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The Thomas Sowell Reader

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  369 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
These selections from the many writings of Thomas Sowell over a period of a half century cover social, economic, cultural, legal, educational, and political issues. The sources range from Dr. Sowell's letters, books, newspaper columns, and articles in both scholarly journals and popular magazines. The topics range from late-talking children to “tax cuts for the rich,” base ...more
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Basic Books (first published October 1st 2011)
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Fred Forbes
Mar 12, 2012 Fred Forbes rated it really liked it
I was surprised at the end of this weighty tome to find that I agree with most of what he said. Why? As an independent I tend to be a centrist in political matters and his reputation had been presented to me as a pretty hard core conservative which usually brings to mind a level of shrillness and inaccuracy that leaves me pretty cold. I tend toward being a liberal in social matters and a conservative in the fiscal arena so I was surprised that many of the social topics he discusses can be handle ...more
Kevin Farrell
May 31, 2012 Kevin Farrell rated it it was amazing
If you have not read Thomas Sowell, this may be the place to start. He writes about many things, in general, but I will try to boil it down to a few descriptive words. Sowell is an economist. He is an intellectual. He is African American. He writes with precision and some warmth about economics, politics, racism, and the US government. His writing tends to be in the essay style which can take some effort for me to delve into.

He will surprise you. He firmly believes that ideas can be tested and m
Don Weidinger
Dec 29, 2012 Don Weidinger rated it it was amazing
words as the money of fools, rent control, 4xabuse and poverty when no marriage, foreigners not entitled, retrain responsibility, little authority to ?, pitcher Ruth fences, unions for unions, economy is trade offs vs singular govt unions and price controls and govt medical care, scarce resources with alternative uses, crime drops 89% with guns in home, bias in science welcomed, ideas have to work or not-ed govt, late term condemned by ama, geography, ed breakdowns, demonized producers subsidize ...more
Andrea Olson
Dec 01, 2013 Andrea Olson rated it really liked it
An excellent first exposure to Thomas Sowell, covering a large variety of subjects, many of them political in nature. He has a plethora of other books worth reading that go more in depth on topics such as economics or race politics.
While it might not sit well with people who staunchly support the current political 'left', try something outside your comfort zone. People who don't identify with the 'left', unlike like many 'conservative' or 'right wing' hosts of today which dissolve into shouting
Петър Стойков
Jun 19, 2013 Петър Стойков rated it it was amazing
Един от любимите ми икономисти и политически автори, вече на преклонна възраст (над 80, но се държи) публикува поредната си книга, този път със събрани есета.

Томас Соуел е просто невероятен - написал е десетки книги и няма нито една слаба между тях, а от вижданията му за икономиката, политиката и обществото блика толкова здравомислие и начетеност че изпитвам физическо удоволствие като го чета.
Oct 04, 2012 Danmcgohan rated it really liked it
Excellent read! The book should have been titled "Common Sence." The book would have been worth reading for just the last chapter, Random Thoughts. This book was a collection of segments from a varitey of Sowell books. I hav eread several of his other publications and the book just made me want more.
Mar 19, 2017 Grace rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, politics
This isn't my normal type of book. I don't normally enjoy things that are highly political, but I do like things that make me think. And make me think, Sowell did.

I thought I'd be getting more into economics, but it turns out that Sowell has a mind for a wide variety of things from a unique standpoint. Sowell was born in the "old south" and in poverty. He gives a small account of what it was like growing up with a loving family, poverty, and narrowly escaping things that would poison his mind a
Nov 18, 2016 Marc-André rated it did not like it
Shelves: politics
I started this book just after the Soul of Black Folks and I must say I had already approached it earlier and got quite a good impression of it. It confronted my ideas, expressed some things I think without saying them and, overall, is a really easy read. Sadly, once you get past the first articles, of which this book is entirely composed and which are all very short, something like 4 or 5 pages each, you realize that its not so much an easy read because the author has a special talent with word ...more
May 04, 2012 Anthony rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
Recommend for the newest reader to Thomas Sowell, covers his work on Economics, Race and the Political Scene. A little to much emphasis on Intellectuals and Society, but could see why considering it is a recent book that covered a lot of the same ground as his previous works. The only excerpt that didn't work for me was the section on Geography and Racial behavior.
For my money Thoms Sowell is one of the most important thinkers certainly on the Conservative side of the aisle and although he woul
Sep 10, 2016 Jerry rated it it was amazing
If you need a bathroom reader that’s well above the average, this would make a great choice—most of these essays are two pages long. Each section leads off with newspaper essays; then ends with some longer essays for more depth on the topic. The longer pieces are either written for this book, or are excerpted from earlier books by the author.

