Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell (/soʊl/; born June 30, 1930) is an American economist and social theorist who is currently a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

Sowell was born in North Carolina, but grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of high school and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He received a bachelor's degree, graduating magna cum laude[6] from Harvard University in 1958 and a master's degree from Columbia University in 1959. In 1968, he earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago.

Sowell has served on the faculties of several universities, including Cornell University and University of California, Los Angeles. He has also worked for think tanks such as the Urban Institute. Since 1980, he has worked at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He writes from a libertarian conservative perspective, advocating supply-side economics. Sowell has written more than thirty books (a number of which have been reprinted in revised editions), and his work has been widely anthologized. He is a National Humanities Medal recipient for innovative scholarship which incorporated history, economics and political science.

Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell cropped
Sowell in 1964
BornJune 30, 1930 (age 88)
Spouse(s)
  • Alma Jean Parr
    (m. 1964; div. 1975)
  • Mary Ash
    (m. 1981)
Institution
Field
School or
tradition
Chicago school of economics
Alma mater
Influences
Awards
Military career
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps
Years of service1951–1953

Early life and education

Sowell was born in Gastonia, North Carolina, near the border with South Carolina. His father died shortly before he was born, and his mother, a housemaid, already had four children. A great-aunt and her two grown daughters adopted Sowell and raised him.[7] In his autobiography, A Personal Odyssey, Sowell wrote that his childhood encounters with white people were so limited that he did not know that blond was a hair color.[8] When Sowell was nine, his family moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Harlem, New York City, as part of the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to the North for greater opportunities. He qualified for Stuyvesant High School, a prestigious academic high school in New York City; he was the first in his family to study beyond the sixth grade. However, he was forced to drop out at age 17 because of financial difficulties and problems in his home.[7]

Sowell held a number of positions, including one at a machine shop and another as a delivery man for Western Union,[9] and he tried out for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948.[10] He was drafted into the military in 1951, during the Korean War, and was assigned to the United States Marine Corps. Because of his experience in photography, Sowell became a Marine Corps photographer.[7]

Education and career

After his discharge, Sowell worked a civil service job in Washington, DC, and attended night classes at Howard University, a historically black college. His high scores on the College Board exams and recommendations by two professors helped him gain admission to Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.[7][11] He earned a Master's degree from Columbia University the following year.[11]

Sowell has said that he was a Marxist "during the decade of my 20s"; one of his earliest professional publications was a sympathetic examination of Marxist thought vs. Marxist–Leninist practice.[12] His experience working as a federal government intern during the summer of 1960 caused him to reject Marxian economics in favor of free market economic theory. During his work, Sowell discovered an association between the rise of mandated minimum wages for workers in the sugar industry of Puerto Rico and the rise of unemployment in that industry. Studying the patterns led Sowell to theorize that the government employees who administered the minimum wage law cared more about their own jobs than the plight of the poor.[13]

Sowell received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in economics from the University of Chicago in 1968.[11] His dissertation was titled Say's Law and the General Glut Controversy.[14] Sowell had initially chosen Columbia University to study under George Stigler (who would later receive the Nobel Prize in Economics). When he learned that Stigler had moved to the University of Chicago, he followed him there.[15]

From 1965 to 1969, Sowell was an assistant professor of economics at Cornell University. Writing thirty years later about the 1969 "violent" takeover by black Cornell students of Willard Straight Hall, Sowell characterized the students as "hoodlums" with "serious academic problems [and] admitted under lower academic standards" and noted "it so happens that the pervasive racism that black students supposedly encountered at every turn on campus and in town was not apparent to me during the four years that I taught at Cornell and lived in Ithaca."[16]

Sowell has taught economics at Howard University, Rutgers, Cornell, Brandeis University, Amherst College, and the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1980, he has been a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he holds a fellowship named after Rose and Milton Friedman, his mentor.[11][17] In addition, Sowell appeared several times on William F. Buckley Jr.'s show Firing Line, during which he discussed the economics of race and privatization.[18][19]

In 1987, Sowell testified in favor of federal appeals court judge Robert Bork during the hearings for Bork's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. In his testimony, Sowell said that Bork was "the most highly qualified nominee of this generation" and that what he viewed as judicial activism, a concept that Bork opposed as a self-described originalist and textualist, "has not been beneficial to minorities."[20]

In a review of a 1987 book, Larry D. Nachman in Commentary magazine described Sowell as a leading representative of the Chicago school of economics.[21]

Writings

Sowell is both a syndicated columnist and an academic economist, whose column was distributed by Creators Syndicate. Themes of Sowell's writing range from social policy on race, ethnic groups, education and decision-making, to classical and Marxian economics, to the problems of children perceived as having disabilities.

