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Race And Culture: A World View (Cultures #1)

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  404 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Encompassing more than a decade of research around the globe, this book shows that cultural capital has far more impact than politics, prejudice, or genetics on the social and economic fates of minorities, nations, and civilization.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 16th 1995 by Basic Books
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Thomas Achord
Jun 11, 2016 Thomas Achord rated it it was amazing
This is why I read Sowell:

"Classic examples of double standards and selective indignation can be found in a vast literature on the history of slavery - a literature devoted almost exclusively to slavery in the Western world, with only a relative handful of writings on the larger number of slaves in the Islamic world. Thus the institution of slavery, existing on every continent and going back thousands of years, is often discussed as if it were peculiar to Western civilization when, in fact, even
Ted Heitz
Jul 27, 2010 Ted Heitz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culture-race
Why the help couldn't we get Sowell as the first black president 15 years ago? He gets it, without having to mince words or speak with ambiguity as to not offend anyone...if everyone understood world issues this way, we would be far better off. He describes how simple economic history has developed world diversity as we know it. great great work.
Dec 15, 2016 David rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book, very well researched and intensely practical as a worldview. The only fault is that is often dry and technical due to the voluminous research reported within it. Sowell uses a wide array of evidence from around the globe and across the human timeline to ensure his observations are transcendent over contemporary hot-button issues, yet simultaneously applicable to them.

The final pages, where Sowell, bears down on the judgments and implications of his work, are piercing
Jon Webber
Nov 03, 2013 Jon Webber rated it really liked it
Very non-PC, international, historical and well researched book. It made me think differently about several topics including the history of slavery and cultural differences and values. I would definetly recommend it.
Jun 28, 2009 Laine rated it it was amazing
But of course this is exceptional. Satisfying in every way. I must say (although Sowell would not approve) there is nothing more seductive than critical analysis that finds the truth.
Aug 26, 2008 Rod rated it really liked it
Another broad and deep work from America's most important living author. Shows that when we talk about race we really should be discussing culture.
Prior to the horrors exposed post wwii that were committed in the name of of a superior race and culture, it was not only assumed that the two were inextricably joined at the pale colours level but widely so practiced by the said pale colour populace in the world. Post the exposure of the logically correct (but horror at a humanitarian level of concerns of course) extreme of this practice in the camps run by nazis, this theory of race and culture superiority fell into a ditch of disrepute, where ...more
Nick Gibson
May 04, 2017 Nick Gibson rated it really liked it
Another cannonade of empiric mythbusting. The first in a trilogy. Sowell's writing is not flowery or romantic, but it is thorough. He's concerned, here as elsewhere, with exploding revisionism, propaganda, and political narratives. Sowell attacks with the empiric method: determine what outcomes are predicted by two competing theories, then digest the existential reality to see which theory was vindicated.
Jun 18, 2017 Camila rated it it was amazing
I am fascinated by the subject of this book. Also, Thomas Sowell is probably my favorite author. Some chapters deserve to be read twice or more times. The one about slavery was very well researched and very useful in debates.
Jul 07, 2017 Josiah rated it it was amazing
This was amazing. Truly a five-star book and worth the long read.
Void lon iXaarii
Mar 23, 2014 Void lon iXaarii rated it really liked it
Having just finished it I am again impressed by the author's knowledge of history, and systematic research (with critical and comparative logical analysis! something most historians unfortunately seem to me to lack). I have learned from it many very very interesting things about the centuries and even millennia past. Many surprises about the impacts and relationships between race and cultures through history. Many interesting and surprising facts to be learned! Many insights about the different ...more
Mary Catelli
Jul 20, 2013 Mary Catelli rated it really liked it
Germans were pioneers in starting up piano making in colonial America, France, England, czarist Russia, and Australia.

There are patterns in history that help explain this, and not because there is anything peculiar about the Germans. Repeated patterns that happen over and over again, where various cultures are exported with the emigrants, and replicate themselves for generations. Though you have to be careful about how you tease them out. There were distinct differences between northern and sout
Dec 24, 2010 Ilya rated it really liked it
The United States has had a race problem since before this country was founded; however, so have many other countries all over the world; there is nothing unique about this country. Some American blacks trace out a connection to ancient Egypt, and as the Wellesley classicist Mary Lefkowitz famously discovered around the time this book was written, assert that Socrates was black. This is, however, nothing compared to the claims of some Sri Lankan Sinhalese that they are racially pure Aryans, and ...more
Michael Connolly
Feb 13, 2012 Michael Connolly rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, history
Thomas Sowell again champions clarity of thought. He says that the term racism has been misapplied to situations whether the distinction between groups is primarily cultural, rather than genetic. Of course, it is impossible to completely disentangle genetic and cultural influences. Since this book was written, the meaning of the word racist has expanded so much that criticism of Islam has been called racist, even though Arabs and Europeans are the same race, namely white.
Sowell talks about midd
Jun 21, 2016 Phan rated it it was amazing
Bits and pieces of historical knowledge i picked up from others book related to conquests, clash of civilizations and cultures certainly help me going through this one without much effort. However, what Thomas Sowell said about the importance of "History" really put my scattered thoughts into order. High rating for this one because of its importance as i wish it was the one to be read as an introductory book to the topic of today's identity crisises among different nations and ethics.

