Thomas Sowell is one of America’s leading voices on matters of race and ethnicity.....
Most commentators look at the issue of immigration from the viewpoint of immediate politics....
This book is about the great moral issues underlying many of the headline-making political controversies of our times....
This reissue of Thomas Sowell’s classic study of decision making, which includes a preface by the author, updates his seminal work in the context of The Vision of the Anointed....
An empirical study in which “politically correct” theory is repeatedly confronted with fact....
In this book, which the author calls a "culmination of 30 years of work in the history of ideas", Sowell attempts to explain the ideological difference between liberals and conservatives....
Marxism is a term that many people freely use, but few seem to grasp its implications. Sowell's book is the antidote to this problem....
This explosive new audiobook challenges many of the long-held assumptions about blacks, about Jews, about Germans and Nazis, about slavery, and about education....
The role of intellectuals in racial strife is here explored in an international context that puts the American experience in a wholly new light....
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,,,,
These selections from the many writings of Thomas Sowell over a period of half a century cover social, economic, cultural, legal, educational, and political issues....
The underlying concern of these essays is about what these very different kinds of cases say about the general direction of American society....
One of the foremost conservative public intellectuals in the country argues that political and ideological struggles have led to dangerous confusion about income inequality....
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....
Applied Economics is an accessible guide to how our economic decisions develop....
Economic Facts and Fallacies is designed for people who want to understand economic issues without getting bogged down in economic jargon, graphs, or political rhetoric....
The Art of the Argument shocks the dying art of rational debate back to life, giving you the essential tools you need to fight the escalating sophistry....
This book is the culmination of 15 years of research and travels that have taken the author completely around the world twice. Its purpose has been to try to understand the role of cultural differences within nations and between nations, today and over the centuries of history, in shaping the economic and social fates of peoples and of whole civilizations. Focusing on four major cultural areas—that of the British, the Africans (including the African Diaspora), the Slavs of Eastern Europe, and the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere—Conquests and Cultures reveals patterns that encompass not only these people but others and helps explain the role of cultural evolution in economic, social, and political development.
Thomas Sowell has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst, and other academic institutions, and his Basic Economics has been translated into six languages. He is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has been published in both academic journals and such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine, and Fortune, and he writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country.
This is the third and last volume in Thomas Sowell's "Cultures" trilogy ("Race and Culture" and "Migrations and Culture" precede it). It is every bit as cogent and well-argued as the first two books - indeed, as every book Sowell has written.
I suggest reading (or listening to: the reader has a baritone similar to Sowell's, not quite James Earl Jones, but in that territory) the whole trilogy; when you've done that, I promise you Sowell's explanations of human cultural history will make sense to you on a gut level like (probably) no history you learned in school ever did.
Sowell has an unsurpassed knack for explaning complex topics in simple, lucid terms; he doesn't obfuscate with jargon or rhetorical sleights-of-hand as do writers won't don't actually have a full grasp of their topics but want to appear smart. There is just no honest way to come away from reading (or listening to) this writer's books and not be convinced that he has mastered his topic and helped clarify your own understanding of it. This should be refreshing to anyone who's had to suffer through the likes of Michel Foucault and his ilk - people who write outrageously complicated nonsense about simple things. Sowell is the opposite of such writers: he writes clearly, lucidly and honestly about complex topics.
Check him out.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful
Though I have minor issues with Sowell's writing style and organization, which prevent me from giving this five stars, I nonetheless would put this on anyone's "must listen" list.
This book is loaded with facts and figures, often coming rapid-fire, but it never becomes boring in the least. Overall the experience is revelatory -- I'd even go so far as to say life-changing. My world-view will never be quite the same.
Very minor irritation: not infrequently Dean mis-reads the text -- e.g. giving dates that are exactly one century off, confusing WW1 with WW2, etc. It's possible these are typos in the original text but I doubt it. He also over-enunciates almost everything. He's a perfectly adequate reader, but not one of my favorites.
But forget I ever said these things and listen: you won't regret it.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
Sowell, the acknowledged modern master of cultural analysis, cranks off the conclusion to a trilogy thirty years in the making, and thousands of years in scope. Yet he is talking about you.
How did we get to be the people we are, in anything beyond an individual sense? This work examines the history of events in cultural development in a thoroughly engaging fashion by teasing out the geographic, economic, technologic and other factors which produce not only outcomes, but the events themselves. It is one thing to know why a faction won a battle. It is another entirely to know why that battle occurred in the first place, and still another to responsibly draw causal chains between outcomes and following events.
