BORN INTO A PROSPEROUS Indiana mercantile family, Charles Beard was educated in the UNITED STATES and Britain. A scholar who argued forcefully that the function of history was not merely to describe the past but provide guidance for contemporary public policy, Beard was the prototype for the generation of politically engaged New Left historians that rose to prominence 20 years after his death. Of Beard’s many works, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution (1913) best displayed both his originality and his talent for generating controversy. In this book, Beard suggested that the founders of the United States had been motivated above all by their own material and political interests, and that the system of government adopted by the infant republic was best understood as a conservative device aimed at protecting the property and status of a planter elite. Kumamoto Travel 2016.