The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Looking at a French nationalist website Boulevard Voltaire this morning, I notice a repetition of the conventional American media account of what occurred in Charlottesville on Saturday. The news commentary explained that a white racist had run down and killed with a vehicle a thirty-two-year-old “anti-racist” demonstrator, Heather Heyer, while injuring other anti-racists who were... Read More
Russell Kirk: American Conservative. By Bradley J. Birzer. University Press of Kentucky, 2015. 574 pages. When The Conservative Mind was published in 1953, its author, like Lord Byron after the appearance of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage,awoke to find himself famous. Russell Kirk was a hitherto unknown American academic, but Time magazine, which “devoted its entire July... Read More
Just as I was beginning to despair that Goucher College’s most famous graduate among contemporary historians Jonah Goldberg had lost his talent for offering revelations about the past, Jonah surprised me yesterday with a learned discourse on the Middle Ages as a prolonged period of primitive barbarism. For those who may have forgotten this nugget... Read More
Gil C /
Although I can’t think of a single social issue on which the predictably soporific Washington Post-columnist Jennifer Rubin sounds different from Barack Obama, Rubin, who welcomes gay marriage as a sign of the “inexorable course of greater inclusiveness” and favors amnesty for illegals, is now a certified voice for “serious conservatives.” Indeed she writes a... Read More
In my recently posted comments on the renaming of Calhoun College at Yale University, I failed to mention a glaring impropriety that the custodians of Political Correctness at Yale have not even begun to address. The university’s original benefactor, who in 1718 paid for the first building of what became a world-famous institution of learning,... Read More
I’ve recently received information that Yale University may be about to rename what is possibly the most picturesque of the twelve colleges that house its undergraduate population. Calhoun College, which flanks stately Elm Street in the now badly run-down city of New Haven, is for me a scene of youthful memory. As a graduate student... Read More
In his latest column, New York Times house-conservative David Brooks is still euphoric about his learning experience at a National Review Institute conference that just ended. It seems that while at the conference David (if I may be familiar) mingled with two of his favorite thinkers, Bill Kristol and John Podhoretz. Like our New York... Read More
For once in a blue moon, I find myself agreeing with Dana Milbank of the Washington Post (October 18) when he observes that "conservatives are mum about Mitt’s moderation." Making allowances for Milbank’s ideologically colored view, when he says that in recent weeks the Republican presidential candidate "sprinted toward the center," this columnist is correct... Read More
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got people’s juices going when he announced in the Senate "the word is out." Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had not been paying his taxes for at least a decade; and to show this was the case, various Democratic dignitaries, including Nancy Pelosi, suggested that Reid was divulging... Read More
A book of mine, Leo Strauss and Conservative Movement in America: A Critical Appraisal, is about to come out with Cambridge University Press; and it has a special connection to the Mises Institute. Much of the critical thrust comes from attending conferences sponsored by the Mises Institute and from getting to know my fellow- participants... Read More
Last spring GOP columnists were already urging their fellow party-members to nominate a centrist for the presidential race. Kim Strassel (April 5, 2011) and Peggy Noonan (April 29, 2011) in Wall Street Journal and Michael Barone and Jonah Goldberg in their syndicated columns all warned against reaching too far right for a presidential candidate. Noonan... Read More
At a time when the US is mired in two lost wars, running a $1.4 trillion deficit, and trapped in economic stagnation, a bitter but trivial public controversy over a Muslim social center in downtown New York seems absurd. But that's what we now have, and it's an ugly harbinger of the oncoming wave of... Read More
Some readers have posed an interesting question about the Republican Party's heated response to Harry Reid: Are we not dealing here with the party's frustration over the double standard being applied by the leftist media? Presumably the media have consistently used a double standard in judging the two parties in terms of their statements about... Read More
Having very recently published an autobiography, Encounters, featuring famous and near-famous people I have known, two lessons came out of my writing experience. First of all, most of my figures, who had once been friends and mentors, like Murray Rothbard, Robert Nisbet and Eric von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, are no longer around and therefore hard to reproduce.... Read More
PANAMA — Watching America's quirky electoral process from abroad always has special piquancy. In many countries, including little Panama, whoever becomes president of the United States often has more influence over these nations than their own leaders. I used to get lots of mail from American conservatives fretting the wicked Red Chinese had taken over... Read More
The recent endorsement of Rudy by televangelist Pat Robertson has turned the former mayor's supporters at National Review (NR), the New York Post, and other obliging outposts of the neoconservative empire from a state of hope to one of outright jubilation. If Lawrence Kudlow, NR economics editor, is correct, the nomination "has been wrapped up."... Read More
