My main project of the last few years has been my American Pravda series, which runs well over 400,000 words and provides an extensive counter-narrative to our established history of the last one hundred years.
In producing these dozens of articles, I carefully read hundreds of weighty books, many of them by leading scholars or respected journalists, and then synthesized a mass of often-conflicting material into a series of self-contained pieces, most of which can be read in an hour or less.
The entire series is conveniently available on this website, both grouped by categories on the sidebar and also collected on a single page. Last year I began providing the same material in a couple of dozen freely downloadable ebooks, offered in both the ePub and Mobi/Kindle formats:
Various individuals urged me to produce print editions of these works as well, and a few months ago I began doing so, recognizing that extremely controversial material may have greater credibility and psychological heft when provided in the form of a professionally-published book that you can hold in your hand.
Near the end of July, I finished releasing my six American Pravda collections, led by a short volume that runs less than 200 pages and can easily be run in just a day or two, thereby providing an ideal introduction to the entire series.
I’ve now released four additional books on Amazon that contain my other writings. Taken together, these ten volumes run well over a million words, encompassing nearly all of my substantive writings of the last thirty years, with the bulk of that material coming from the last four or five.
One of these books is a paperback edition of my previous 2016 collection The Myth of American Meritocracy and Other Essays, containing all my writings through 2015. The other three are new, providing my articles on Race/Ethnicity, the Minimum Wage, and Meritocracy issues.
Prior to establishing this website and later beginning my American Pravda series, I had been best known for my political campaigns, which had absorbed a great deal of my time and effort over the last quarter century and greatly changed American society. My new books extensively cover these.
For decades, millions of Hispanic schoolchildren had been educated in Spanish-almost-only so-called “Bilingual Education” programs. These had always been highly controversial but seemed impossible to eliminate, and the long-term consequences of their continued growth was likely to radically transform American society.
However, in 1997 I launched the “English Wars” in California, using a political ballot measure to successfully dismantle these programs in their central bastion, replacing them with intensive sheltered English immersion. I then did the same in other states such as Arizona and Massachusetts.
Despite the fierce opposition of a unified, bipartisan political establishment, my initiatives won landslide majorities, and the result was a complete nationwide shift to English-language education from the first day of school, with the very term “Bilingual Education” having almost entirely vanished from public discussion.
Over the last half-century, political issues associated with race and ethnicity have constituted central projects of the conservative movement in America, yet despite some temporary victories, nearly all these efforts have ended in dismal failure, with my own “English” campaign probably constituting the sole notable success. Along with my other Race/Ethnicity writings, I have told this important story in one of my new print collections.
One of the worst defeats suffered by conservatives since the 1960s has been on the issue of Affirmative Action, the use of race and ethnicity in admissions or hiring, a social policy that today is vastly stronger and more pervasive than could have been imagined just twenty or thirty years ago.
But there are indications that this may soon change, with the Supreme Court now set to rule on a legal challenge to Harvard University’s use of race in admissions, a policy that allegedly discriminates against Asian applicants. That lawsuit began largely as a consequence of my 30,000 word article The Myth of American Meritocracy, published a decade ago. My analysis attracted a great deal of media attention by statistically demonstrating the corrupt and unfair nature of our elite college admissions system, including strong evidence of Asian Quotas.
Six years ago that same issue had led me to organize an insurgent slate of candidates for the Harvard Board of Overseers, headlined by famed consumer-activist Ralph Nader. Our Free Harvard/Fair Harvard campaign would have required admissions transparency and abolished college tuition at the world’s most prestigious university, probably with enormous national consequences for American higher education, but our effort fell short.
This important story along with all my writings on Meritocracy issues are contained in another of my new print collections.
Just as conservatives have spent the last two generations suffering an almost unbroken series of defeats on issues related to race and ethnicity, the American Labor Movement has been crushed during that same period, now reduced to merely a shadow of its previously formidable strength. Partly as a consequence, working-class wages and incomes have generally stagnated or declined for more than forty years, a phenomenon unprecedented in our national history.
The only major exception to this pattern of almost unbroken political defeat has been sudden, unexpected resurrection of Minimum Wage laws as a powerful and popular issue, with many of our largest states having doubled their Minimum Wages over the last decade.
From 2011 onward, my own writings played a major role in producing this powerful new movement, as did the high-profile California initiative campaign that I launched a couple of years later, and I tell this important story in one of my new collections.
Here are the four new titles, including their individual dedications and their introductions.
Essays on Immigration, Affirmative Action, and Bilingual Education
Race/Ethnicity articles, 490pp, \$22.99
To the Memory of Nathan Glazer,
Who Resurrected American Ethnic Sociology
Throughout American history, issues involving race and ethnicity have been among the most important and the most challenging. Their potentially explosive nature has deterred many journalists or academics from addressing them in candid fashion, and the resulting vacuum has often been filled by serious misinformation.
For nearly thirty years, these subjects have been a major focus of my own writings, including such topics as immigration, affirmative action, and bilingual education, and many of my articles are collected in this book.
