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Publisher's Summary

Thomas Sowell takes a tough, factual look at whether the civil rights movement has lived up to its hopes or its rhetoric. In the decades since the historic Supreme Court decision on desegregation, who has gained and who has lost? Which of the assumptions behind the civil rights revolution have stood the test of time, and which have proven to be mistaken or even catastrophic to those who were supposed to be helped?

Armed with vast statistical research, Sowell deftly refutes the key assumptions on which the civil rights movement was erected - "that discrimination leads to poverty and other adverse social consequences and...that adverse statistical disparities imply discrimination." He surgically probes the fundamental racial issues, including affirmative action and busing, as well as women's issues, including the Equal Rights Amendment.

Rights and wrongs: listen to more of our titles about the civil rights movement.
©1984 Thomas Sowell (P)1988 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A brutally frank, perceptive, and important contribution to the national debate over the means to achieve equality and social justice for minorities and women." (New York Times)

What listeners say about Civil Rights

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Sowell is excellent as usual.

Emotions are very handy for alerting us when there might be a problem. Emotions are almost never of any value in formulating a solution. That is when facts and logic and rational behavior need to be incorporated in a true cost/benefit analysis if we hope to make any real progress.

Unfortunately, we humans are emotional, lazy and ego driven creatures and like water, naturally seek the path of least resistance to a feeling of satisfying self-righteousness.

In this age of quasi-religious social justice fervor, when even considering an alternative to the prevailing narrative is unforgivable apostasy, I'm not optimistic, ... but if a hope exists, it is exactly the well supported reason exemplified in Sowell's writing.

This book in particular is a wealth of incontrovertible talking points presented more succinctly than in many of his other books.

Everyone who cares about the suffering of others, in any society, and genuinely seeks relief and remedy, needs to read this book.

5 people found this helpful

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Thomas Sowell is the is the Vision of the US

Thomas Sowell is the greatest living Social Scientist. Another amazing book. Civil rights is equal opportunity,not a promise of equal results

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Unassailable Logic

Thomas Sowell is a national treasure.
His reasoning is compelling. The perversion of civil rights by the progressive left has had devastating consequences on the very groups most in need. This is a national disgrace, and all honest and compassionate people will fight to restore the intention of these laws in our communities, states, and country.

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as always, amazing

Sowell is brilliant and offers his usual brand of logic and facial perceptions for the reader/listener

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A prophecy!

honestly the words that Thomas wrote in 1984 could not have been any more true than than they are today in. the policies and ideology that he warned us about back then had become a foothold in today's society that is tearing the moral fabric apart in America. it's a shame that this book wasn't read by more people back then so that we may have spared ourselves the travesties that we do see still today.

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Civil rights

To fully understand the civil rights issue you must learn of it through the mind of an African American. The fact that he happens to be one of the most intelligent in our Republic is a pleasant bonus. The only way this book would have been better is if Dr Sowell himself had read it!

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You will not learn this in school.......

That statement is not true if Prof. Sowell is your instructor. This is a novel that really gets one to think. One must really listen to what is said & not. This novel is written with love & pain. Many will knock this novel and refuse to listen; please do not be one of them.

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Another excellent Sowell book!

Thomas Sowell had back in the 80’s too! I love his by the facts approach and his in-depth style of writing. I had some initial misgivings about the relevance because of when this book was written but if he didn’t use so many dates I would have thought it was written last year. You can tell it was written by a younger Sowell if you’ve read a lot of his books but only because there’s a difference in the way it is written and maybe the reader’s voice.

The only thing I would add is a new forward or companion book that compared our current situation to the situation he writes about.

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Facts for today

Thomas Sowell once again cuts through the assumptions and myths with cold, hard facts. As we, many times, see things through our modern, American bubble, most of the time, our situations have existed before in many other cultures.

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  • AK
  • 04-08-20

Required Reading

I first saw Thomas Sowell on Milton Freeman’s PBS series that is currently on Amazon Prime. What an eye opening book. This will challenge your previous understanding of the law. This should be required reading. This is some brilliant writing.

1 person found this helpful