McConnell was born in 1952. He is an heir to the Avon fortune and stepson of actor Sterling Hayden. He was educated at the Phillips Exeter Academy. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1975 and, after working on the 1976 presidential campaign of Jimmy Carter, a Ph.D in history in 1987 at Columbia University.
McConnell began writing for publications such as Commentary and National Review. In 1989, McConnell became an editorial writer and later columnist for the New York Post and served as editorial page editor in 1997. He was a columnist for Antiwar.com until 2002. He co-founded The American Conservative with Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopolous in 2002. At the end of 2004, McConnell became the sole editor of TAC.
McConnell is the author of several books. In Leftward Journey: The Education of Vietnamese Students in France, 1919–1939, he argues that French paternalistic attitudes led to the rejection of liberalism by Vietnamese students, whose nationalism subsequently radicalized along Marxism lines.
- Konetzky, Alexander The American Conservative Crackup Archived 2009-07-04 at the Wayback Machine, Washington Monthly (May 2007)
- Phillips Exeter alumni Directory
- Interview of McConnell by Kevin Zeese
- Munholland, Kim (1990-12-01). "scott mcconnell. Leftward Journey: The Education of Vietnamese Students in France, 1919–1939. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction. 1989. Pp. xix, 195. $34.95". The American Historical Review. 95 (5): 1559–1560. doi:10.1086/ahr/95.5.1559. ISSN 0002-8762.