Elite Admissions, Asian Quotas, and the Free Harvard/Fair Harvard Campaign
Meritocracy articles, 336pp, \$19.99
For Ralph Nader, Steve Hsu, Stuart Taylor, and Lee Cheng,
We Tried Our Best
Over the last two generations, Affirmative Action policies based upon race have become a centerpiece of American society, heavily influencing the academic admissions policies that shape our country’s ruling elites. The leaders of our top educational institutions have always defended themselves against legal challenges by claiming that they are promoting the twin goals of meritocracy and diversity while avoiding the use of illegal quotas.
However, ten years ago I published a comprehensive ethnic analysis of our top American universities, statistically demonstrating the corrupt and biased aspects of their admissions system, which provided very strong evidence of an implicit Asian Quota. The widespread resulting media coverage launched a series of lawsuits and these cases have now finally reached the Supreme Court. Some observers believe the justices may be poised to overturn a half-century of legal precedent and ban the use of racial preferences.
Six years ago, I also organized an insurgent campaign for the Harvard Board of Overseers. Headlined by Ralph Nader, our Free Harvard/Fair Harvard slate of candidates would have required admissions transparency and abolished college tuition at the world’s most prestigious university. The national consequences for American higher education would have been enormous, but our effort fell short.
My own extensive writings on these issues of meritocracy and our 2016 Harvard campaign are collected together in this book.
Resurrecting the Minimum Wage as a National Political Issue
Minimum Wage articles, 270pp, \$19.99
For Jamie Galbraith,
Who Helped Make It Happen
The revival of minimum wage laws as a national political issue in American society has been one of the more surprising economic developments of the last dozen years, perhaps the only significant victory for the labor movement during the last two generations.
My own writings and political campaigns played a central role in this unexpected resurrection, and the articles telling that story are collected together in this book.
The Collected Writings of Ron Unz
Published Writings Through 2015, 700pp, \$29.99
To All Our Courageous Truth-Tellers, Past and Present
When considering a collection of previously published articles, unexpected patterns may appear. Such was the case as I reviewed the contents of this book, containing works originally written over a span of thirty years.
The earliest of my pieces are academic papers on the history of Classical Greece, attempting to reconstruct the true events of that era from sources that are often fragmentary, unreliable, and contradictory. Scholars in that field must seek to extract a measure of factual reality from a mountain of propaganda and distortion, knowing full well that embarrassing details are often completely omitted from the narratives of our informants.
While doing such research during the early 1980s I often told my friends how different ancient historical analysis was from that of modern times since “everyone knows” the basic facts about the wars and other major events of the twentieth century.
I was naive. There is a fitting symmetry that one of my earliest papers provided a careful analysis of the source material indicating that Alexander the Great had younger brothers whom he murdered when he came to the throne, while one of my most recent articles applied the same sort of critical analysis to present-day evidence, suggesting that the Vietnam military record of supposed war-hero Sen. John McCain may have actually been rather similar to that of the notorious “Tokyo Rose” of World War II fame. Over the last dozen years I have discovered that we live within the distorted matrix of “American Pravda,” and that determining the true events of our world requires much more effort than merely scanning the morning headlines of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
These writings also trace the evolution of my views in topics of race, ethnicity, and social policy, long my primary area of focus and the one that accounts for more than half the pages of this volume. In late 1999 I published a 9,000 word cover story on California’s racial transformation in Commentary, flagship organ of the neoconservative movement. That exposition took a strongly positive view of the immigration trends in our society, a stance I had also taken in numerous previous pieces. But a dozen years later America’s economic landscape had greatly changed, and when I published my 12,000 word sequel describing the racial transformation of our entire nation, it ran in The American Conservative—a leading anti-neoconservative outlet—where I argued that immigration levels were now far too high, also outlining a viable political strategy to curtail them.
That latter suggestion proposed a very large hike in the minimum wage, and this topic soon became the focus of much of my subsequent writing and political activity, which had previously had little connection to economic issues. I would like to think that my work has played a significant role in helping to move that important idea back to the center stage of American political life.
And then there is “The Myth of American Meritocracy,” the title piece of this collection, running well over 30,000 words with its many footnotes and appendices. Although our elite educational institutions have almost entirely ignored the massive, quantitative documentation that racial discrimination and endemic corruption lie at the heart of our allegedly meritocratic society, many of their victims have come to recognize the injustice of their situation, and I strongly doubt that our current system will long survive unchanged.
But why a book?
In an age when the Internet has so rapidly displaced traditional printed matter, does a bound collection of my writings make any sense, especially since nearly all of these are already available online?
I think so, and if you are holding this book in your hands, you might agree.
Different types of media are suitable for different forms of writing. The sort of short opinion pieces that once graced the op-ed pages of our vanishing newspapers are conveniently browsed on the web, just like the numerous informal blog posts that have largely replaced them. With attention spans dropping, much political debate is circumscribed by the 140 characters of a Tweet, but it is difficult to imagine such transitory sloganeering having much value in printed form. Meanwhile, popular fiction of any length is easily digested on a tablet or kindle, since a story is often read in short snatches of time, with the reader moving forward and rarely looking back.
But my own writings tend toward serious non-fiction of considerable length, with over half this book consisting of major articles running 4,000 words or more, many of them much longer than that. I find that material of such heft is best read in printed form, and a stack of twenty or thirty 8.5”x11” sheets obtained from a website is far less convenient for such purposes than the pages of a professionally typeset book.
Examine the table of contents, explore the pages herein, and judge for yourself whether this product is worth the paper on which it was printed.