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Thomas Sowell Books: 8 Must-Read Books From America’s Greatest Living Thinker

These eight brilliant books will help make you smarter on economics, social policy, race relations — and politics in general.

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Who Is Thomas Sowell?

Thomas Sowell might be the greatest political thinker of the past century. His brilliance has inspired countless others, including wunderkind Ben Shapiro. He’s been a regular on CSPAN for decades. His archives at Townhall are a treasure chest knowledge.

But in no place has Dr. Sowell shared more of his wisdom than in the world of books. Throughout the years he’s published well over 50 books, covering economics, social policy, and race relations. Reading all of them would be impractical, if not impossible. Which should you read? Here are our selections.

Discrimination and Disparities

What’s It About?

Economic inequality is a hot-button issue. Politicians from all sides of the political aisle shamelessly use it to peddle whatever their agenda happens to be. But what if the explanation isn’t discrimination? What if there are more innocent explanations? This is the big question Thomas Sowell addresses, and he does it with nothing more than the facts and reason.

Who Should Read It?

If you’re tired of dealing with those peddling agendas when it comes income disparity, this book is for you. Sowell brings you the information needed to quickly expose their claims as nonsense.


Black Rednecks and White Liberals

What’s It About?

Few people have the firsthand experience dealing with racial issues of Thomas Sowell. He was born in the south (North Carolina) in 1930, and lived there until the age of nine. From there, his family moved to Harlem, New York. Combine that firsthand civil rights experience with a brilliant mind, and you’ve got  one of the most important books ever written on race relations in America.

Who Should Read It?

Anyone with interest of race and culture issues owes it to themselves to read this book.The take-home point is that urban blacks (typically Democrats) and rural whites (typically Republicans) really aren’t so different after all. They both face many of the same problems — including white liberals.


Economic Facts and Fallacies

What’s It About?

There are a lot of widespread myths about economics. In Economic Facts And Fallacies, Dr. Sowell breaks down the biggest and the worst, including the now-infamous gender pay gap.

Who Should Read It?

If you’re looking for a rebuke of the most common economic talking points you see from the media and politicians, this book is right up your alley. It’s not as in-depth as some of Sowell’s other works, but it covers the most popular basic economics issues.


 

The Quest for Cosmic Justice

What’s It About?

All decent people agree that cosmic justice is a wonderful idea. But there are two big questions: can it even be achieved, and if it can, how? Dr. Sowell is not only skeptical that it’s achievable, he believes many attempts by the left to do so have been detrimental to society. In the Quest for Cosmic Justice, he explains why in convincing fashion.

Who Should Read It?

If you’re fascinated by the left’s obsession with social justice, and why so much of it ends up being unethical, this book makes for an excellent read. Dr. Sowell isn’t afraid of stating unpleasant truths.


The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy

What’s It About?

Leftists have taken over nearly all positions of power in society, from academia, to the arts, to the media. They’ve used these elite positions to anoint themselves the guardians of social policy, which they’ve built on a foundation of political correctness.

Who Should Read It?

If you’re not a fan of political correctness, this book will make for a fun read. Dr. Sowell pulls no punches.


Intellectuals and Society

What’s It About?

In Intellectuals and Society, Sowell puts forward the idea that modern intellectuals hold greater power than at any point in history. They’ve gained this power through their ability to influence the American people (through their dominance in science, television, and American education).

Who Should Read It?

If you’re someone who’s fascinated by the idea of the elites shaping society, this book is for you.


Knowledge And Decisions

What’s It About?

Decision making is what makes or breaks us all. Make the right decisions, and you rise to the top. Make the wrong ones, and you fall flat on your face. This simple truth holds true not only for the individual, but for entire economies. But what if economic decision making is placed in the hands of those without experience? Dr. Sowell believes it often is, and in Knowledge And Decisions he’ll explain the dire consequences, and more importantly, the merciful solutions to this problem.

Who Should Read It?

If you’ve ever wondered how a country full of smart people and blessed with so many resources as the U.S. could so often fall flat on its face, this book will help explain it all.


Conquests and Cultures – An International History

What’s It About?

There are obvious cultural differences throughout the world, sometimes within a country’s own borders. But why? That’s what Conquests And Cultures takes a look at. Dr. Sowell has traveled the world, an experience which he combines with his economic brilliance give you the best answers to that question.

Who Should Read It?

If you’re a big sociology and world culture buff, this is the Thomas Sowell book for you. Dr. Sowell will help you appreciate cultural differences just a little bit more.


The Best Thomas Sowell Books

There you have it. The best of the best from one of the greatest thinkers of modern times. I hope you found what you’re looking for.

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