The Thomas Sowell Reader

The Thomas Sowell Reader

Book - 2011
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Selections from the writings of Thomas Sowell over a half century cover social, economic, cultural, legal, educational, and political issues, ranging from late-talking children to tax cuts, baseball, race, war, medical care, and the rhetoric of politicians.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2011
ISBN: 9780465022502
0465022502
Characteristics: ix, 449 p. ; 25 cm

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one_hundred
Aug 15, 2017

If you've heard of "Thomas Sowell", and are curious to know what all the hoot's about, I think this book would be a great starting point to get familiar with his works. This book covers a wide variety of topics, and most of the essays are bite-sized (about 5+ or so), which makes it great for people with short attention spans (like me!).

After you get through this book (or just read the bits you're interested in), and like what you've read, then you might wanna consider going for his other books that cover specific topics at-length.

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flygt
Jun 11, 2017

A very interesting read. I don't always agree with Sowell but his arguments are always well researched and cogent.

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baldand
May 07, 2012

This anthology of Professor Sowell’s writings underlines the amazing breadth of his work. Although primarily an economist, the essays are also biographical, autobiographical, geographical, historical, medical, political, and there is even one related to sports. This is a brand new essay, written just for this volume, on why home runs were hit with much greater frequency in American pro ball in the 1920’s than in the previous two decades.
Economists should be warned in advance that, even broadly defined, economic essays take up less than an eighth part of the book. Particularly to be regretted is the absence of any part of Professor Sowell’s recent book The Housing Boom and Bust, which provided such a magisterial account of how the US got into its worst recession since the 1930’s. Also missing from that anthology is that wonderful brief non-economic essay: “I Beg to Differ”, a paen to the benefits of argument. I have read it so many times I almost know it by heart. In defence of Professor Sowell, with so much to choose from, the choice of what to include in a single volume must have been extraordinarily difficult.
And many of the essays that did make it in are outstanding. “Marx the Man” and “Booker T. Washington After 100 Years” shows Sowell’s talent for writing short biographies, that summarize a whole rich life in a brief space. “The Influence of Geography” shows his gift for generalization and synthesis, even over many civilizations and thousands of years of history.
Unfortunately, like most anthologies, the book suffers from repetition. We are told several times, for example, that Europeans could come to America “because they could steer with rudders, invited [sic] in China, calculate their position on the open seas through trigonometry invented in Egypt, using numbers created in India”.

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