While often described as a black conservative, he prefers not to be labeled, having stated, "I prefer not to have labels, but I suspect that 'libertarian' would suit me better than many others, although I disagree with the libertarian movement on a number of things".[22] He primarily writes on economic subjects, generally advocating a free market approach to capitalism.[23] Sowell opposes the Federal Reserve, arguing that it has been unsuccessful in preventing economic depressions and limiting inflation.[24]

Sowell also writes on racial topics and is a critic of affirmative action and race-based quotas.[25][26] On the topic of affirmative action, Sowell has stated:

One of the few policies that can be said to harm virtually every group in a different way… Obviously, whites and Asians lose out when you have preferential admission for black students or Hispanic students—but blacks and Hispanics lose out because what typically happens is the students who have all the credentials to succeed in college are admitted to colleges where the standards are so much higher that they fail.[27]

He takes strong issue with the notion of government as a helper or savior of minorities, arguing that the historical record shows quite the opposite.

Sowell occasionally writes on the subject of gun control, about which he has stated: "One can cherry-pick the factual studies, or cite some studies that have subsequently been discredited, but the great bulk of the studies show that gun control laws do not in fact control guns. On net balance, they do not save lives, but cost lives."[28]

Books on economics

Sowell has also written a trilogy of books on ideologies and political positions, including A Conflict of Visions, where he speaks about the origins of political strife; The Vision of the Anointed, where he compares the conservative/libertarian and liberal/progressive worldviews; and The Quest for Cosmic Justice, where, as in many of his other writings, he outlines his thesis of the need for intellectuals, politicians and leaders to fix and perfect the world in utopian, and ultimately he posits, disastrous fashions. Separate from the trilogy, but also in discussion of the subject, he wrote Intellectuals and Society, where, building on his earlier work, he discusses what he argues to be the blind hubris and follies of intellectuals in a variety of areas.

His book Knowledge and Decisions, a winner of the 1980 Law and Economics centre Prize, was heralded as a "landmark work" and selected for this prize "because of its cogent contribution to our understanding of the differences between the market process and the process of government." In announcing the award, the centre acclaimed Sowell, whose "contribution to our understanding of the process of regulation alone would make the book important, but in reemphasizing the diversity and efficiency that the market makes possible, [his] work goes deeper and becomes even more significant."[29] F.A. Hayek wrote: "In a wholly original manner [Sowell] succeeds in translating abstract and theoretical argument into highly concrete and realistic discussion of the central problems of contemporary economic policy."[30]

Sowell challenges the notion that black progress is due to progressive government programs or policies, in The Economics and Politics of Race (1983), Ethnic America (1981), Affirmative Action Around the World (2004), and other books. He claims that many problems identified with blacks in modern society are not unique, either in terms of American ethnic groups, or in terms of a rural proletariat struggling with disruption as it became urbanized, as discussed in his book Black Rednecks and White Liberals (2005).

In Affirmative Action Around the World[31] Sowell holds that affirmative action covers most of the American population, particularly women, and has long since ceased to favor blacks.

Sowell described his serious study of Karl Marx in his autobiography. He opposes Marxism, providing a critique in his book Marxism: Philosophy and Economics (2011).

Sowell also favors decriminalization of all drugs.[32]

Books on other subjects

In Intellectuals and Race (2013), Sowell argues that intelligence quotient (IQ) gaps are hardly startling or unusual between, or within, ethnic groups. He notes that the roughly 15-point gap in contemporary black–white IQ scores is similar to that between the national average and the scores of certain ethnic white groups in years past, in periods when the nation was absorbing new immigrants.

Sowell wrote The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late, a follow-up to his Late-Talking Children, discussing a condition he termed Einstein syndrome. This book investigates the phenomenon of late-talking children, frequently misdiagnosed with autism or pervasive developmental disorder. He includes the research of Stephen Camarata and Steven Pinker, among others, in this overview of a poorly understood developmental trait. It is a trait which he says affected many historical figures. He discusses late-talkers who developed prominent careers, such as physicists Albert Einstein (but it is doubtful that Einstein was a late talker[33]), Edward Teller and Richard Feynman; mathematician Julia Robinson; and musicians Arthur Rubinstein and Clara Schumann. He makes the case for the theory that some children develop unevenly (asynchronous development) for a period in childhood due to rapid and extraordinary development in the analytical functions of the brain. This may temporarily "rob resources" from neighboring functions such as language development. Sowell disagrees with Simon Baron-Cohen's speculation that Einstein may have had Asperger syndrome.[34]