During the last few weeks, I've been looking at the indignant notes sent to me from Jews for Ron Paul, a high-spirited group to which I lent my radioactive name, about the crude behavior of the Republican Jewish Coalition and its National Chairman David Flaum. Ron Paul did not receive an invitation to appear with... Read More
On Monday night, David Horowitz, in the process of responding to puffball questions on the Glenn Beck program, opined that " is in bed with Islamofascists." This statement seemed so remarkable that when I heard about it the next morning (no, I did not hear it directly) I sent a congratulatory note to Lew. The... Read More
Although Bill Hawkins and I have not agreed on all political and historical questions, until this week I continued to respect him as a principled, intelligent person. Hawkins, or so it seemed to me, was a Lincoln Republican, who praised the consolidated national government achieved by the victorious Union side in the War Between the... Read More
Although it was not the intention of my remarks against the perpetually repugnant Abe Foxman (whose latest caper, by the way, has been to warn Catholics against the Latin Mass as an anti-Semitic time bomb) to belittle any group's past sufferings, my implied objection was simply about characterizing the Armenian massacre in 1915 as "genocide."... Read More
Devotees of are strongly urged to purchase and read my latest book — Conservatism in America: Making Sense of the American Right — which Palgrave-Macmillan has just brought out. Since the neocon-liberal powers that be are not likely to call attention to this work, even for the purpose of insulting me, self-praise may be... Read More
John Zmirak, who has written for this website, has just published with Crossroads Press and with the assistance of his photogenic culinary advisor, Denise Matychowiak, a richly illustrated, two-volume study of food, drink and other amenities associated with European Catholic cultures. What is particularly noteworthy about these volumes, The Bad Catholic's Guide to Wine, Whiskey,... Read More
Richard Brookhiser is a National Review senior editor and the author of a readable biography of Alexander Hamilton. But his job in recent years seems to involve repeating neoconservative opinions, perhaps in his capacity as an upper-class WASP with a courteous manner and a soft voice. Typically I skim over Brookhiser's commentaries as déjà vu,... Read More
A young friend has just sent me the program for the celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday that will take place next week at Kenyon College. The unifying theme is "Martin Luther King, Was He a Twentieth-Century Jesus," a key question that one is led to believe should be answered in the affirmative. The featured... Read More
The recent trial and subsequent execution of Saddam Hussein has understandably brought up parallels with the Nuremberg Trials, conducted by the victorious Allies in postwar Germany. This event is thought to have created a useful precedent for trying those accused of "crimes against humanity." The crimes for which defendants at Nuremberg were to be tried... Read More
Reading a statement issued last week by the Simon Wiesenthal Center deploring the release from an Austrian prison after 13 months of solitary confinement of septuagenarian historian David Irving, I was reminded of the disintegration of intellectual freedom in today's Western world. (Mind you this is not a defense of his opinions about the killing... Read More
Our fondest wish to the contrary notwithstanding, it seems unlikely that those whom some of us would like to see fall hard will be getting their comeuppance soon enough. Certainly this will not happen if we are to judge by W's taste for neoconservative spokesmen, some of whom are this year's recipients of the Medal... Read More
I "foam at the mouth," or so noted a very sweet and technically adept colleague of mine, Kathy Kellie, who volunteered to format my footnotes electronically, before my new book Baseless Conservatism: Making Sense of the American Right, went back to the copyeditor at Macmillan. She noted a persistent habit of mine each time that... Read More
Since it is highly unlikely that the New York Times will publish the letter below, which does not represent its take on the world, I have given this text to The discussion of the conservative movement that was put on the newspaper's front page last Wednesday was certainly not intended to enlighten anyone about... Read More
Professor Havers' rejoinder to my critical remarks about Strauss and his disciples is truly a model of reasonable discourse. If I do bother to respond, it is only to correct or explain those apparent inconsistencies attributed to me. Allow me to note the contrast between Havers' style and a certain posture that Claes Ryn, Tom... Read More
A question that my recent comments (and those of my good friend Claes Ryn) pertaining to Strauss and the Straussians continue to elicit is whether some distinctions may be in order between Strauss and his disciples or between generic Straussians and their Claremont cousins. The Jaffaites have trailed their Straussian cousins in showing enthusiasm for... Read More
Professor Havers's defense of Leo Strauss against his historicist critics offers considerable food for thought. Although Havers says nothing here that has not already been aired, his words are sufficiently provocative to warrant examination. We are told that Strauss's conservative, historically-minded critics, particularly Claes Ryn and myself, have been unfair to him on several counts,... Read More
Last month I noticed the furor that the neoconservative establishment was whipping up in support of Lawrence M. Summers, who was about to step down as Harvard University President. Throughout February my email was full of portentous warnings from movement conservative friends and neoconservative foundations about the likely fate of Harvard after Summers's departure. The... Read More
