Any attempt to resolve the crisis in the Middle East forces us -- the American people and American Jewry -- to appraise the motives and the ultimate goals of the leaders involved. Endless disputes have raged over whether Yasser Arafat and the other Arab leaders merely seek a Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel or... Read More
As former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan gears up for his campaign to challenge Gov. Gray Davis, he faces some serious obstacles. First, no incumbent California governor has been defeated for a second term in 60 years, and Davis -- an experienced, somewhat ruthless campaigner with over $30 million in his war chest -- is... Read More
The recent release of campaign finance reports for the first half of 1999 has revealed a surprising fact: unlike its national counterpart, the California Republican Party has suddenly become the party of the poor. Early press accounts mostly emphasized the astonishing pace of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis’s post-election fund-raising, in which he racked up nearly... Read More
As the hot-button political issue of the 1998 election, educational reform has inspired a host of political proposals, ranging from the foolish to the ridiculous. Unfortunately, political sloganeering makes doubtful public policy, and if incoming California Gov. Gray Davis and his weakened Republican opposition actually hope to do something about our poorly performing school system,... Read More
HAVING PULLED America back from the brink of a disastrous trade war with the Japanese, the Clinton administration deserves at least faint praise for its last-minute lack of commitment to principle. All along, Clinton's trade negotiators had demanded that the Japanese government pledge its private companies and individual consumers to specific "numerical goals and timetables"... Read More
About Ron Unz
A theoretical physicist by training, Mr. Unz serves as founder and chairman of UNZ.org, a content-archiving website providing free access to many hundreds of thousands of articles from prominent periodicals of the last hundred and fifty years. From 2007 to 2013, he also served as publisher of The American Conservative, a small opinion magazine, and had previously served as chairman of Wall Street Analytics, Inc., a financial services software company which he founded in New York City in 1987. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Stanford University, and is a past first-place winner in the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He was born in Los Angeles in 1961.
He has long been deeply interested in public policy issues, and his writings on issues of immigration, race, ethnicity, and social policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Nation, and numerous other publications.
In 1994, he launched a surprise Republican primary challenge to incumbent Gov. Pete Wilson of California, running on a conservative, pro-immigrant platform against the prevailing political sentiment, and received 34% of the vote. Later that year, he campaigned as a leading opponent of Prop. 187, the anti-immigration initiative, and was a top featured speaker at a 70,000 person pro-immigrant march in Los Angeles, the largest political rally in California history to that date.
In 1997, Mr. Unz began his “English for the Children” initiative campaign to dismantle bilingual education in California. He drafted Prop. 227 and led the campaign to qualify and pass the measure, culminating in a landslide 61% victory in June 1998, effectively eliminating over one-third of America’s bilingual programs. Within less than three years of the new English immersion curriculum, the mean percentile test scores of over a million immigrant students in California rose by an average of 70%. He later organized and led similar initiative campaigns in other states, winning with 63% in the 2000 Arizona vote and a remarkable 68% in the 2002 Massachusetts vote without spending a single dollar on advertising.
After spending most of the 2000s focused on software projects, he has recently become much more active in his public policy writings, most of which had appeared in his own magazine.