Columns

Sowell had a nationally syndicated column distributed by Creators Syndicate that was published in Forbes magazine, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The New York Post and other major newspapers, as well as online on websites such as RealClearPolitics, Townhall, WorldNetDaily, and the Jewish World Review.[35]

Sowell comments on current issues, which include liberal media bias;[36] judicial activism (while defending originalism);[37][38][39][40][41] intact dilation and extraction (commonly known as, and described in U.S. federal law as, partial-birth abortion);[42] the minimum wage; universal health care; the tension between government policies, programs, and protections and familial autonomy; affirmative action; government[43] bureaucracy; gun control;[28] militancy in U.S. foreign policy; the U.S. war on drugs, and multiculturalism.[44]

In a Townhall editorial, "The Bush Legacy", Sowell assessed President George W. Bush as "a mixed bag", but "an honorable man."[45]

Sowell was strongly critical of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and officially endorsed Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries in a February article.[46] However, he indicated that he would vote against the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, in the general election, due to fears about the appointments Clinton would possibly make to the Supreme Court.[47]

Sowell announced the end of syndicated column on December 27, 2016. He wrote that, at age 86, "the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long", and cited a desire to focus on his photography hobby.[48]

Reception

Positive

Classical liberals, libertarians and conservatives of different disciplines have received Sowell's work positively.[49][50][51] Among these, he has been noted for originality, great depth and breadth,[52][53] clarity of expression, and thoroughness of research.[54][53][55]

Sowell's publications have been received positively by economists Steven Plaut and Abigail Thernstrom; political scientist Charles Murray; Josef Joffe, publisher and editor of Die Zeit; Jay Nordlinger, Senior Editor of National Review; theater critic and political commentator Kevin D. Williamson; Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University; publishing executive Steve Forbes; and R. Bastiat, Economics Editor of the now-defunct web publication, Iconoclast.ca. Their remarks include,

[Sowell's work is] thoroughly, almost dauntingly, researched, yet it is as readable as a novel ... clearing away cant and illuminating the world as it is.[55]

A Conflict of Visions gives us an intellectual framework that must shape an attentive reader's way of looking at the political world forever after.[52]

Thomas Sowell's work ... takes place on a breathtaking intellectual level that ought to command the respect even of those who violently disagree with him.[53]

[Sowell is] a delight: terse, well argued and utterly convincing.[56]

I can think of no better way for a conscientious U.S. voter to start out this election year than by reading [Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy and Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One.][57]

[Thomas Sowell] has written about 30 [books] and brilliant ones, or at least excellent ones. You won't find a dud in the bunch.[50]

Thomas Sowell is that rarest of things among serious academics: plainspoken. [His work is] that of a man who knows a whole lot more about things than you do and is intent on setting you straight, at length if necessary, if you'd only listen [emphasis in original].[49]

For those who want a short introduction to Sowell-think, Intellectuals and Race ... is a perfect place to start. His main message—amply illustrated—is that, on the subject of race, intellectuals are useless. Indeed, they don't even ask the right questions. ... His book is a primer on rigorous thinking about social and economic issues in general, here and abroad ... I didn't think I would learn much from Sowell's wonderful little book, having slogged through the literature on race since I was born—or at least it feels like it's been that long. But I did ... Intellectuals and Race is a feast of hard thinking about America's ongoing racial agony.[58]

[Sowell's] latest is another triumph of crackling observations that underscore the ignorance of our economists and policymakers.[51]

Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective is a true gem in terms of exposing the demagoguery and sheer ignorance of politicians and intellectuals in their claims about wealth and poverty.[59]

Negative

Critics such as author and journalist Colin Campbell, Hampton University economist Bernadette Chachere, Harvard University sociologist William Julius Wilson, social scientist Richard Coughlin, Stanford law professor Richard Thompson Ford, and Pulitzer Prize winner Steven Pearlstein include in their remarks,

[Sowell's works] have been published, to much praise ... and a lot of criticism, some of it bitter.[60]

To cite one article published in 1973, after controlling for age, region of residence, parents' income, father's occupation and education, place where raised, number of siblings, health, local labor, market conditions, geographic mobility, and seasonal employment, there still remained a 70% difference in the earnings of whites and nonwhites. Sowell's Markets and Minorities leaves [this] unexplained ... There is not one footnote to this chapter.[61]

A plausible alternative to Mr. Sowell's hypothesis on women's pay differentials and occupational segregation is that women are virtually excluded from many desirable positions and therefore crowd into obtainable occupations ... [However, his work] is a brutally frank, perceptive and important contribution to the national debate over the means to achieve equality and social justice for minorities and women.[62]