Why did European trade ships sail past resource-rich Africa to reach less-blessed shores at greater expense and risk? Because sub-Saharan Africa has few natural harbors or navigable rivers for trade, and a physical environment hostile to outsiders. Using the technology of the day, Africa might as well have been the moon. Only items with a spectacular value to weight ratio made it out of Africa for trade, *or in for development*. Exporting cotton or wheat from Africa was out, while gold and slaves were profitable.
Why did the magnificent Inca and predecessor empires remain isolated without trade or travel to speak of? They had the wheel and axle, and used it for children's toys, but they had no draft animals which would have made wheeled transport a productive pursuit. This is part of what doomed them to a rising and falling succcession of independent states, which were more easily picked off than might otherwise have been, both by other Mesoamerican cultures and the eventual arrival of the Europeans.
Why did the people of the British Isles not prosper as the Romans departed? Or for that matter why is this true of *most* post-colonial or post-empire localities? If colonialism is so bad, why do thing fall apart when it ends?
This book proposes and defends answers to questions such as these. If the all-too comfortable answers offered by those with an axe to grind leave you with an uneasy feeling that there is more to the story than is commonly admitted to, then this book is for you. We cannot know who we are without knowing who we were, and more pointedly, whom we were not. We cannot reasonably assess or correct problems in modern society without knowing what our society is, and what it is not.
This book is to culture what Sagan's COSMOS was for the hard sciences. Enlightening, inspiring, authoritative, and a crackling good listen. BUY THIS AUDIOBOOK. I have listened through three times now. There will be more. I am so-o-o-o getting my money's worth out of this.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I didn't realise it when I bought it that this was the third in a trilogy however it stood up to being read as an individual book. His insights were most illuminating and once pointed out its difficult not to think that they are so obvious as to be common sense and why hadn't I thought of it myself.
The conclusion which was the conclusion to all three books ran for 90 mins or more. I found it so interesting and informative that I listened to it twice. I didn't want to misunderstand or forget what was said. A very enlightening piece of research and writing.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I loved this topic and the information provided was superior. I found the content to be well-researched and the flow of the information was very smooth. The historical content explained a lot of things about how different cultures affected others and interacted with others through exploration and conquests.
I did, however, feel that because this book is packed with details and facts, I had to rewind sections to relisten to them if I became distracted by something or if a stray thought popped into my mind. As much as I enjoyed this, I think it would have been better to have read the print version instead of the audiobook.
Regardless of the media you choose, this book is highly insightful and worth reading if you're interested in world history, cultural interactions or world conquests. I'm recommending it to my friends!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The author has put together facts and observations from so many times and places in human history. He has discerned fascinating patterns and painted an enlightening picture to share with us, listeners. If you like to learn about the history of the human race then do not miss this book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
It's one of the best audible books I've listened too. The narration takes you not just through human history but explains how the same patterns show up no matter the country, the era or the culture. It's the story if the "to have and have not" spanning cultures overlapping one another by war, colonization or even by marriages. this book is addictive from start to finish
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Conquests and Cultures again? Why?
I intend to listen to this book again because it is difficult to absorb all of the wisdom he imparts in one sitting even though he is a master of explaining very difficult concepts in simple terms.
What other book might you compare Conquests and Cultures to and why?
Civilization - the West and the Rest
Which character – as performed by Robertson Dean – was your favorite?
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I did not find it moving - I had very little emotional response to it - but I found the explanations of the early cultures and how we got to where we are today from those points in history, very compelling.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
Worth the listening but keep your critical faculties in play.Sowell touts his hypothesis about the connection between "culture" and "entrepreneurship", which he seems to consider to be the high point of human achievement, yet leaves glaring holes in the historical narrative that he uses to support it. For example he blames the disappearance of the American Bison on Native Americans without a single mention of characters such as Buffalo Bill who were hired by the railroad corporation to slaughter the bison herds en masse, partly to feed their work crews and partly to rid themselves of a physical obstruction to the building and maintenance of the railroad itself. Another more puzzling omission is that of "The Canal Age", an 80 year span that was of great importance economically, in Sowell's account of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain.Sowell often derides the "cherry-picking" of authors with a different thesis than his own, while indulging in the same tactics himself.On the other hand, the reading is mellifluous and engaging plaudits to Robertson Dean.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful
Sowell is hands down one of the greatest minds of our time. Clear, concise and brilliantly explained
Brilliant, eye opening, fact driven, educational and enjoyable, oh Thomas Sowell, where would I be without you?!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful