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Heather Lynn Mac Donald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institutemarker and contributing editor to the New York City Journal, and a former lawyer.


She graduated from Berkeley College, Yale Universitymarker in 1978 summa cum laude, studying literary deconstructionism, which she later repudiated. She won a Mellon Fellowship to attend Clare Collegemarker, University of Cambridgemarker, receiving an M.A. in English literature. She returned to Yale in 1980 to work on a doctorate in comparative literature, but became dissatisfied with literary theory and withdrew after a semester. She graduated from the Stanford University Law School in 1985, later working for liberal Judge Stephen Reinhardt in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, but no longer practices law.

Personal beliefs

She has caused controversy in conservative circles by arguing that religion is not necessary for conservatism. She is not religious herself, and has stated that it would be difficult to marry someone who regularly demonstrated piety, though she could marry someone who could joke about her atheism.

Selected Bibliography

  • "The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave," "City Journal" Winter 2004


  1. Manhattan Institute Scholar | Heather Mac Donald
  2. 1985 Yale Alumni Directory, p. 501.
  3. and Manhattan Institute op. cit.
  4. op. cit.
  6. op. cit.

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