[Sowell's] absence of a coherent (much less, rigorous) comparative methodology renders the analysis less compelling than it might otherwise be ... the book's lack of methodological rigor will, I suspect, make it easy for readers holding opposing viewpoints to discount Sowell's conclusions.[63]

Too much of Intellectuals and Race reads with overly tendentious and snide attacks on caricatured liberal theories ... Sowell insists ... that differences in productive capabilities explain the differences in outcomes ... [He] downplays the toll that American racism has taken, not only on black fortunes but on American civic culture and politics.[64]

Legacy and honors

In 1990, Sowell won the Francis Boyer Award, presented by the American Enterprise Institute. In 1998, he received the Sydney Hook Award from the National Association of Scholars.[65] In 2002, Sowell was awarded the National Humanities Medal for prolific scholarship melding history, economics, and political science. In 2003, he was awarded the Bradley Prize for intellectual achievement.[66] In 2004, he was given Laissez Faire Books' Lysander Spooner Award for his book Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One.[67] In 2008, getAbstract awarded his book Economic Facts and Fallacies its International Book Award.

Personal life

Previously married to Alma Jean Parr from 1964 to 1975, Sowell married Mary Ash in 1981.[68][69] He has two children, John and Lorraine.[70][71][72]

Sowell has praised the knowledge and preparation of radio talk shows hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and G. Gordon Liddy. In 2007, he commented that modern television talk shows did not match the quality of David Susskind's Open End or The University of Chicago Roundtable and that Meet the Press moderated by Tim Russert was unlike the shows moderated by Lawrence Spivak or Bill Monroe.[73] Sowell is also known for his disdain of self-promotion.[74]

Career highlights

  • Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, September 1980–present
  • Professor of Economics, UCLA, July 1974 – June 1980
  • Visiting Professor of Economics, Amherst College, September–December 1977
  • Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, April–August 1977
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, July 1976 – March 1977
  • Project Director, The Urban Institute, August 1972 – July 1974
  • Associate Professor of Economics, UCLA, September 1970 – June 1972
  • Associate Professor of Economics, Brandeis University, September 1969 – June 1970
  • Assistant Professor of Economics, Cornell University, September 1965 – August 1969[16]
  • Economic Analyst, American Telephone & Telegraph Co., June 1964 – August 1965
  • Lecturer in Economics, Howard University, September 1963 – June 1964
  • Instructor in Economics, Douglass College, Rutgers University, September 1962 – June 1963
  • Labor Economist, U.S. Department of Labor, June 1961 – August 1962

Books

  • Sowell, Thomas (1971), Economics: Analysis and Issues, Scott, Foresman & Co.
  • ——— (1972), Say's Law: A Historical Analysis, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-04166-7.
  • ——— (1975), Race and Economics, David McKay Co, ISBN 978-0-679-30262-9.
  • 1980. Knowledge and Decisions. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-03736-0
  • 1981. Pink and Brown People and Other Controversial Essays. Hoover Press, ISBN 0-817-97532-2
  • 1981. Markets and Minorities. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-04399-2
  • 1981. Ethnic America: A History. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-02074-7
  • 1983. The Economics and Politics of Race. William Morrow, ISBN 0-688-01891-2
  • 1984. Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? William Morrow, ISBN 0-688-03113-7
  • 1985. Marxism: Philosophy and Economics. Quill, ISBN 0-688-06426-4
  • 1986. Education: Assumptions Versus History. Hoover Press, ISBN 0-8179-8112-8
  • 1987. Compassion Versus Guilt and Other Essays. William Morrow, ISBN 0-688-07114-7
  • 1987. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. William Morrow, ISBN 0-688-06912-6
  • 1990. Preferential Policies: An International Perspective, ISBN 0-688-08599-7
  • 1993. Inside American Education, ISBN 0-7432-5408-2
  • 1993. Is Reality Optional?, Hoover, ISBN 978-0-8179-9262-0
  • 1995. Race and Culture: A World View. Description & chapter previews. ISBN 0-465-06796-4
  • 1995. The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-08995-X
  • 1996. Migrations and Cultures: A World View, ISBN 0-465-04589-8 OCLC 41748039
  • 1998. Conquests and Cultures: An International History, ISBN 0-465-01400-3
  • 1998. Late-Talking Children, ISBN 0465038352
  • 1999. Barbarians Inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays, ISBN 0-8179-9582-X
  • 1999. The Quest for Cosmic Justice, ISBN 0-684-86463-0
  • 2000. A Personal Odyssey, ISBN 0-684-86465-7
  • 2002. Controversial Essays, Hoover, ISBN 0-8179-2992-4
  • 2002. The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late, ISBN 0-465-08141-X
  • 2003. Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One, ISBN 0-465-08143-6
  • 2004. Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy, revised and expanded ed. Basic Books, ISBN 0-465-08145-2 (1st ed. 2000)
  • Sowell, Thomas (2004). Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study. New Haven, CO: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10775-3.
  • ——— (2005). Black Rednecks and White Liberals. San Francisco: Encounter Books. ISBN 978-1-59403-086-4.
  • ——— (2006). On Classical Economics. New Haven, CO: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-12606-8.
  • ——— (2006). Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 978-0-8179-4752-1.
  • ——— (2007). A Man of Letters. San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books. ISBN 978-1-59403-196-0.
  • ——— (2007). Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (3rd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books. ISBN 978-0-465-00260-3. OCLC 76897806.
  • ——— (2007). Economic Facts and Fallacies. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-00349-5.
  • ——— (2008). Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One (2nd ed.). Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-00345-7. OCLC 260206351.
  • ——— (2009). The Housing Boom and Bust. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-01880-2.
  • ——— (2010). Intellectuals and Society. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-01948-9.
  • ——— (2010). Dismantling America. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02251-9.
  • ——— (2010). Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (4th ed.). Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02252-6.
  • ——— (2011). The Thomas Sowell Reader. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-02250-2.
  • ——— (2013). Intellectuals and Race. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-05872-3.
  • ——— (2014). Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (5th ed.). New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-06073-3. OCLC 2013.
  • ——— (2015). Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective.
  • ——— (2016). Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective (2nd ed.). ISBN 978-0-465-09676-3.
  • ——— (2018). Discrimination and Disparities. ISBN 978-1-541-64560-8.

