Kindle Price: $12.99

Save $6.00 (32%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy by [Sowell, Thomas]
Audible Narration
Kindle App Ad

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 194 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"

Length: 324 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible Narration:
Audible Narration
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $10.95 when you buy the Kindle book.

Get unlimited access to the world's best-selling magazines
One low monthly price, 100s of your favorite titles. > Try Texture FREE
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this broadside against the received wisdom of America's elite liberal intelligentsia, noted conservative Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, offers some strenuous arguments as well as fuzzy generalizations. Thus, his attacks on the war on poverty, sex education and criminal justice policies forged in the 1960s counter some slippery rhetoric by their defenders, yet his suggestion that these policies exacerbated things is questionable. Sowell deconstructs how statistics can be distorted to prove assumptions (that lack of prenatal care is the cause of black infant mortality) and gleefully skewers "Teflon prophets" such as John Kenneth Galbraith (who said that big companies are immune from the market) and Paul Ehrlich (who said starvation loomed). While "the anointed" favor explanations that exempt individuals from personal responsibility and seek painless solutions, those with the "tragic vision" see policies as trade-offs. Sowell scores his targets for disdaining their opponents, but this book also invokes caricature-these days, many of "the anointed" are less unreconstructed than he assumes. Conservative Book Club and Laissez-Faire Book Club selections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ever the contrarian, this time Sowell targets the rhetorical methods liberals use to support their views of social issues. Usually, they frame a crisis to which the well-educated, articulate liberal, ruthlessly disparaged by Sowell as the "anointed," offers a categorical solution. To reach the solution, the liberal resorts to argumentative means that Sowell regards as fallacious. Examples he cites are the "Aha!" statistic in which condition A (say, infant mortality) is claimed to have cause B (inadequate budgets for prenatal care); or the assertion of a policy preference as a right, which is how a federal judge ordered a public library to allow an odoriferous, boisterous vagrant to roam the stacks--so that he could exercise his "right to receive ideas." These means defend a worldview of perfectible man that Sowell contrasts with the "tragic" view, stemming from human fallibility. Sowell's targets will find his criticisms irksome, if even worthy of their notice, but avid conservatives, for whom Sowell is a true-blue intellectual force, will certainly seize upon his analysis for succor. Gilbert Taylor

Product Details

  • File Size: 1247 KB
  • Print Length: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (August 6, 2008)
  • Publication Date: August 6, 2008
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002TZ3D1M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,656 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kevin Currie-Knight VINE VOICE on February 22, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is very rare that I will write more than one review for a book. I wrote one for "Vision of the Annointed" a few years ago, and is by now burried in the heap of 5 star reviews below. In it, I praised Sowell for walking us through some of the rhetorical tricks used predominantly by the left wing (though since reading the book, I've become sensitive to the 'right' using similar arguments). I stand by that review. So why am I writing a new one?

I've recently picked up the book again after 2 or so years and have read through some - not all - of the chapters again really hit me. The most important thing about this book is not simply the 'expose of the left'; rather, the predominant message seems to be about how the left (and I would argue, the right) ignore why 'tradeoffs' have to be made.

To put it more philosophically, the politicians dream is the policy that has no downsides. Sowell realizes that in a nation of many millions, every policy has negatives and that politicians should, instead of being focused on perfection, should be focused on taking the most gain for the least loss. This, Sowell says, is capitalism and markets. Yes, there are some losers. But there will be more winners and less losers through markets than there will through a regulatory state.

Now, let's put Sowells argument into modern context (the issue that made me pick the book up again). Lately, companies have been moving overseas and this, says the dems (and to a lesser degree the reps) is a problem. The solution being proposed? Let's pass laws to keep them here. The problem with that is that it ignores the real problem (by refusing to look at tradeoffs).
Read more ›
17 Comments 372 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Thomas Sowell demonstrates how anti-intellectual the current intelligensia are and how closed minded. When good intentions are more important than outcomes, a closed belief system results, insulated from real world feedback, with catastrophic results.
Modern political discourse has degenerated into name-calling ("mean-spirited," "reactionary," "racist") without reference to actual merits of a proposed course of action. Until I read Dr. Sowell's discussion of "mascots" and the "benighted," I never understood why organizations like the ACLU display the most passion of the behalf on those who exhibit the most anti-social behavor (Nazis marching in Skokie, drunks yelling obscenities at ballball games): Now I do.
Dr. Sowell's description of the genesis of government "solutions" (a phony crisis, a proposed program whose critics are shouted down and a retroactive redefinition of the program's goals when the critics prove correct) was also a revelation. Read this section and then turn to any N.Y. Times article discussing either global warming or the gender "wage gap" to see this cycle in action today.
If you read the book (and I highly recommend it), look at the Kirkus Review of it for an example of what Dr. Sowell is talking about. Isn't funny how articulate liberal writers are "passionate" and articulate conservative writers are "venomous?"
Comment 118 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book's main emphasis is the need for "results oriented" social policy.
Sowell's fundamental argument is:
1. Social policy is often built based on a perceived, "crisis."
2. That a "crisis," even exists, usually goes unchallenged, or ignored.
3. When said social policy fails to accomplish its stated objective, attempts are made to change the initial objective, or simply ignore the outcome.
"The Anointed," as Sowell calls them, are those who identify the crisis, put forth the policies, and then, if they fail, obfuscate the results. They live in a self justifying world, where what they "envision" is correct and moral *a priori.* Those who disagree are demonized as simpleminded and mean-spirited.
Sowell offers a lot of examples that support his theory at varying degrees of success. From Sex Ed programs, Low Income Housing, to environment policy. It is certainly a fascinating read.
Whether you agree with him or not (I mostly agree with him), what this book accomplishes is that it forces you to refocus on facts and data to make decisions, as opposed to your own moral vision.
Comment 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Ever wonder why liberals are so emotionally in favor of gun control even though it's a conclusive fact that gun control doesn't reduce gun violence? Or why they support the bilingual education programs that do so much damage to immigrant children? Or why they favor rent controls that make housing unavailable to the poor people for whom they supposedly have so much sympathy? Or why they want to make it illegal for a person to be employed if (s)he lacks the skills to do more than $7 worth of work every hour?
If the motives of liberals were truly what they say they are, then these positions would never gather the support that they now enjoy from the liberal community. Liberals are not uninformed; they read the same books, newspapers and academic journals as conservatives or libertarians. So why do they so consistently advocate policies whose results are demonstrably contrary to the results they claim to want?
Sowell explains the answer in this wonderful book. The reason, he says, is that the real motives of liberals have nothing to do with the welfare of other people. Instead, they have two related goals: first, to establish themselves as morally and intellectually superior to the rather distasteful population of common people, and second, to gather as much power as possible to tell those distasteful common people how they must live their lives. If a policy moves them closer to those two goals, they will find a reason to advocate it, regardless of how harmful the consequences of that policy may be.
Once you read this book, the dishonest posturing of liberals becomes far more understandable. They engage in a preposterous circular argument: They are wiser and more moral than others because they "understand" the need for the policies they advocate.
Read more ›
14 Comments 324 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy