Praxis Circle is excited to introduce our newest Contributor, Heather Mac Donald! She is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor for City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. You can watch her full interview in the playlist above.
Originally from Los Angeles, Heather attended Yale University, Cambridge University, and Stanford University Law School, before going on to clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She was also an attorney-advisor in the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a volunteer with the Natural Resources Defense Council. In 1998, Heather was appointed to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s task force on the City University of New York.
While in New York, Heather began writing on the cultural issues prevalent around her. She also began to write reported pieces for City Journal, which opened the door to a career as an investigative journalist. Heather has since courageously reported on issues of welfare, policing, immigration, race relations, and education with a strong desire to uncover hard facts and the impartial truth.
Heather is a sought-out voice on these issues in the media and her writing appears frequently in publications like the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and The New Criterion. She is also the bestselling author of The Burden of Bad Ideas (2001), The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan than Today’s (2007), Are Cops Racist? (2010), and The War on Cops (2016). Her most recent book, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture (2018), exposes the toxicity of ideas coming from higher education that are ultimately creating wider divisions in today’s culture.
Heather offers a fascinating perspective because she bridges divides prevalent in today’s American culture. As mentioned, attending Yale, Cambridge, and Stanford in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, Heather was thoroughly trained by legendary professors in the Academy’s early development of deconstruction/postmodernism, identity politics, and multiculturalism. Yet this was also before universities had fully buried the Western canon in literature, art, music, and history.
By the late-1980’s, she had come to love the latter (Western canon) even more and to reject the former (postmodernism as merged with identity politics) as lacking common sense. Within a naturalistic worldview, she rejects postmodernism and identity politics today as offering governing principles. Much through her own research and work beginning in the 1980’s, she retains the so-called “traditional views” she was raised on to the extent they honor reality, reason, human experience, and personal responsibility.
In her interview with us, Heather discusses her personal background, along with topics like truth, the concept of a Creator God, the importance of meritocracy, the dangers of diversity bureaucracy in higher education, the breakdown of the nuclear family, toxic masculinity, rape culture, personal responsibility, feminism, transgenderism, and the future of American politics.
With a reasoned pragmatism, she challenges so-called liberals, conservatives, and Christians alike. Her quick-witted responses to some of today’s toughest questions are sure to make you think. They will test the bounds of your own worldview, and her challenges to accepted thinking – from the religious to the practical – deserve reasoned responses.
Thanks for joining the Praxis Circle family, Heather!