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Thomas Sowell is known for speaking--and writing--his mind, even when his opinions won't win him any popularity contests. In thoughtful, straightforward books like The Quest for Cosmic Justice and Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? he questioned affirmative action and expressed frustration with government bureaucracy, elaborating on his ideas of personal freedom and responsibility in the process. In A Personal Odyssey, we're shown glimpses of the man behind the ideas, and while the narration is sometimes frustratingly distant, it's an enjoyable history of a fascinating man. Beginning with his early life in North Carolina, where his encounters with white people were so limited that he didn't really believe that "yellow" was a possible color for hair, Sowell details his childhood with humor and appreciation for the adults who raised him with love, attention, and high expectations. Throughout the experiences that follow, from the U.S. Marines to Howard and Harvard Universities to his fellowship at Stanford's Hoover Institute, Sowell's strong opinions make him stand out from the herd. His brother sums up this trait in describing Sowell's son: "Tommy, when I see a dozen kids, all doing the same thing, and in the midst of them is one kid doing something entirely different, I don't have to guess which one is our mother's grandson." You don't have to be familiar with Sowell's scholarly works to appreciate his life--this is a read for any freethinking iconoclast. --Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A nationally recognized economist and scholar, Sowell recounts his long, steady climb from a hardscrabble North Carolina childhood to the top ranks of influential conservatives within the Republican Party in Washington. Sowell, who is African-American, racked up a series of notable accomplishments through sheer determination and a refusal to let his race prove an obstacle to a productive life. His grit and focus became evident during his early years as a rebellious schoolboy in Harlem, an unremarkable stint in the Marines, his later studies at Howard University and his frustrating time at Harvard. Of particular note is his unwavering approval of leading economist Milton Friedman, who taught Sowell at the University of Chicago. Known for his attention to detail and the nuance of his theoretical writings, Sowell doesn't consistently display those skills to advantage: he often seems to race through key periods in his life, leaving the reader to wonder what elements of significance have been left out. However, he pulls no punches in his conservative stance on the thorny issue of race, which has frequently put him in opposition with the African-American community, and demonstrates his steadfast belief in meritocracy. He earns points for his revelations about his personal disappointments, his painful divorce and his frustrations with an unkind media, dispelling a common belief that he was a close adviser of President Reagan. Offering only a controlled, muted look at the author's inner world, Sowell's account occasionally seems arrogant, but often reflective and always provocative. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A great book on economics for any one. I always recommend itPublished 10 days ago by William A. Martin
What a dreadfully horrible person Mr. Sowell was. At this point I have only gotten thru the first 60 pages and have lost interest in this disrespectful selfish foolish man that... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Meg Sparrow
Can't read enough of Sowell. Truthful and to the point. As good a role model for any kid to emulate and to navigate life. It's not about the prose, but the message.Published 6 months ago by mcsf
Bright mind. Excellent insight into a man's personal journey to success.Published 8 months ago by Chelsea Jean-Mary
Mr. Sowell tells his story in such a way that even a simple mind like mine can follow. Yet his accomplishments are unsurpassed among the intelligentsia. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mell