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Reading Althusser: An Essay on Structural Marxism Hardcover – June, 1984


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell Univ Pr (June 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801416728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801416729
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,254,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
As always Mr. Sowell is entertaining and enlightening at the same time.
PBY
This book takes us through history as he recounts the current events of the time, from his unique perspective, with colleagues, students and policy-makers.
J. Revel
As we look back on our lives it is quite easy to fall into the trap of making the path of our life too straight a path to where we are today.
Craig Matteson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Dash Manchette VINE VOICE on April 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
No doubt many people will be drawn to this book for the same reason I was. It is not so much to pick up anything new of Sowell's ideas. At this point, after several decades and dozens of book, his ideas are familiar to those who are interested in them. But rather, for those of us who took the journey from the left to the right, it was Sowell more than anyone else whose writings seemed to place whatever experiences in our lives may have been the impetus for such a journey into context.

For me, it was INSIDE AMERICAN EDUCATION, not a major work by Sowell, but an intellectual life-preserver to me while I was being viciously attacked by the politicially correct crowd while in graduate school. The book produced those a-ha moments which precipitate a major change in ideological orientation. Again, no doubt others have had a similar experience with Sowell. A MAN OF LETTERS therefore, is not so much an intellectual excercise to learn something new, but rather a nice treat that allows us a better glimpse at the man to whom intellectually we owe so much. I am happy to say that the book provides such a view much better than the unfortunately sterile A PERSONAL ODYSSEY, Sowell's memoirs, of a few years back.

Anyone familiar with Sowell's background will find a lot of familiar ground here. There is his early teaching career at various schools, including the controversial times at Howard and Cornell. The reader also is in the passenger seat for Sowell's intellectual journeys through such areas as education, race relations and ethnic histories, the history of ideas and ideology. One is struck time and time again at how much of his own path Sowell really blazed.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have admired Thomas Sowell since I first read his writings more that twenty years ago. When clerks at the local Ann Arbor Borders (in the original store on State St.) chided me for buying a book of his I asked them why they disliked him. They (and there was more than one) said that he had benefited from Affirmative Action and now wanted to keep anyone else from doing so. Knowing how wrong this idea was, I pointed out to them that he was born in 1930 and that his achievements were made long before anyone had dreamt up those crippling policies. For this they had no reply.

If you haven't read Thomas Sowell's memoir "A Personal Odyssey" (ISBN 0684864657), I encourage you to get a copy and read about his extraordinary life. It will certainly surprise you. His background was not only unlikely for someone who became a highly regarded economist and commentator; it was unlikely that he would even go to college. He certainly had no straight path to success, either. What he had was an intense focus on where he wanted to go (even though that changed in unexpected ways over the years), a core understanding of who he was, and a commitment to reason and truth. Still, he did not have an easy personal or professional life. You will learn more about that interesting and inspiring life by reading the memoir and this wonderful book.

This book is a collection of letters he wrote and received throughout his life. They are so valuable because they are contemporary to the man Sowell was at the time. As we look back on our lives it is quite easy to fall into the trap of making the path of our life too straight a path to where we are today. When Sowell first got to college he was a Marxist, if you can believe it.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Rusty Johnson on May 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
An example from May 16, 2007 ...

[...]
... how Thomas Sowell can say what I only wish I could put into so few words:

Presumptions of the Left

by Thomas Sowell

"Many on the left may protest that they do not believe in the ideas or the political systems that prevailed under Hitler, Stalin or Mao. No doubt that is true.

Yet what the political left, even in democratic countries, share is the notion that knowledgeable and virtuous people like themselves have both a right and a duty to use the power of government to impose their superior knowledge and virtue on others."

Thomas Sowell (national treasure) gets my vote for most intelligent man in America.

He deserves a Nobel Prize in Economics. In addition, award him a Nobel Peace Prize and he can visit Oslo and the rest of Norway after picking up his prize in Stockholm.

Mange Takk!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Revel on May 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
His letters of the past 40 years gives us a glimpse to one of the greatest modern thinker's life. I have read Mr. Sowell's editorials many times and always find his commonsense to be refreshing. This book takes us through history as he recounts the current events of the time, from his unique perspective, with colleagues, students and policy-makers.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Bradley O'brien on April 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tom Sowell--whom I must confess I often get confused with Dr Walter Williams-- is nothing less than brilliant. He uses fundamental economic concepts to hoist up so much govt policy, regulation etc into the bright light of day and in so doing he exposes it for the illogic absurdity we in our hearts know it to be all along.

Bravo Sir.. may we have another??
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