Synopses & Reviews
In this latest collection of his highly provocative essays, Thomas Sowell once again demonstrates why he is one of the most thoughtful, readable, and controversial thinkers of our time. With his usual unrelenting candor, he cuts through the stereotypes, popular mythology, and what he calls the "mush" surrounding the critical issues facing the American social, economic, political, legal, racial, and education scenes. Sowell's hard-hitting, and ruthlessly honest, views include his commentary on
- Affirmative Action "No dogma has taken a deeper hold with less evidence—or in the face of more massive evidence to the contrary."
- Cultural Bias "Life is culturally biased. . . . As limited human beings, we must make our choices among the alternatives actually available. A culture-free society has never been one of those alternatives."
- The Media "The public apparently has no 'right to know' that the politically correct conclusions they keep hearing may not be factually correct."
- Immigration "The fact that immigrants were once valuable additions to the country does not mean that the same thing may be arbitrarily assumed today, any more than the fact that horses and buggies were once the best way to get around means that we should rely on them today."
- The Minimum Wage "What is the minimum wage law but an unfunded mandate imposed on private organizations? It is like impulse buying and charging it to somebody else's credit card."
- Multiculturalism "Are we to indulge in absolute fantasy and say that statistical 'diversity' promotes better intergroup relations, against blatant evidence that it is poisoning people against one another?"
- Social Security "Nothing is more grossly a transfer of wealth from those with less to those with more. . . . Once we face up to the fact that Social Security is welfare for the elderly, we need to ask ourselves why affluent people of any age should be a burden on others."
- The Litigation Explosion "The very idea that the burden of proof is on the party who makes a legal charge has gone out the window as far as whole categories of charges are concerned. This is true in . . . so-called women's issues, racial issues, environmental issues, and other crusades pushed by strident activists."
Sowell combines applied reason and common sense with actual historical and statistical evidence to demolish widely held views on these and other controversial subjects, including racial quotas, prayer in schools, the health care system, cultural "identity," Wade versus Roe, gays in the military, the death penalty, Louis Farrakhan, and more.
Combining reason and common sense with statistical evidence, Sowell once again cuts through the stereotypes, popular mythology, and "mush" surrounding the critical issues facing the American social, economic, political, legal, racial, and education scenes.
A collection of essays that discusses such issues as the media, immigration, the minimum wage and multiculturalism.
About the Author
Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. He writes on economics, history, social policy, ethnicity, and the history of ideas. Sowell’s current research focuses on cultural history in a world perspective. Sowell's journalistic writings include a nationally syndicated column that appears in more than 150 newspapers from Boston to Honolulu. Over the past three decades, Sowell has taught economics at various colleges and universities, including Cornell, Amherst, and the University of California at Los Angeles, as well as the history of ideas at Brandeis University. He has also been associated with three other research centers, in addition to the Hoover Institution. He was project director at the Urban Institute, 1972-1974, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, 1976–77, and was an adjunct scholar of the American Enterprise Institute, 1975-1976.