See also

References

  1. ^ Pinker, Steven (2002), The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature, New York: Penguin Books, pp. 286–296, The most sweeping attempt to survey the underlying dimension is Thomas Sowell's A Conflict of Visions... Sowell calls [the two 'visions' of the nature of human beings] the Constrained Vision and the Unconstrained Vision; I will refer to them as the Tragic Vision...and the Utopian Vision... My own view is that the new sciences of human nature really do vindicate some version of the Tragic Vision and undermine the Utopian outlook...
  2. ^ Phaneuf, Emile (December 5, 2013). "Sowell's Visions". The Freeman. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  3. ^ Sailer, Steve (2002-10-30). "Q&A with Steven Pinker, author of The Blank Slate". United Press International. Archived from the original on 2002. Retrieved 2013-09-30.
  4. ^ Jenkins, Holman W. (June 29, 2012). "The Weekend Interview with Jonathan Haidt: He Knows Why We Fight". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 5, 2017. ...as a moral psychologist, I had to say the constrained vision [of human nature] is correct.
  5. ^ Haidt, Jonathan (2012), The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, New York: Vintage Books, pp. 338–340, Based on my own research, I had no choice but to agree with these conservative claims. As I continued to read the writings of conservative intellectuals from Edmund Burke in the eighteenth century through Friedrich Hayek and Thomas Sowell in the twentieth, I began to see that they had attained a crucial insight into the sociology of morality that I had never encountered before. They understood the importance of what I'll call moral capital... If you believe that people are inherently good, and that they flourish when constraints and divisions are removed, then yes, [simply linking people together into healthy, trusting relationships] may be sufficient [to improve the ethical profile of the group to achieve a moral vision for the group]. But conservatives generally take a very different view of human nature. They believe that people need external structures or constraints in order to behave well, cooperate, and thrive. These external constraints include laws, institutions, customs, traditions, nations, and religions. People who hold this 'constrained view'...
  6. ^ "Thomas Sowell Articles – Political Columnist & Commentator". townhall.com.
  7. ^ a b c d Graglia, Nino A. (Winter 2001). "Profile in courage". Hoover Institution Newsletter. Hoover Institution. Archived from the original on September 9, 2005.
  8. ^ Sowell, A Personal Odyssey, p. 6.
  9. ^ Sowell, A Personal Odyssey, pp. 47, 58, 59, 62.
  10. ^ Nordlinger, Jay (February 21, 2011), "A lion in high summer: Thomas Sowell, charging ahead" (PDF), National Review, pp. 43–45
  11. ^ a b c d Sowell, Thomas. "Curriculum vita". TSowell.com. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  12. ^ Sowell, Thomas (1963). "Karl Marx and the Freedom of the Individual", Ethics 73:2, p. 120.
  13. ^ Sawhill, Ray (1999-11-10). "Black and right". Salon.com. Archived from the original on October 7, 2000.
  14. ^ Sowell, Thomas (1968). Say's Law and the General Glut Controversy (PhD dissertation). University of Chicago.
  15. ^ "Charlie Rose – September 15, 1995". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
  16. ^ a b Sowell, Thomas (1999-05-03). "The Day Cornell Died". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  17. ^ "Thomas Sowell". Hoover Institution. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  18. ^ "Sowell on Firing Line". Hoover Institution.
  19. ^ Firing Line with William F. Buckley, Jr. (2017-02-01), Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr.: The Economics and Politics of Race, retrieved 2017-06-01
  20. ^ Greenhouse, Linda (September 26, 1987). "Legal Establishment Divided Over Bork Nomination". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2011. Video of Sowell's testimony at C-SPAN
  21. ^ Larry D. Nachman, " 'A Conflict of Visions,' by Thomas Sowell", Commentary, March 1987.
