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Adriana

Manchester, CT, United States | Member Since 2009

17
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 1 reviews
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  • 40 titles in library
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  • Intellectuals and Society

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (331)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (165)

    This is a study of how intellectuals as a class affect modern societies by shaping the climate of opinion in which official policies develop, on issues ranging from economics to law to war and peace. You will hear a withering and clear-eyed critique about (but not for) intellectuals that explores their impact on public opinion, policy, and society at large.

    Gare&Sophia says: "An efficient attack on liberal philosophy."
    "Silly me"
    Overall

    Before I downloaded this book I read reviews from readers and thought they were biased. It should have been a clue that the only good reviews came from people that actually felt inspired to "look up words" as a result of this book.

    I wish I could say something good about it. Maybe, maybe, his analysis of the pre-war France has some redeeming value, but you can get that somewhere else without having to suffer through the rest of the book.

    The rest of the book is a long rant against 'the anointed," which would be all the leftist intellectuals that he does not agree with. He makes generalized assertions about what other people think and believe, why they believe it, without any supporting evidence. He talks at length about misinformation and evidence that is being ignored, forgetting to present much more than generalized ball-park statistics you'd get on Wikipedia. There was one instance of 'evidence' he presented in his book to show how the intellectuals misinform the public: he actually used national averages of crime rates to dismiss arguments based on local averages of crime rates. Hello, statistics 101: you can't do that! It's apples and oranges.

    Anyone with a college degree would be one of the anointed and very dangerous to all living things. Slavery, racism, domestic violence, the horrors of the Vietnam war (yes, he argues that the war should have been fought until victory was achieved, whatever that meant, and victory was possible - sound familiar?), poverty, all that are merely inventions of the anointed. They were not all that bad!

    It's rediculous that he does not even bother (probably because he has no clue) with the empirical branches of the disciplines he disparages. The validation of their theories do come from actual empirical evidence, which I wished the author knew how to interpret. I suppose theoretical physics and mathematics is similarly useless per his definition.

    17 of 35 people found this review helpful

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