In this devastating critique of the mindset behind the failed social policies of the past 30 years, Thomas Sowell sees what has happened not as a series of isolated mistakes, but as a logical consequence of a vision whose defects have led to disasters in education, crime, family disintegration, and more. This is an empirical study in which “politically correct” theory is repeatedly confronted with facts, and the sharp contradictions between the two are explained in terms of a set of self-congratulatory assumptions held by political and intellectual elites.
These elites - the anointed - often consider themselves “thinking people,” but this thinking is actually rhetorical assertion, followed by evasions of mounting evidence against these assertions. The vision of the anointed is seen not merely as a failure but as a fatal danger to the values and the future of American society.
©1995 Thomas Sowell (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“An important and incisive book.” (New York Times Book Review)
“As compelling an explanation as any for the seemingly disproportionate amount of condescension and politically correct invective that emanates from the liberal side of the political spectrum toward the conservative opposition.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Avid conservatives, for whom Sowell is a true-blue intellectual force, will certainly seize upon his analysis for succor.” (Booklist)
I'm an avid audiobook listener since 2007. I prefer non-fiction but I also branch out to fiction from time to time.
A masterpiece. If you ever wondered how the other side could be so consistently wrong, read this book and understand.
Love getting smarter everyday. Audible helps
The organization and logic of his ideas, observations and principles make Thomas Sowell the greatest proponent of freedom alive today. Many think he speaks of economics but he reveals the threats to freedom by the elitist in our government and other institutions.
Intellectuals and Society, by Thomas Sowell
This is the best book ever that explains the vision of the anointed class and the methods and vocabulary that they use to stymie their opponents without having to debate facts, or the consequences of their plans.
You must read/listen to this book!
Sowell's contribution to the understanding of politics is one of (a) boiling down the arguments of both sides of policy debates to their essential elements and then (b) reconciling those arguments to actual, subsequent effects of established government policy; i.e., was an actual government policy successful in producing the ex ante claimed-for results?
Such an exercise is necessary if one is to learn from history and to make informed choices going forward. One of Sowell's most valuable insights is to illustrate throughout the book how there are no government policy "solutions" to any societal problem (such as, say, income inequality). He argues--and illustrates with many concrete examples--that there are only tradeoffs. Government policies always benefit some individuals, but impose net costs to others. The "anointed", who tend to propose expanded government policies generally ignore those tradeoffs, preferring to call their proposals "solutions". They either don't understand that tradeoffs exist or else they are demagogues. The "benighted" are those of society's individuals who incur the costs of such policies, while the "anointed" generally benefit by enhancing personal power.
Sowell's is a brilliant piece of well-documented analysis. Whether you agree with Sowell or not, if you care about politics, you should read this book. It will enhance the sophistication and accuracy of your thinking.
The speaker is probably good. However the producers of this great book have compressed (speeded up the reading) to a very annoying, highly unnatural and way to rapid. It makes the reader seem frantic to finish it up. How could this have happened to an author like Sowell. Buy the book or wait for the audio redo.
I am one of the benighted, but thank God for Thomas Sowell. What wonderful insight into the foolish souls who claim the right to lead society.
... a must read...very Austrian and great.... a very exacting argument against socialism. I highly recommend it
The words of Thomas Sowell are unfolding right now and we are seeing this book apply to this current situation. Clear and rational discussion on self importance some place on their views and unfounded theory.
An honest and insightful analysis of the current trends of today, the latest fads and causes. Thomas Sowell explains the motivations of so-called anointed leadership, their motivations and the impact of their gains. A cautionary piece about the political parties, the resistance, and adjudication. Well read and a lot of fun!
I was drawn to the overall theme with which I agree. What I find in the text is a high degree of submission to established, legitimate authorities in the author's social group (right wing socialism), high levels of aggression on behalf of those authorities, and a high level of conventionalism. Thomas, please see Professor Altemeyer's book The Authoritarians. I guess I'll have to make due with Hayek's Road to Serfdom and Murray Rothbard's Great Depression. Sowell takes on too much to bore down into the details to understand how unfair and distorted his analysis is.
"the most important book you'll ever read"
every person interested in politics and social policy needs to read this. and if you are a progressive leftist you definitely need to read this
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