Jon Basil Utley was born in Moscow, Russia, and emigrated to America in 1939. He is Publisher of The American Conservative, the Robert A. Taft Fellow for International and Constitutional Studies at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and a writer for Antiwar.com and Reason.com. He has written widely on third-world development economics, foreign policy, terrorism and civil defense. In the Nineties he worked with the Atlas Economic Research Foundation on promoting the transition to free markets in Russia and Eastern Europe.
He is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, with language studies in Germany and France. He worked from 1956-75 in South America, starting in the insurance business (American International Group in Cuba, Venezuela, and Colombia). He later founded the Bogota Bulletin, Colombia's first English-language news publication, and managed a mutual fund and insurance sales organization in South America. He then worked as a foreign correspondent in South America based in Peru for the Journal of Commerce and Knight-Ridder newspapers.
He was Associate Editor of The Times of the Americas for 12 years and a commentator on the Voice of America, debating Left-Right issues, from 1985-2003. He has written for the Harvard Business Review, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, National Review, Human Events, and the Miami Herald and is listed in Who's Who in the World & Who's Who in America. He later managed an oil drilling partnership in Pennsylvania and real estate development in Washington, D.C. In 1990 he was a co-founder with Joseph Sobran and Phil Nicolaides of the Committee to Avert a Mid-East Holocaust, which opposed the attack on Iraq.
He is Chairman of ConservativesForPeace.com.
He has served on the Board of Directors or Advisory Councils of many leading conservative and libertarian organizations, including Accuracy in Media, Conservative Caucus, Council for Inter-American Security, Ethics & Public Policy Center, Reason Foundation, and Solidarity America. His articles have been widely disseminated. He is fluent in French, German, and Spanish.
In 2004 he visited Vorkuta, the northernmost former concentration
camp in European Russia, where his father, Arcadi Berdichevsky, was executed in 1938 for being one of three leaders of a hunger strike. He has written the account of researching the archives and his visit to Vorkuta and the Perm concentration camp museum in the Urals. It is accessible by searching for Vorkuta Perm on Google.
In 2011, Jon Utley hosted a panel discussion at the National Press
Club in Washington, D.C. on the new book, Rabbi Outcast: Elmer
Berger and American Jewish Anti-Zionism. The book, which includes information about his mother, British-born journalist Freda
was written by Jack Ross. An article describes the event. It was written by Professor W. George Krasnow, who had accompanied Utley as interpreter to Northern Russia to find the documents about his father.
Jon Utley's search for his father
Jon Utley was two years old in Moscow when his father, Arcadi Berdichevsky,
a Russian trade official, was sent to a labor camp by the Soviet secret
police. His mother, Freda Utley, escaped with Jon to England and then
In 2004 and 2006, Utley, a well-known journalist, embarked upon a search
to learn of his father's fate. This documentary traces Utley's journey
through former labor camps and cities in northern Russia and his final
uncovering of the horrible truth at the dreaded camp city of Vorkuta
within the Artic Circle.
Directed by John J. Michalczyk, Return to the Gulag is a small but revealing
window into Russia's turbulent 1930s.
Approximately 28 minutes. ©2008 The Freda Utley Foundation.