Those who have never met a Republican candidate they couldn't support respond to my insults against the party of used-car dealers, coddling public administrators, by insisting, "We have no choice." Presumably Republicans mean it when they say they're against big government, the same way neoconservatives do when they call for a more efficient democratic welfare... Read More
One will have to pardon my malicious feeling, but I have never experienced Schadenfreude so completely as when George W. Bush was ridiculed at the funeral of Coretta King. All of the assembled black dignitaries vented spleen on this president, who, according to a syndicated Republican columnist and self-described friend of the King family, Matt... Read More
Reverend Pat Robertson graciously took time off last week from his religious duties promoting a new protein pancake mix and scourging "ungodly" sodomites, Muslims, and Democrats to suggest the US should assassinate Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez. Unveiling a new bogeyman of far right paranoia, Robertson claimed Chavez was masterminding a sinister Muslim-Communist conspiracy against Christian... Read More
While on my computer this week, I overheard the Bill O'Reilly program and picked up big chunks of revisionist history. On Tuesday night, Bill's guest was the Hoover Institution's resident neoconservative black Shelby Steele, who revealed this information to his obviously adoring host. The suffering that white Americans had inflicted on blacks over the last... Read More
Numerous responses have come to my attention concerning my last two comments on this website, and it may be necessary for me to clarify exactly what I was trying to say. For the record, I did not mean to suggest that National Review, Weekly Standard, and the rest of the neocon press should be forced... Read More
In a commentary this week Jonah Goldberg (whom I don't mean to pick on again for moving out of his depth) addresses the history of American conservatism in the twentieth century, by focusing on two developments, the founding of National Review in 1955 and the role of William F. Buckley, Jr., in steering that magazine... Read More
The latest commentary by David Brooks in the New York Times (October 25, 2005) on how "Bush has revitalized, rescued the right" illustrates the direction in which the "conservative movement" has been traveling for decades. Brooks thanks Bush for having taken over the country when the Republican Party was "was veering toward isolationism, its immigration... Read More
While reading recent diatribes against me, I've noticed that my detractors are experiencing what German playwright Bertolt Brecht characterized as "Verfremdungsaffekt." This is a process by which familiar objects and settings are made to appear new and strange, so that the observer finally views them in an unaccustomed light. This process may have befallen David... Read More
One question I keep receiving from readers after my recent observations about Rich Lowry is why are neocon journalists taken as serious thinkers in the press. Surely someone at a prestigious newspaper who has dipped into the past must recognize their bloopers: One interested reader has just sent me glaring historical mistakes by Lowry that... Read More
Looking at his latest column in the New York Post (August 27, 2005) by Mr. Buckley's handpicked successor at National Review Rich Lowry, I was not at all surprised to find there a predictably muddled historical example. Two years ago Lowry likened the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians to the Spanish Civil War, and... Read More
The following is a response to a letter sent to American Conservative by Stephen Schwartz concerning "my latest chaotic and apparently improvised effusion," an essay "Mussolini in the Middle East" published in the aforementioned fortnightly (July 5, 2005). Unlike this response, Schwartz's freewheeling attacks and the editors' rejoinder are both scheduled to appear in the... Read More
In the May 31 issue of Human Events a special feature appeared that has already been widely and vituperatively noted, on "The Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries." As a participant in this ranking, my name is appended, along with the monikers of other judges, to a list of this supposedly... Read More
The elevation of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the papacy testifies to the value of the College of Cardinals as an electoral instrument, particularly in comparison to the periodic circuses by which the "democracies" now choose their titular heads. Next to this dignified, multilingual, and immensely learned German churchman, who will be henceforth known as Benedict... Read More
John Miller of NR fame has been asking around in my neck of the woods for examples of "academic horrors" that he and his friends can report on. I am delighted to see that John has changed his vocation from derailing the careers of conservatives, by smearing them with fictitious evidence about their politically incorrect... Read More
Whatever defenses of Hans Hermann Hoppe against the forces of PC I have thus far seen all make valid points but also give a slightly misleading impression, that universities have raised "nondiscrimination" to their highest value, which is where the chief problem in this situation lies. If universities had been less interested in what Hoppe's... Read More
What struck me about Tom's response to Joe Lockard's attack on his scholarship was the inappropriately reasonable manner in which Tom defended himself. Lockard has not researched the historical past that he is trying to reconstruct; nor does he show any acquaintance with the relevant scholarship, unless it can be made to corroborate the managerial... Read More
In a critical letter that appeared in the American Conservative (January 31), a "conservative Republican" reader takes to task the editor for "repeating the same liberal propaganda that is the staple of the mainstream news media," and for imitating the New York Times in discussing the conflict in Iraq. The letter-writer is nice enough to... Read More