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The Essential Thomas Sowell Reading List

The Essential Thomas Sowell Reading List

Author, economist, and social theorist Dr. Thomas Sowell has announced that he is retiring. The 86-year-old’s contributions to economic thought and social theory are voluminous. He’s authored dozens of books and hundreds of columns and articles during his career that continue to  the public dialogue. If you haven’t read Sowell’s work, then we want to help you by providing you with this reading list of some of his most prominent works.

A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles (Paperback)

In this classic work, Thomas Sowell analyzes the two competing visions that shape our debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality, and power: the ?constrained” vision, which sees human nature as unchanging and selfish, and the ?unconstrained” vision, in which human nature is malleable and perfectible. He describes how these two radically opposed views have manifested themselves in the political controversies of the past two centuries, including such contemporary issues as welfare reform, social justice, and crime. Updated to include sweeping political changes since its first publication in 1987, this revised edition of A Conflict of Visions offers a convincing case that ethical and policy disputes circle around the disparity between both outlooks.
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Basic Economics (Hardcover)

In this fifth edition of Basic Economics, Thomas Sowell revises and updates his popular book on common sense economics, bringing the world into clearer focus through a basic understanding of the fundamental economic principles and how they explain our lives. Drawing on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history, Sowell explains basic economic principles for the general public in plain English.

Basic Economics, which has now been translated into six languages and has additional material online, remains true to its core principle: that the fundamental facts and principles of economics do not require jargon, graphs, or equations, and can be learned in a relaxed and even enjoyable way.
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Economic Facts and Fallacies, 2nd edition (Paperback)

In Economic Facts and Fallacies, Thomas Sowell exposes some of the most popular fallacies about economic issues in a lively manner that does not require any prior knowledge of economics. These fallacies include many beliefs widely disseminated in the media and by politicians, such as fallacies about urban problems, income differences, male-female economic differences, as well as economic fallacies about academia, about race, and about Third World countries.

Sowell shows that fallacies are not simply crazy ideas but in fact have a certain plausibility that gives them their staying power–and makes careful examination of their flaws both necessary and important.

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The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy (Paperback)

Sowell presents a devastating critique of the mind-set behind the failed social policies of the past thirty years. Sowell sees what has happened during that time not as a series of isolated mistakes but as a logical consequence of a tainted vision whose defects have led to crises in education, crime, and family dynamics, and to other social pathologies. In this book, he describes how elites—the anointed—have replaced facts and rational thinking with rhetorical assertions, thereby altering the course of our social policy.
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Ethnic America: A History (Paperback)

This classic work by the distinguished economist traces the history of nine American ethnic groups—the Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians, Chinese, African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans.
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Black Rednecks and White Liberals (Paperback)

This explosive new book challenges many of the long-prevailing assumptions about blacks, about Jews, about Germans, about slavery, and about education. Plainly written, powerfully reasoned, and backed with a startling array of documented facts, Black Rednecks and White Liberals takes on not only the trendy intellectuals of our times but also such historic interpreters of American life as Alexis de Tocqueville and Frederick Law Olmsted. In a series of long essays, this book presents an in-depth look at key beliefs behind many mistaken and dangerous actions, policies, and trends. It presents eye-opening insights into the historical development of the ghetto culture that is today wrongly seen as a unique black identity–a culture cheered on toward self-destruction by white liberals who consider themselves “friends” of blacks. An essay titled “The Real History of Slavery” presents a jolting re-examination of that tragic institution and the narrow and distorted way it is too often seen today. The reasons for the venomous hatred of Jews, and of other groups like them in countries around the world, are explored in an essay that asks, “Are Jews Generic?” Misconceptions of German history in general, and of the Nazi era in particular, are also re-examined. So too are the inspiring achievements and painful tragedies of black education in the United States. “Black Rednecks and White Liberals” is the capstone of decades of outstanding research and writing on racial and cultural issues by Thomas Sowell.
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Preferential Policies: An International Perspective (Hardcover)

Examines the policies of India, South Africa, Israel, the United States, and other nations that are guilty of government-sanctioned preferential treatment
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Race And Culture: A World View (Paperback)

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.
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Black Education: Myths and Tragedies (Paperback)

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Barbarians inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays (Hoover Institution Press Publication) (Paperback)

A collection of essays that discusses such issues as the media, immigration, the minimum wage and multiculturalism.
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