Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Is Reality Optional?: And Other Essays” as Want to Read:
Is Reality Optional?: And Other Essays
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Is Reality Optional?: And Other Essays

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Sowell challenges all the assumptions of contemporary liberalism on issues ranging from the economy to race to education in this collection of controversial essays, and captures his thoughts on politics, race, and common sense with a section at the end for thought-provoking quotes.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 1st 1993 by Hoover Press (first published October 1993)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Is Reality Optional?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Is Reality Optional?

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  7 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Is Reality Optional?: And Other Essays
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Thomas Sowell is undeniably bright but he tends to be (at least in this book) heavy on criticism and light on solutions aside from democracy and capitalism - which are not solutions but that is another matter.

As an aside, it is interesting to read these old columns and to realize how much more dire the situations he describes are today. It is enlightening (and disheartening) to see how the culture wars that were being fought so many years ago are still raging on in 2018.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another fantastic book by Sowell
David Robins
Apr 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Another excellent set of essays. More stories of government's dangerous edicts, coming from the "anointed" and "deep thinkers", and their unintended consequences. I was a bit surprised (but agreeable) that he wants to call off the war on drugs, although I might disagree with him saying that bad acts against offenders in prison should not be thrown at the feet of the state and counted as punishment, even if not handed down from the court. He covers the mess of affirmative action - racism, the ...more
Sylvester Kuo
Is Reality Optional is a collection of essays Thomas Sowell has written in the early 90s, I was fortunate enough have found a copy in the library and I simply could not put it down. It was a beautiful book divided into different sections detailing his thoughts on the different issues. Thomas Sowell was humorous but never straied from the topic on hand. Even though it was written nearly 30 years ago, the message is still the same.
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thinker
The divergent of intellectuals and influx of hysterical ideas. The social and draconian approach of the anointed. Thomas Sowell is a man alone with the foresight of what make sense in the free market. No solutions but trade-offs.
Scott Slager
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Thomas Sowell offers a lot of no nonsense criticism on a myriad of social issues. The way he illustrates his views is the very definition of the word concise.
Clancy Cross
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A great book of common sense by one of my favorite contemporary thinkers.
rated it it was amazing
Nov 23, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2013
Kevin Ahimsa
rated it really liked it
May 14, 2012
rated it really liked it
Jul 22, 2013
Maegan Murray
rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2014
Seth Pilz
rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2014
James White
rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2019
Mrs. Scott
rated it really liked it
Jun 08, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2014
Pedro Jorge
rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2015
rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2016
Maria Arseneault
rated it it was amazing
Jul 30, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jun 11, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2008
Garret Seinen
rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2016
Larry Newberry
rated it liked it
May 17, 2018
Ina Cawl
rated it really liked it
Dec 02, 2015
Bill Vaughan
rated it liked it
Mar 22, 2018
Joe Dohnn
rated it liked it
Feb 14, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Aug 25, 2016
Naomi Baker
rated it liked it
Sep 18, 2014
Michael Scalise
rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2013
Mark Vorzimmer
rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2013
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
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 ...more
“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.” 166 likes
More quotes…