"History is
Mark Geise
Aug 16, 2015 Mark Geise rated it it was amazing
Thomas Sowell, as always, does a fantastic job of intertwining the disparate disciplines of history, economics, culture, and race to produce a great work. In Race and Culture, Sowell goes over the importance of race and its interaction with various parts of society, namely politics, economics, immigration, and intelligence.

Each chapter in this work focuses on a different component of society. In my opinion, the most important sections of this book have to do with conquest and slavery. Sowell im
Adam Morva
May 10, 2016 Adam Morva rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Economy is large part conjecture, pseudoscience, and luck, so I was a bit afraid that the book will contain too much of these things.

It doesn't. Although the main themes are indeed Race and Culture, as the title suggests, there's plenty of economics and history in here as Thomas draws examples from all over time and space, and it must be said that Sowell knows his subjects very well, and communicates them in an interesting and crystal clear manner.

The writer isn't afraid to say politically incor
C.H.E. Sadaphal
Sep 02, 2013 C.H.E. Sadaphal rated it really liked it
The bottom line: A thought provoking, if not a thought challenging, analysis on the way race has shaped the past and continues to influence the dynamics of the modern world.

Sowell takes a very economic approach to the effects of race on the global society at large. This scientific system relies on hard facts and data, and from there several conclusions are drawn. The benefit of this rational approach is that totally objective conclusions can be drawn “just from the data”. The downside is that th
Joe Rodeck
Jun 19, 2014 Joe Rodeck rated it liked it
More history, less Sociological gobbledegook.

A collection of similar essays on the same topic leads to too much redundancy. This topic is too broad: he's covering the history and geography of the world since the age of dinosaurs.

You'll have to be a real history trivia nut to like this. There are lots of interesting observations and anecdotes, but the author rambles like a prof who never shuts up.

Sowell bravely addresses somewhat taboo areas such as different IQ levels (Asians tops); but he
Nettie Rosenow
Oct 23, 2010 Nettie Rosenow rated it liked it
This is the first book I've read by Thomas Sowell. While I appreciate the scholarship I have problems with the ideology. Sowell seems to believe that all government intervention is problematic. I just find it hard to swallow that poor immigrants living in filth and squalor ,sometimes because of unscrupulous landlords, did not benefit from regulations.We are the government not some nebulous monster.I found his analysis of race and culture fascinating for the long view it was born from. That is so ...more
Jun 23, 2014 Ryan rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, policy, culture
Sowell argues that the tendencies of particular groups of people have a cultural foundation. Even when these groups of people are spread across the world, they have similar economic destinies, and experience the same prejudices among the local populations. These local populations, exercising their prejudice, usually define these groups by their race. Whether the group flourishes or flounders, Sowell cites evidence that the most important determining factor in their success or failure is not exte ...more
Elise Conner
Jun 23, 2010 Elise Conner rated it it was amazing
Thomas Sowell is one of my favorite economists. His writing is straight forward common sense. All Americans who loudly spout their own economic and political opinions and ideas should be exposed to his work.

In simple terms, he debunks common myths regarding the existence of wage discrimination, hiring prejudice, and the widely held idea that all individuals should have equal representation in all industries. Thomas Sowell says what must be said about such concepts shaping our domestic policies:
Steve Hadfield
Nov 06, 2015 Steve Hadfield rated it it was amazing
Thomas Sowell's book is a much farther reaching book in subject matter than I expected, drawing from history and cultures all over the world throughout history. The vast majority of the historical evidences disprove some of what conservatives believe, but nearly all of what liberal believe. There are definitely things that will cause me to change in, but this book confirmed far more than it challenged. Yet another book that too few people have read.
Skylar Burris
Sowell is incredibly insightful and intelligent. I just wish his writing was more interesting to read. In academia, you get one viewpoint and one viewpoint only when it comes to topics such as race and culture, and it's rather simplistic. Sowell takes an emotional step-back in order to provide a complex analysis of complex issues.
Feb 21, 2014 Robert rated it liked it
I'd recommend it as a read, but it fails in one area and begins with that failure.

Sowell does not recommend any actions based on these findings. He begins by admitting that there won't be any in the book, but it cries out for prescription.

It is amazing that this book was written in 1994, because it still seems fresh and new. Or, sadly, nothing has been achieved since then.
Apr 16, 2009 Gavin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics
This book was incredible. Thomas sowell breaks down the confusion about race and culture that has been perpetuated by those with a self-annointed vision who have incentive to stunt clarification through verbal virtuousity.
Oct 04, 2013 Jesse marked it as to-read
Shelves: _skip
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 04, 2008 Doug rated it really liked it
This book was very thought-provoking. He makes some very strong points in supporting his world view. Race has a lot more to do woth how the world still moves than I would like to think, blood may still be a lot thicker than we would even like to think.
May 06, 2016 Leonardo marked it as to-keep-reference
Este, y toda la serie es comentada por Pinker pág.104 (aprox).

Mar 03, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The first half felt rather repetitive to me, but the second half brought to light information and ideas that I don't much hear discussed.
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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
More about Thomas Sowell...

Other Books in the Series

Cultures (3 books)
  • Migrations and Cultures: A World View
  • Conquests and Cultures: An International History

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