In 1916, social theorist Thorstein Veblen called for the postwar institution of “academic houses of refuge . . . where teachers and students of nationalities, including Americans with the rest, may pursue their chosen work.” In 1923, Oswald Veblen contacted Simon Flexner, who suggested, “you might speak with my brother, Mr. Abraham Flexner,” thus bringing in Louis Bamberger and Carrie Fuld, whose fortunes had been launched selling distressed merchandise out of a Newark storefront in 1892. In this public lecture, George Dyson will explore how, as a flood of distressed intellectuals began fleeing Europe, the Veblens, the Flexners, and the Bamerbergers opened a department store for the freedom of ideas.