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Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays 1st Edition
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Thomas Sowell is arguably the world's foremost expert on issues relating to race and ethnicity, especially issues involving public policy. As a courageous black man, Sowell is not afraid to challenge traditional dogma relating to race and ethnicity issues. He says what many people think but are afraid of saying for fear of being labeled racist. Today if you oppose any policy that is said to help minorities in any way, even if the costs far exceed the benefits, or if the policy really hurts minorities, you are called racist and attacked. Sowell explains why not all policies that are supposed to help minorities actually help them.
Another subject of great interest to Sowell is education. He often writes about the failed policies of some school administrators, what can be done to improve schools, and why improvement is so difficult.
Sowell also writes about law and judicial issues. He writes about the dangers of judicial activism, tort law, and regulation. (It is more interesting than I make it sound).
Of course, Sowell also writes about "visions", or political and social philosophies. He has written books on "visions" in the past and in "Every Wonder Why?" you are given a glimpse of his understanding of the topic.
After growing up in North Carolia and Harlem, Sowell got his B.A. from Harvard in 1958, his M.A.Read more ›
"Ever Wonder Why" is a collection of Sowell's best columns, 146 in all. In the book, Sowell, prize winning author, economist (UCLA's `Chicago School East'), and historian, provides his insights on the culture wars (elitists vs. workers, issues of equality, the role of the lay press, immigration), economic issues (housing, the `cost' of health care, social security, taxes), legal issues (judges, property rights, medical lawsuits), political issues (gun control myths, Ronald Reagan, the high cost of busybodies), education issues (school performance, vouchers, the `good' teachers), racial issues (are cops racist? Bill Cosby, race and IQ), and random thoughts.
Sowell informs, and teaches. He writes with impeccable logic and clarity. An afternoon with Sowell, either in-person or with "Ever Wonder Why," will be stimulating and thought provoking. You will be better for it.
It's too bad he's not only in his 40's. I'd love to see him keep writing for another 50 years!
Sowell is very much a conservative with liberarian tendencies. (In one essay, he calls himself a "conservative radical.") For those who would classify themselves similarly, there is much to love in these essaya. For all others, hang on to your hats.
The book is divided into seven sections: (1) The Culture Wars, (2) Economic Issues, (3) Legal Issues, (4) Poiitical Issues, (5) Social Issues, (6) Educational Issues, and (7) Racial Issues. While the essay topics are quite varied - from the economic harms of environmental politics to whether race correlates with IQ - there are somseveral reoccurring themes.
As Sowell is a (world class) economist, the strongest theme is that no matter how much some might wish differently, the fact is that the world functions by economic principles. Supply and demand are not evil; it is just the way we all think. Policies that try and usurp people's ability to set their own prices and make their own econmic decision will (almost?) always lead to less efficiency and more waste. Sowell explains this by examining things like tariffs, environmental regulations, and housing codes (all straight from the headlines!)
Another big theme is what Sowell calls the "tyranny of visions" (see his books "Vision of the Annointed" and "Conflict of Visions" for book-length treatments.) Here, Sowell excoriates those who quest, chimerically, after policies without a downside and ignore the FACT that ALL policies need to be examined as trade-offs between benefits and costs. Want to save the wetlands?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book of essays by Thomas Sowell. He is gifted with common sense in a world that makes no sense at all. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jean E. Terry
Always thought provoking work from Sowell. Makes a great gift as well.Published 5 months ago by Smark13
A great read, and very quotable, such as: "One of these days the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals may declare the Constitution unconstitutional."Published 12 months ago by David L Lyndon
Very enlightening knowledge and entertaining too. A great read that will surprise you in ways you wouldn't expect with details often overlooked or omitted from our history lessons.Published 13 months ago by Roger A Reid
Thomas Sowell is such a great thinker and economist....You have to wonder why he is never involved in any Presidential Administration (Or am I wrong ?). Read morePublished 13 months ago by tony smith
Only about 20% through it but it's incredible! Dr. Sowell is an amazing thinker and writer. Why isn't he on the news instead of the Rev. Al Sharpton?Published 17 months ago by Mike Priganc