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The Thomas Sowell Reader Hardcover – October 4, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; First Edition edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465022502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465022502
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''Engaging and accessible . . . Sowell's careful explicating of and grappling with issues allow his thoughts to be clearly exhibited, understood, and welcomed. Even leftist thinkers will appreciate Sowell's personal charm and intellectual rigor.'' --Publishers Weekly

''A solid, representative collection by a writer and thinker whom one either agrees with or not--and there's not much middle ground on which to stand.'' --Kirkus Reviews

Praise for the works of Thomas Sowell:

''I've read all his books and never been even faintly disappointed.'' --Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard

''Thomas Sowell is, in my opinion, the most original and interesting philosopher at work in America.'' --Paul Johnson, New York Times bestselling author --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

About the Author

A one-volume introduction to over three decades of the wide-ranging writings of one of America’s most respected and cited authors.  The Thomas Sowell Reader includes essays on:
Social Issues
Economics
Political Issues
Legal Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Educational Issues
Biographical Sketches
Random Thoughts
 
“My hope is that this large selection of my writings will reduce the likelihood that readers will misunderstand what I have said on many controversial issues over the years.  Whether the reader will agree with all my conclusions is another question entirely.  But disagreements can be productive, while misunderstandings seldom are.”                                                         —Thomas Sowell
 
 
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 and such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investors Business Daily, and Fortune, and he writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country.

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

It should be required reading in high school, and college.
Pat
For those who eagerly open this book to be enlightened or just comforted, you will find all your expectations more than fulfilled.
Joseph Devita
I am well on my way to having purchased every book written by Dr. Sowell.
David S

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

132 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Devita VINE VOICE on October 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Brilliant people understand and use very difficult concepts, while geniuses are that small group who can also explain those ideas simply enough for most others to understand them. Thomas Sowell, with his crystalline intelligence and erudite yet demystifying writing, is such a genius.

This book is a compendium of his works ranging over decades, yet so insightful and important are his thoughts that it is almost impossible to date them- their pertinence is literally timeless.

Ranging over politics, education, legal theory, race and other categories, Sowell brilliantly analyzes a broad spectrum of topics including the reason homeruns increased in the 1920's, the effects of affirmative action across the globe , Marx's life and personality, and the effects of geography on culture and economic development, always bringing to bear that ability to undermine commonly accepted assumptions with facts and logic.

As anyone who is familiar with Sowell knows, he is a Black Conservative philosopher whose main preoccupation is subjecting the thoughts and actions of those he calls the anointed, Progressive politicians and intellectuals, to the light of reality and commonsense, and in the process decimating their arguments while also demonstrating how dangerous they are. Given the partisan political environment today, this exegesis of so much of what is accepted as axiomatic fact is an invaluable guide for those who find themselves grasping to really understand and weigh the political and social aspirations and effects of the Left.

And therein lie the limits of the popularity of this book.
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145 of 151 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on October 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The republication of these short essays is useful mainly because it is timely. Thomas Sowell has a talent for applying the `unintended consequences/spontaneous order' line of economic reasoning to real economic events. There are several important lessons in these essays. Markets work in ways that are subtle- enough so that people often underestimate the connection between market competition and public welfare. The costs and consequences of government intervention are also subtle and often unseen by many. Finally, the concept of Social Justice has no real meaning. As Hayek put it decades ago, social justice is a dishonest insinuation that one ought to agree to the demand of some special interest which can give no reason for it. These ideas are not entirely new. Frederic Bastiat and, of course, Hayek, imparted these lessons to past generations. However, the recent resurgence of belief in government intervention or planning means that these lessons need to be relearned. Sowell's reader presents these concepts in an easily understood and topical fashion. Well done!
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By J. Ash on October 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The Thomas Sowell ReaderDr. Sowell doesn't suffer from tunnel vision. Nor does he spew venom. What he does is make an educated summary of a topic and then produce unending evidence and backup for his conclusions. I remember in college reading some of his works and having professors rave about his ability. Some thirty years later my boss's daughter is reading him in her AP high school class and telling him that his books are enjoyable, accessible and educational.

Milton Friedman was proud of Dr. Sowell and Dr. Sowell has done his best to carry on a great tradition of extraordinary insight and accessible teaching.

He is too old to run for president and he wouldn't touch D.C. with a ten foot pole, but if any of our last 4 presidents had followed his advice we'd not be grappling with a downturn that has not just put us,but the entire globe in peril.

I have some hope that by word of mouth young people, bored with the transparently liberal drivel shoved at them, will find Dr. Sowell and come to realize that they've been sold out by the last three generations and will have a fight not much easier than our founding fathers if they want to reclaim America.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Puterbaugh on November 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just love having Thomas Sowell's reasoned opinions at my fingertips, mostly because I think he is an enormous gift to America (and the world). He brings together a huge number of disparate threads, all the way from (1) why we talk so freely about sex, but so guardedly about love, and (2) the meaninglessness of the word "equality" in any politician's mouth, all the way to the general meaninglessness of the word "relevance," especially in education.

I like this book because I agree with it. There are dozens of small, easy-to-digest essays and I find myself nodding my head when I read them. Sometimes there is a subtle bite to his thought, which I also agree with. For example (paraphrasing): "No matter how egalitarian our speech may be, it remains true that women in general make very bad men, and men cannot be women at all."

A fantastic compendium.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Hynson Marvel on November 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr Sowell uses an evidence based approach to explain the realty of of lots of liberal myths. His frank and candid discussion of important national issues is in such contrast to the lying and deceitful approach of the politicians of both parties. He demonstrates with history and facts how do gooders have caused hardships by interfering with the economic laws and treating poor people as unable to help themselves.
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