These essays provide short, packed introductions to Sowell’s approach to economics, and his research into other social problems facing the United States and
Oct 07, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it
Good read. A lot of short pieces on social issues politics, economics, race, education, along with personal reflections, as well as a couple of humor pieces. Sowell is extremely blunt but not inflammatory. A free market economist, he's intent at identifying incentives and looking at physical factors. His piece on the effect of geography on regional economies is fascinating, reminiscent of Jared Diamond. In this collection, I prefer the longer pieces to the shorter magazine articles. His personal ...more
I wish I could give this book six stars! I thoroughly appreciated every chapter of this engaging book which covered a wide diversity of topics--from economics to racism and from education to geography. With the last few chapters fresh in my mind, I'll mention that I found Dr. Sowell's treatment of world geography to be quite informative and fascinating. Likewise, his brief autobiographical sketch was a great way to wrap up the collection of essays since it provided an inside look at the author h ...more
May 13, 2013 Sandy rated it really liked it
Ordered the book because I have enjoyed Sowell's editorials. He is an economist at a time when we wonder where the economy is going. He's African American and against affirmative action. He is a professor schools should educate not entertain. He refuses to become a politician but quips in the last chapter: One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those that complain.
Oct 27, 2013 Paul rated it liked it
There are quiet a few good essays on here that have well supported arguments. The essay on Marx's personal history was interesting.

What stops me from really loving this book are the stereotypical right wing defenses of Ronald Reagan, the actions of police officers and parental authority. Also calling out the "Left" and "Liberals" specifically while never looking at what the Right does (in this book at least) is rather annoying.
Apr 07, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
Anything and everything written by Dr. Sowell is worth reading. Dr. Sowell is insighful, thought provocing, and just a great read. Every US Citizen should be reading everything written by Dr. Sowell.
Jan 08, 2016 Del rated it really liked it
An engaging collection of writings and articles by one of my favorite modern supporters of the ideas of classical liberalism and human freedom. A good introduction to one of the sharpest minds of our times, in my opinion.
Mar 01, 2013 Greg rated it it was amazing
Thomas Sowell is one of the smartest and clearest thinking man in America today. I would vote for this man for president in a heartbeat. Fascinating series of essays on a wide range of subjects. I recommend ANY book this man has written.
Lucas Johnson
Enjoyable. Few writers can deliver lessons so fundamental that the mind can be altered to a different state just by reading their prose. Sowell is a perfect example of the seriousness of people with a well developed sense of humor.
Jan 29, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it
America's pre-eminent economist. Everything by him makes total sense.
Thomas Holthaus
May 10, 2012 Thomas Holthaus rated it it was amazing
Great conservative ideas and theory. Well worth the read
Dec 23, 2011 HerbieGrandma rated it really liked it
This book and this man are national treasures.
This collection of short essays is very enjoyable. Reading this volume is the next best thing to meeting Thomas Sowell & meeting for coffee and conversation over a year's time. :-)
Jim Hart
Jim Hart rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2016
Sam Niemi
Sam Niemi rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2013
M. Karl
M. Karl rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2016
Ron rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2015
Maribeth Ward
Maribeth Ward rated it liked it
Feb 17, 2017
Wendi rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2015
Gautham rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2011
Leigh rated it really liked it
Feb 05, 2013
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Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social commentator, and author of dozens of books. He often writes from an economically laissez-faire perspective. He is currently a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. In 1990, he won the Francis Boyer Award, presented by the American Enterprise Institute. In 2002 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal for prolific scholars ...more
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“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.” 68 likes
“Age gives you an excuse for not being very good at things that you were not very good at when you were young.” 10 likes
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