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I toughed it through almost two hours of this book before I nearly dropped my listening device from a 27th floor window.
The book begins under the pretense of being vaguely critical of "intellectuals" and their role/position in society. The reality feels more as if this writer had too many times been denied the very status he was criticizing, and felt that in writing a snooze inducing critique of the "elite", he would somehow rise in personal stature and get a second shot at the title.
Every minute of this book felt like it was torn from a low quality thesis written by a self aggrandizing graduate student. I have never so vehemently disliked an audio book before. Nearly two hours in, I decided that silence was more intellectually stimulating than letting this book play for another moment.
I really enjoyed this book. It captures and expresses many ideas that our society needs to understand if we are to avoid an economic and moral meltdown. I can't recommend it enough.
Sowell destroys the idea that all will be good in govt (and in this country) if we just get enough "smart" people into position to make decision for the rest of us. But "smart" people making decisions from DC can't know what's best for us. I'd prefer to make my own decisions and keep govt out of my life!
His thesis is that 'intellectuals' are controlling the media and politics and spinning stories to support their own agenda. Three issues:
1. He never defines who the 'intellectuals' actually are, only who they are not. We are then left alone with that, poised to direct the angst that is spawned by his accusations to a group of people inferred to be simply 'everyone else but the reader'.
2. He denounces liberals for their fallacious methods of debate, as if liberals are the only population to do so.
3. Clearly, he is one of the very intellectuals he burns at the stake, even down to the spinning of events and the fallacious arguments he hates so much.
So, with no real target, no unique crime committed by that target, and a hypocritical disposition; this book is nothing more than a firework targeted to the gullible by sensationalizing events in the past that are easily sniped with 20/20 vision, and blaming those outcomes on a group with values different from the author's while using the very methods of argument he denounces in the next sentence.
I have not read anything else from this author. I am hesitant to do so again, but I would give him one more chance, in the interest of fairness, to do something actually useful...but after this book, would not be expecting much.
Nerd. Kindle author. Nerd.
yes, easier to digest while doing other things. (drive, yardwork, etc.)
Sowell's plain, focused wisdom. His ability to communicate fairly complex ideas without the need to clutter the experience with jargon. His ability to distill simple truths from storms of confusion and irrelevancy, then write only those distilled truths.
Too many to list. Best summary of the important issues relating to WWII I've ever read. Best dissection of the forces/incentives that drive public intellectuals.
No leftist intellectual's belief system will survive an honest, curious reading of this book.
On par to past social media junkets of mainstream, profound and right on point!
I'll need to listen again for clarity.
Does an excellent job of exposing how intellectuals function on plane they imagine to be higher to that on which ordinary people function. Author exposes how intellectuals employ verbal virtuosity to win arguments that nonetheless lack grounding in evidence or even common sense.
My favorite philosopher: always an expanding experience.
I have to ask myself if the people who left extremely critical reviews, actually read / listen to the whole book? Doubt it. I found this book packed with ideas that had never dawned on me before. This book made it clear to me why so many "so called" intellectuals of today are so far out of touch with the normal and often times lacking all common sense. Thomas Sowell is a consumate intellectual and he wrote one heck of a fine book. The ONLY reason that I did not give this book a five is due to the naration. There's so much information that you want to capture and digest, however (in my opinion) the narrator spoke far too fast at times. I think that I would have enjoyed this book a lot more with a different narrator. Highly recommended.