• Intellectuals and Race

  • By: Thomas Sowell
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (2,061 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Intellectuals and Race is a radical book in the original sense - one that goes to the root of the problem. The role of intellectuals in racial strife is explored in an international context that puts the American experience in a wholly new light.

Intellectuals have played a major role in racial issues throughout the centuries. Though their individual views may differ, as a whole their views tend to group, and just over the course of the twentieth century, they have shifted from one end of the spectrum to the other. Surprisingly, these radically different views of race were held by intellectuals whose views on other issues were often very similar.

Intellectuals and Race is not, however, a book about history, even though it has much historical evidence, as well as demographic, geographic, and economic evidence - all of it directed toward testing the underlying assumptions about race that have prevailed at times among intellectuals in general, and especially at their highest levels.

Nor is this simply a theoretical exercise. Sowell’s ultimate concern is the impact of intellectual movements on the larger society, both past and present. These ideas and crusades have ranged widely from racial theories of intelligence to eugenics to “social justice” and multiculturalism.

In addition to in-depth examinations of these and other issues, Intellectuals and Race explores the incentives, the visions, and the rationales that drive intellectuals at the highest levels to conclusions that have often turned out to be counterproductive and even disastrous, not only for particular racial or ethnic groups but for societies as a whole.

©2013 Thomas Sowell (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Sowell brings an all-too-rare perspective to whatever he writes about - that of a conservative black intellectual, especially valuable for this book’s topic." ( Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

What listeners say about Intellectuals and Race

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Simply superb

Would you listen to Intellectuals and Race again? Why?

Yes. It is an excellent book with a lot of information. Robertson Dean did an excellent job of narration.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Viewing history from an economic perspective is absolutely fascinating. Personally, I have had a sporadic interest in history as a matter of race. Consequently, this book took a lot of I had learned in a sporadic fashion and bound it in a deeper context.

What does Robertson Dean bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I don't know. I just like Robertson's voice. I think that is partly because he and Sowell each have deep voices so it is more like hearing Sowell talk, though the rhythm of their speech is drastically different.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I don't know and I don't know why this question is asked.

Any additional comments?

This book is an expansion of some information from Sowell's Intellectuals and Society. I highly recommend each.

20 people found this helpful

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A Satisfying Indictment of the Intelligentsia

Reading Thomas Sowell is like taking the red pill. Decades of thorough research has allowed him to offer readers an international and historical lens through which they might view contemporary issues, and it is truly eye-opening. This book focuses primarily on intellectuals/the intelligentsia and their role in shaping their respective societies' understanding (or, more appropriately, misunderstanding) of the various intergroup issues that they face. In a world where facts matter, his unflinching and often tragically humorous characterization of the intelligentsia, whose truth-be-damned rhetorical and ideological pieties have throughout history and in various places around the world led to devastating real world consequences, is painfully necessary. I must admit that I wryly enjoy his characterization of intellectuals as (and I may be paraphrasing slightly) pseudo-enlightened academics and educated folk who make everything a matter of social justice so that they may position themselves as warriors fighting on the side of the angels against the forces of evil in their own grandiose moral melodramas.

Indeed, in a world where facts matter, it's refreshing to have a man of good character who has always throughout an incredible career been dedicated to honest empiricism and rational analysis. That he is one of only a few makes reading his work as saddening as it is invigorating.

19 people found this helpful

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An Important Reflection

Unfortunately there are not enough honest scholars (intelectuals) thinking systematically, investigating and writing about this topic. Thomas Sowell is one of the few. He does a brilliant job bringing some much needed light to a very important subject.

18 people found this helpful

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Jam-packed with perspective and reason

Any additional comments?

Thomas Sowell brings a calm intellect and perspective to a problem born of ignorance. A must read for anyone--left or right--engaged or interested in today's racial politics or social history.

17 people found this helpful

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Excellent Book!

Dr. Sowell deserves the Nobel Prize in Everything! This book explodes the myths surrounding our discourse about race.

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Thomas Sowell books in Audible Plus Catalog!

Most of the audio books by Thomas Sowell are now in the Audible Plus Catalog. Dr. Sowell, a PhD economist and former newspaper columnist, is a national treasure who comments on topics as diverse as economics to racial issues to school choice to late talking children. Anything he publishes is well worth reading. He may well be the most intelligent person in the US. He has both common sense and uncommon sense. He is now 91 years old.

Intellectuals and Race is based on research from many countries over a long period of time. It is among Sowell's best books although it is less than 6 hours in length. Although he qualifies as an intellectual himself Sowell tends to be very critical of public intellectuals. This book and all of his books have my recommendation. I do not plan to write reviews of all of Dr. Sowell's books (I have already written reviews on some in the past). I have recently listened to Compassion Versus Guilt (a compilation of his newspaper columns on the topic from the 1980s) and A Conflict of Visions (a remarkable comparison of constrained and unconstrained political/economic thought).

Actor Robertson Dean narrates Intellectuals and Race superbly

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Preaching to the choir

Chances are that if you have bought this book you already have a leaning or whole hearted support to the other side of the prevailing argument. The books reiterates with facts what we already knew in our hearts and minds to be the truth and injustice. The narrator made it extremely hard to focus and even retain the much needed facts with the monotonous voice job. A 2nd listening might drive in the facts home. I was delighted that the book covers not only US but also touches on other countries too.

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A well researched and presented...

A well researched and presented book on the treatment and ideology of race and intellectuals. Sowell discusses "the elephant in the room" that some intellectuals will neither discuss nor acknowledge.

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Fantastic!

