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The Economics and Politics of Race: An International Perspective Hardcover – January 1, 1983


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--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688018912
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688018917
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''Sowell gives us the facts and analytical tools with which to understand ethnic and racial experiences in all countries. No scholar thinks or writes more lucidly than he. No one has shown his skill at solving the ethnic and racial equivalents of Rubik's Cube.'' --Professor Edward Banfield, Harvard University --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

About the Author

THOMAS SOWELL has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst, and other academic institutions, and his Basic Economics has been translated into six languages. He is currently a scholar-in-residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has been published in both academic journals and such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Fortune, and he writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

More About the Author

Thomas Sowell has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst and other academic institutions, and his Basic Economics has been translated into six languages. He is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has published in both academic journals in such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine and Fortune, and writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country.

Customer Reviews

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See all 11 customer reviews
It is a thought so simple as to startle one upon first realizing how much truth there is to it.
Herbert L Calhoun
I was expecting another book focusing mainly on the modern American white-black racial politics, and coming from Dr. Sowell that would have been just fine.
Fred Burroughs
Probably what frustrates those who oppose Dr. Sowell's views is that his facts are well researched and the logic usually irrefutable.
James L. Fuqua

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
The message of Thomas Sowell's "The Economics and Politics of Race" is simple and easy to understand: human cultures are not equal and some of them are better than others, their patterns of values having a more decisive role in the social perfomance of their respective members than any alleged, or even real and appaling, discrimination.
Sowell demonstrates that ethnic groups perform differently, even when they are subjected to a similar hostile social condition, like the chinese, the jews or the blacks in the USA, in the beginning of the 20th century.
The reason? A strong commitment, or not, to such values as hardworking, stable family ties and a firm will of improving their own social fate rather than blaming third ones by that same fate.
Similarly, when the pretense source of damage disappears - for example, in societies where certain ethnic groups are largely the majority and "bias" against them is inexistent -, not only their poor social behavior does not vanish, but, contrarily, worsens in a terrible way...
Concluding, culture really matters!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James L. Fuqua on August 10, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book exudes what would be the common sense conclusions of many were the problems discussed not so emotionally charged. I strongly recommend that you read this book if you are interested in social justice.

Dr. Sowell earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, a masters in Economics from Columbia University and a bachelors degree in Economics, magna cum laude from Harvard College.

Perhaps because the subject matter is so emotionally charged, Dr. Sowell has a footnote to references for almost every factual assertion.

His only conclusions with which I disagree are his views on overpopulation. He looks at overpopulation as a global issue that has economic solutions. I tend to look at overpopulation as a local issue whether it presents itself in a family with 12 children when the family could only support two or three or whether it presents itself in a country like Haiti which does not have the population density of many successful countries, but which none the less can't support its population. Dr. Sowell is probably correct that such countries could maintain their populations with sufficient human and economic capital. The problem is that they don't have what it takes to maintain existing populations and are not likely to get what it takes. Population self restraint is an unlikely but more direct solution.

Probably what frustrates those who oppose Dr. Sowell's views is that his facts are well researched and the logic usually irrefutable. Sometimes the truth hurts.

If there is any shortcoming in this book it is that he proposes few concrete solutions to the world problems other than suggesting that we look at what has worked for other oppressed people in the world who have succeeded.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "kbond007" on October 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
A wonderfully written comparision of the successes and failures of various races and cultures. Sowell has no problem pointing out how some races have more "human capital" than others and therefore are historically more successful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fred Burroughs on November 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was expecting another book focusing mainly on the modern American white-black racial politics, and coming from Dr. Sowell that would have been just fine. Instead I got an around-the-globe-and-through-history tour of the economics and politics of race. I learned things I never knew about the Chinese, Irish, South Africans, Germans, Jews, etc., and their experiences in their native lands and as immigrants in others. Sowell masterfully points out the similarities in the types of cultural, work-related, education-related, and other attitudes and customs that tend to follow the migration of a particular ethnicity from one place to another. As usual for a Sowell book, a lot of your myths and preconceptions will be shattered, and you'll have a renewed appreciation for other countries and other cultures, and a more informed outlook on the economic disparities that exist among different ethnicities and races. Confronted with the facts, it is hard for (certain people) to continue to blame economic, educational, and other disparities either on either racial genetics or on the hegemony of "dominant" races. Sowell demonstrates as clearly as anybody can how much the economic, cultural, educational, and political successes or failures of a given race or ethnicity depend most heavily on the members of that race or ethnicity alone, and how relatively unimportant environmental factors such as racism are. The largely ignore lessons of Booker T. Washington are given full vindication here.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Herbert L Calhoun on October 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is probably the fullest expression of Professor Sowell's economic philosophy of how race impacts American culture at both ends of the class spectrum, and across both sides of the racial divide. One does not have to agree with him to acknowledge that most of what he says carries weight, and although not entirely unencumbered by ideological concerns, his views are always transparent so that a reader is free to examine them and then accept or reject them as he sees fit.

What is most refreshing about them is that Sowell does not try to rationalize or excuse white racism, or even blacks dependence and other self-destructive behaviors. His argument basically is that a free-market economy and a free-enterprise culture will take care of these excesses on either side of the racial divide if allowed to operate in a normal and unfettered way. Given the sorry state of black cultural orthodoxy in which dependence on pseudo-religion, government programs and personal shortsightedness and irresponsibility are as responsible for the inner city social meltdown as is a culture of white racism, it is little wonder that Sowell does not have a strong following among those of his own race.

Despite this, his work (even when it is not entirely right) is farsighted, relatively academic oriented, and sound economically. Also, it does not hurt that Sowell's work relies on the materialistic and secular rather than the religious and spiritual, which arguably has been overly relied upon and stressed in the black American sub-culture.

Key among his assumptions in this book is the idea that racial progress is not a "given," and is not inevitable. It is a thought so simple as to startle one upon first realizing how much truth there is to it.
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