In late 2006 I was approached by Scott McConnell, editor of The American Conservative (TAC), who told me that his small magazine was on the verge of closing without a large financial infusion. I'd been on friendly terms with McConnell since around 1999, and greatly appreciated that he and his TAC co-founders had been providing... Read More
As I was growing up in the suburban San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles during the 1960s and 1970s, organized crime seemed like a very distant thing, confined to the densely-populated cities of the East Coast or to America's past, much like the corrupt political machines with which it was usually associated. I never heard... Read More
Some may remember that in 2005 a major media controversy engulfed Harvard President Larry Summers over his remarks at an academic conference. Casually speaking off-the-record at the private gathering, Summers had gingerly raised the hypothetical possibility that on average men might be a bit better at mathematics than women, perhaps partially explaining the far larger... Read More
A couple of years ago I happened to be reading the World War II memoirs of Sisley Huddleston, an American journalist living in France. Although long since forgotten, Huddleston had spent decades as one of our most prominent foreign correspondents, and dozens of his major articles had appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic,... Read More
As most are surely aware, the last year or two has seen a growing crackdown on free speech and free thought across the Internet, with our constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights being circumvented through the agency of monopolistic private sector corporations such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Although as yet our government has not gained the... Read More
This last week trial began in Boston federal court for the current lawsuit in which a collection of Asian-American organizations are charging Harvard University with racial discrimination in its college admissions policies. The New York Times, our national newspaper of record, has been providing almost daily coverage to developments in the case, with the stories... Read More
In our modern era, there are surely few organizations that so terrify powerful Americans as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'rith, a central organ of the organized Jewish community. Mel Gibson had long been one of the most popular stars in Hollywood and his 2004 film The Passion of the Christ became among the... Read More
I've recently taken a bit of a break after three long months of writing in my American Pravda series, during which I finally got around to publishing many of the very surprising discoveries I had made over the last fifteen-odd years. That total came to more than 90,000 words of text, and required me to... Read More
A few years ago I somehow heard about a ferocious online dispute involving a left-leaning journalist named Mark Ames and the editors of Reason magazine, the glossy flagship publication of America's burgeoning libertarian movement. Although I was deep in my difficult programming work, curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to take a... Read More
Around 35 years ago, I was sitting in my college dorm-room closely reading the New York Times as I did each and every morning when I noticed an astonishing article about the controversial new Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Shamir. Back in those long-gone days, the Gray Lady was strictly a black-and-white print publication, lacking the... Read More
I recently published a couple of long essays, and although they primarily focused on other matters, the subject of anti-Semitism was a strong secondary theme. In that regard, I mentioned my shock at discovering a dozen or more years ago that several of the most self-evidently absurd elements of anti-Semitic lunacy, which I had always... Read More
Although I always had a great interest in history, I naively believed what I read in my textbooks, and therefore regarded American history as just too bland and boring to study. By contrast, one land I found especially fascinating was China, the world's most populous country and its oldest continuous civilization, with a tangled modern... Read More
About a decade ago, I happened to be talking with an eminent academic scholar who had become known for his sharp criticism of Israeli policies in the Middle East and America's strong support for them. I mentioned that I myself had come to very similar conclusions some time before, and he asked when that had... Read More
Just before the Labor Day weekend, a front page New York Times story broke the news of the largest cheating scandal in Harvard University history, in which nearly half the students taking a Government course on the role of Congress had plagiarized or otherwise illegally collaborated on their final exam. Each year, Harvard admits just... Read More
With the victory of Washington state's Initiative 200, which ends affirmative action in government hiring, contracting and education, supporters of racial preferences have asked us to imagine an America in which members of some ethnic groups are virtually excluded not only from state university campuses but elite institutions in general. But no imagination is actually... Read More
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.