- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books (June 28, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 046508995X
- ISBN-13: 978-0465089956
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 218 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#50,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #22 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Public Affairs & Administration
- #49 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Social Policy
- #141 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > United States > National
Enter your mobile number or email address 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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy Paperback – June 28, 1996
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
1. The reviews generally criticize or castigate the left political wing.
2. The book is neither about the left nor right political agendas.
3. There are consequences to decisions; good and bad; you would naturally (hopefully?) choose the greater number of "good" over the greater number of "bad".
Sowell's analysis and conclusions are fervently based on research and facts as demonstrated by the many pages of references (which I do randomly check from time to time).
Critical thinking based on history, facts and research is a resounding theme in this book. Sowell delves into the outcomes of decisions in terms of "gains and losses". He exposes various ideas from politicians and intelligensia that have not met the burden of "more gains than losses".
There is much more to the book. I believe Kevin S Currie's review (Are people missing the books bigger message?, February 22, 2004; Amazon.com Spotlight Reviews) is flawlessly accurate.
Summary statement: The book reveals FLAWED thinking with respect to any political persuasion. This was the take home message for me.