Very informative and eye opening. Thomas Sowell continues to show his brilliance and desire to spread the truth in this wonderful work.

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Outstanding information!

What did you love best about Intellectuals and Race?

Full of informative with an interesting narrative.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

There are so many aspects of this book that I found compelling it's hard to narrow it down. I did particularly like history around the turn of the century. How eugenics played a roll in the race was eye opening.

Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have note, but I really enjoyed his narration. He made it easy to listen to and I might seek out other narrations of his. (When I have gotten through the amount of books I presently have in my library.

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this book, Sowell is an excellent written and economist. It will make you rethink who did what to our citizens.

4 people found this helpful

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  • English Teacher
  • 08-21-21

Perfect Measured Analysis

Beautifully argued, beautifully written, and beautifully read. Thomas Sowell is fast becoming one of my favourite commentators.

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  • Mr. H
  • 02-15-22

Thought-provoking and enlightening

Dr. Sowell is always interesting and this is no exception. It's an honest and challenging discussion of race issues that are 20 times MORE current now than when this was written.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-23-21

Amazing bravo

Wish I knew about, Thomas when I was younger this should be known more worldwide.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-22-21

An in depth account of a false dichotomy.

This book explores the relationship between the two main intellectual ideas that have determined the actions of the intellegencia in relation to social policy. It outlines the false dichotomy between ideas of genetic predisposition and critical race theory. Further it uses the empirical method to find some of the root causes of the "inequality" we are dealing with today and suggests a different path, one not rooted in division and racism of any kind.

A great work.

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  • HollyL
  • 07-13-20

Perspective.

Narrator excellent.
Audio quality Excellent.
Content Excellent.

As usual, Sowell brings sense to the issue.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-07-20

Great read

Great read, really opened my eyes to the way society functions and the hypocrisies that live within it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • zimalu
  • 07-16-22

Brilliant

Another gem of a book by the author who continues to be ignored by the mainstream press and third rate academics

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  • Joshua Manuel-Oni
  • 11-01-18

Review later

Good book, will leave a better review later, when I've let it settled in properly

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  • Chazza
  • 04-13-17

Read this book!

This book opened my eyes to so much of what is presented to us through contemporary media.

A fantastic alternative perspective. Full of useful terminology.

Clear and concise.

TEAD THIS BOOK!

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  • Hank
  • 07-25-18

"social justice" dogma critiqued

Great material again from Dr Sowell. Lots to digest again. You probably have listen to it more than once (again) because insights pervade probably every page in the book. Previously listened to " black rednecks and white liberals" (highly recommended) and there's some overlapping content in here, but he takes a step back from manifest liberal dogma into the sphere of intelligentsia where much of that dogma has been/was/is being propagated and sometimes invented and initiated. You might think twice now about doing that social science degree. Highly recommend.

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  • Siren
  • 08-05-22

The epigenetic affect

The most enjoyable part of this book for me was the relatively short discussion about the comparisons between WW2 soldier's children living in Germany verses growing up in America. Discussing disparities in the data between American heritage blacks raised in Germany verses raised in "black subculture" in America. Fascinating statistics presented on the epigenetic affect on groups of people.

The statistics on "what wealth bracket" the parents of black students who receive scholarships fall under. Ie, how many scholarships to pull poor blacks out of poverty are going to poor black students verses rich black families. Are the Intellectuals programs "working" to fix anything or is it just a somewhat form of virtue signalling by the intellectual elite. Also how much the mismatching of racial preferences causes massive problems to black students. Absolutely fascinating.

Great book. The reader has a similar kind of vocal tone to Sowell himself so it's a nice listen if you buy the audiobook. No need for a high-end academic vocabulary. The wording is meant for a general-ish audience so can be read/listened to by a mainstream audience.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-04-22

What a book!!!!!

The book is well worth a read/listen. It is a exceptionally great read and demonstrates the complex multifaceted problem that is intelligence and race.

While it shouldn't matter but unfortunately it does in 2022, the fact that a black man has come out against the narrative pushed by race intellectuals is refreshing.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-13-22

A baseline of reason

How can one man be a master of so much knowledge. Intellectuals and Race covers one of the most important topics of our generation without relying on emotion but rather with reason that is supported by clear and verifiable evidence.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-09-22

Thoughtful and thought provoking

As always, Thomas Sowell provides an in depth analysis of race issues and how they have been shaped by the elites of the day. Well worth it even if you already have his Intellectuals and Society

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  • Rosemary Lee
  • 11-26-21

The foremost U.S. intellectual

if you aren't au fait with the complete works of Thomas Sowell, 91 this year, you know nothing of the USA or the world.

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  • Roberto
  • 11-16-21

A must read for the current times

A clear, logical account detailing the impact on society of uncritically following 'intellectuals'. Sowel, calls for evidence in relation to the claimed causes of inequality, and importantly, evidence for the effectiveness of 'cures' proposed for them. He warns us that the intellectual heralds of these cures seldom pay the consequences of their application. In fact, based on historical evidence, often it is those whom the cures are meant to help that end up the most disadvantaged. A must listen if you really want to assist your community.

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  • Nathan
  • 11-02-21

MUST LISTEN!

Finally a prominent black intellectual tackles this messy subject with a level of nuance that no one else could have possibly matched. This should be a compulsory read for all the politically deranged middle upper class white kids and academics in the ivory tower who claim to morally superior because despite their regressive views.

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  • Michael R. Skinner
  • 07-26-21

Should be a mandated school text book

An excellent book on the woes of modern “intellectualism”. Should be a mandatory text in all schools & universities in the Western World.