  22. ^ Sawhill R. (1999) "Black and Right: Thomas Sowell Talks About the Arrogance of Liberal Elites and the Loneliness of the Black Conservative." Salon. Accessed May 6, 2007.
  23. ^ "Thomas Sowell". Jewish world review. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  24. ^ "Thomas Sowell: Federal Reserve a 'Cancer'". It makes sense (World wide web log). Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  25. ^ "Thomas Sowell". Columnists. Townhall. 2003-01-08. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
  26. ^ "Thomas Sowell". Columnists. Town hall. 2003-01-09. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
  27. ^ Beamon, Todd (2013-03-22). "Thomas Sowell to Newsmax: GOP Outreach to Blacks 'Most Unpromising'". Newsmax. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  28. ^ a b "Do Gun Control Laws Control Guns?". Town hall. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  29. ^ "Knowledge and Decisions by Thomas Sowell, 1996 | Online Research Library: Questia". www.questia.com. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  30. ^ von Hayek, Friedrich August (December 1981). "The best Book on General Economics in Many Year". Reason. 13: 47–49.
  31. ^ Sowell, Thomas (2004-10-30). "Affirmative Action around the World | Hoover Institution". Hoover.org. Archived from the original on 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  32. ^ Sowell, Thomas (1987); Compassion Versus Guilt, and Other Essays; ISBN 0-688-07114-7.
  33. ^ "The Legend of the Dull-Witted Child Who Grew Up to Be a Genius", The Albert Einstein Archives, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  34. ^ Sowell, Thomas (2001). The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late. Basic Books. pp. 89–150. ISBN 978-0-465-08140-0.
  35. ^ "Thomas Sowell". Jewish world review. 2009-11-06. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
  36. ^ "Thomas Sowell, Conservative, Political News". Town hall. 2004-03-12. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  37. ^ "Judicial Activism Reconsidered". T Sowell. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  38. ^ "Thomas Sowell". Townhall. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  39. ^ "Thomas Sowell". Townhall. 2004-11-10. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  40. ^ "Thomas Sowell". Conservative Columnists and Political Commentary. Townhall. Archived from the original on 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  41. ^ "Thomas Sowell". Townhall. 2005-09-14. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  42. ^ Sowell, Thomas (2004-06-04). "Thomas Sowell : 'Partial truth' abortion". Townhall. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
  43. ^ "International Book Award". Get Abstract. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  44. ^ "The Cult of Multiculturalism". National Review Online. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  45. ^ Sowell, Thomas (16 January 2009). "The Bush Legacy". Town hall.
  46. ^ Sowell, Thomas. "Tragedy and Choices". Real Clear Politics.
  47. ^ "Thomas Sowell To Vote 'Against Hillary'". Daily wire. September 28, 2016. Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  48. ^ "Farewell". Real clear politics. December 27, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2016.
  49. ^ a b Williamson, Kevin D. (December 1, 2011). "Thomas Sowell: Peerless Nerd, The truth about one of America's Giants". commentarymagazine.com. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
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Further reading

External links

A Conflict of Visions

A Conflict of Visions is a book by Thomas Sowell. It was originally published in 1987; a revised edition appeared in 2007.

Sowell's opening chapter attempts to answer the question of why the same people tend to be political adversaries in issue after issue, when the issues vary enormously in subject matter and sometimes hardly seem connected to one another. The root of these conflicts, Sowell claims, are the "visions", or the intuitive feelings that people have about human nature; different visions imply radically different consequences for how they think about everything from war to justice.

The rest of the book describes two basic visions, the "constrained" and "unconstrained" visions, which are thought to capture opposite ends of a continuum of political thought on which one can place many contemporary Westerners, in addition to their intellectual ancestors of the past few centuries.

The book could be compared with George Lakoff's Moral Politics, which aims to answer a very similar question.

The book has been published both with and without the subtitle "Ideological Origins of Political Struggles".

Steven Pinker's book The Blank Slate calls Sowell's explanation the best theory given to date. In this book, Pinker refers to the "constrained vision" as the "tragic vision" and the "unconstrained vision" as the "utopian vision".

Affirmative Action Around the World

Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study is a 2004 nonfiction work by economist Thomas Sowell.

Black Rednecks and White Liberals

Black Rednecks and White Liberals is a collection of six essays by Thomas Sowell. The collection, published in 2005, explores various aspects of race and culture, both in the United States and abroad. The first essay, the book's namesake, traces the origins of the "Ghetto" African American culture to the culture of Scotch-Irish Americans in the Antebellum South. The second essay, "Are Jews Generic?", discusses middleman minorities; while "The Real History of Slavery" discusses the timeline of abolition of slavery and serfdom. The last three essays discuss the history of Germany, African-American education, and criticism of multiculturalism.

City Journal

City Journal is a public policy magazine and website that covers a wide range of topics, from policing strategy, education reform, and social policy to urban architecture, family culture, and contemporary theories emanating from law schools, charitable foundations, and public health organizations. The magazine began publishing in 1990, and has been lauded as a premier urban policy magazine.

Inside American Education

Inside American Education: The Decline, The Deception, The Dogmas is a book by economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell (hardcover 1993, paperback 2003, Kindle Edition 2010) that details Sowell's assessment of the state of education in the United States (both K-12 education and higher education).

Intellectuals and Society

Intellectuals and Society is a non-fiction book by Thomas Sowell. The book was initially published on January 5, 2010 by Basic Books.

Intellectuals are defined as "idea workers" that exercise profound influence on policy makers and public opinion, but are often not directly accountable for the results. Intellectuals and Society examines the record of these idea workers and the conditions, methods and incentives driving their points of view that, according to Sowell, have often resulted in disaster for societies where intellectuals have been allowed "undue influence".

Knowledge and Decisions

Knowledge and Decisions is a non-fiction book by American economist Thomas Sowell. The book was initially published in 1980 by Basic Books and reissued in 1996.

Late talker

Late talker is a term used for exceptionally bright people who experience a delay in the development of speech. Commonalities include usually being boys, delayed speech development, highly educated parents, musically gifted families, puzzle-solving abilities, and lagging social development. Many high-achieving late talkers were notoriously strong willed and noncompliant as children.Late talkers can often be misdiagnosed early on as having severe ("low-functioning" or nonverbal) autism spectrum disorder (a category known simply as "autism", prior to the DSM-5), and careful professional evaluation is necessary for differential diagnosis, according to Darold Treffert and other experts. One major difference between late talkers and low-functioning autistic children is that for late talkers, communication skills automatically reach a normal level and the child requires no further special treatment with regards to speech. Outlook for late talkers with or without intervention is generally favorable. However, late language emergence can also be an early or secondary sign of an autism spectrum disorder, or other developmental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, intellectual disability, learning disability, social communication disorder, or specific language impairment.Einstein syndrome, a term coined by the economist Thomas Sowell, is also sometimes used to describe late talkers. The term is named after Albert Einstein (often said to have been a late talker, though with questionable evidence), whom Sowell used as the primary example of a late talker in his work. Sowell also included Edward Teller, the mathematicians Srinivasa Ramanujan, Julia Robinson, physicist Richard Feynman, and the pianists Clara Schumann and Arthur Rubinstein to be in the late talkers group. As a toddler, the scientist John Clive Ward showed similar behavioral traits to those described by Sowell, according to a brief sketch of his biography.

Sowell claimed late talkers are often inaccurately categorized as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and that a small subset of late talkers are highly intelligent children with common characteristics concentrated in music, memory, math or the sciences.

List of syndicated columnists

This list of syndicated columnists comprises columnists whose recurring columns are published in multiple periodical publications (e.g., newspapers and magazines).

Live-ball era

The live-ball era, also referred to as the lively ball era, is the period in Major League Baseball beginning in 1920 (and continuing to the present day), contrasting with the pre-1920 period known as the "dead-ball era". The name "live-ball era" comes from the dramatic rise in offensive statistics, a direct result of a series of rule changes (introduced in 1920) that were colloquially said to have made the ball more "lively". The live-ball era was the era in which baseball regained relevance and exploded in popularity.

Race and Economics

Race and Economics is a book by Thomas Sowell, in which the author analyzes the relationship between race and wealth in the United States, specifically, that of blacks. The book was initially published by David McKay Company in January 1975.

The American Spectator

The American Spectator is a conservative U.S. website (and formerly monthly magazine) covering news and politics, edited by Emmett Tyrrell and published by the non-profit American Spectator Foundation.

From 1967 until the late 1980s, the magazine featured the writings of authors such as Thomas Sowell, Tom Wolfe, P.J. O'Rourke, George F. Will, Malcolm Gladwell, Patrick J. Buchanan, and Malcolm Muggeridge. During the 1990s, the magazine was better known for its reports on Bill Clinton and its "Arkansas Project," funded by businessman Richard Mellon Scaife and the Bradley Foundation. The American Spectator has carried articles by Thomas Sowell, a regular column by economist and celebrity Ben Stein, as well as former Reagan aide Jeffrey Lord, conservative health care consultant David Catron, and editorial director Wladyslaw Pleszczynski, as well as occasional articles by P.J. O'Rourke.

The Gaston Gazette

The Gaston Gazette is a newspaper based in Gastonia, North Carolina. The newspaper was owned by Freedom Communications until 2012, when Freedom sold its Florida and North Carolina papers to Halifax Media Group. In 2015, Halifax was acquired by New Media Investment Group.Its editorial position is generally conservative, and sometimes libertarian. Among the syndicated columnists whose columns it runs are Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and Tibor Machan.

The Housing Boom and Bust

The Housing Boom and Bust is a non-fiction book written by Thomas Sowell about the United States housing bubble and following subprime mortgage crisis. The book was initially published on April 24, 2009 by Basic Books and reissued on February 23, 2010.

The Human Life Review

The Human Life Review is a quarterly journal published by the Human Life Foundation since 1975. It is devoted to explorations of life issues, primarily abortion, as well as neonaticide, medical genetics, prenatal testing, human cloning, fetal tissue experimentation, euthanasia and assisted suicide, and also publishes articles dealing with more general questions of family and society. It was founded by James Patrick McFadden, formerly associate publisher of National Review, who had also founded the Human Life Foundation, and is now edited by his daughter, Maria McFadden. It was launched from the offices of National Review, with the support of William F. Buckley.Writers whose work has been featured in The Human Life Review include Nat Hentoff, Hadley Arkes, William McGurn, Thomas Sowell, Wesley Smith, David Quinn, Kathryn Jean Lopez and President Ronald Reagan.

The Shelby Star

The Shelby Star is a newspaper based in Shelby, North Carolina. The newspaper was owned by Freedom Communications until 2012, when Freedom sold its Florida and North Carolina papers to Halifax Media Group. In 2015, Halifax was acquired by New Media Investment Group.Its editorial position is generally conservative, and sometimes libertarian. Among the syndicated columnists whose columns it runs are Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and Tibor Machan. The Shelby Star's star local reporter is Casey White, who reports on city government and business.

The paper uses "The Star" as its masthead, omitting the name "Shelby".

The Vision of the Anointed

The Vision of the Anointed (1995) is a book by economist and political columnist Thomas Sowell which brands the anointed as promoters of a worldview concocted out of fantasy impervious to any real-world considerations.

Sowell asserts that these thinkers, writers, and activists continue to be revered even in the face of evidence disproving their positions.

Sowell argues that American thought is dominated by a "prevailing vision" which seals itself off from any empirical evidence that is inconsistent with that vision.

the prevailing social vision is dangerously close to sealing itself off from any discordant feedback from reality.

it is so necessary to believe in a particular vision that evidence of its incorrectness is ignored, suppressed, or discredited

empirical evidence is neither sought beforehand nor consulted after a policy has been instituted. Facts may be marshalled for a position already taken, but that is very different from systematically testing opposing theories by evidence.The book challenges people Sowell refers to as "Teflon prophets," who predict that there will be future social, economic, or environmental problems in the absence of government intervention (Ralph Nader is one of his foremost examples).

The book was initially published in 1995 by Basic Books.

Wealth, Poverty and Politics

Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective is a book by American economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell. It was originally published by Basic Books in 2015, with an updated version published in 2016. In the work, Sowell argues against the notion that economic equality is natural, and examines geographic, cultural, social, and political factors that have contributed to the wealth of groups and nations.

Works by Thomas Sowell
Founders
Monetarism
New economic history
New social economics
Public choice school
Law and economics
Business and finance

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