Intellectuals and Society

Intellectuals and Society

by Thomas Sowell

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Overview

Thomas Sowell's classic book on the influence of modern intellectuals
The influence of intellectuals is not only greater than in previous eras but also takes a very different form from that envisioned by those like Machiavelli and others who have wanted to directly influence rulers. It has not been by shaping the opinions or directing the actions of the holders of power that modern intellectuals have most influenced the course of events, but by shaping public opinion in ways that affect the actions of power holders in democratic societies, whether or not those power holders accept the general vision or the particular policies favored by intellectuals. Even government leaders with disdain or contempt for intellectuals have had to bend to the climate of opinion shaped by those intellectuals.
Intellectuals and Society not only examines the track record of intellectuals in the things they have advocated but also analyzes the incentives and constraints under which their views and visions have emerged. One of the most surprising aspects of this study is how often intellectuals have been proved not only wrong, but grossly and disastrously wrong in their prescriptions for the ills of society--and how little their views have changed in response to empirical evidence of the disasters entailed by those views.
This much revised and reorganized edition of Intellectuals and Society is more than half again larger than the first edition. Four new chapters have been added on intellectuals and race, including a chapter on race and intelligence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465031108
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 03/06/2012
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 600
Sales rank: 983,620
File size: 820 KB

About the Author

Thomas Sowell is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of dozens of books and the recipient of various awards, including the National Humanities Medal, presented by the President of the United States in 2003.

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Intellectuals and Society 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Online_Adjunct More than 1 year ago
This has become my new favorite book. Dr. Sowell is a first-rate intellectual, so he knows what he is talking about when criticizing the intellectual establishment for applying logic to untested and unwise assumptions to reach dangerous conclusions which it sells to the public and to politicians. Particularly interesting is his criticism of attitudes of the progressives on races which switched radically to certain minorities being genetically inferior at the beginning of the twentieth century to being victims who have no responsibility for the consequences of their actions and their culture today. I am recommending this book to friends, relatives and anyone else who wants to understand the source of many of the current economic and political problems.
BullwinkleNC More than 1 year ago
Dr. Sowell makes understanding many important economic topics and other complex issues so easy to understand. He is an easy read on complex technical topics if your concentrate and think about what he is saying! This book is must for my library and was just updated. I read and studied a few issues so far. His communication is about serious and complex important issues for our country. He, however, presents these in an easy to read, follow, and understand manner, with great flow. He also relates and ties everything in making easy to follow and understand. This book is a great addition to my library. It is an excellent reference book on many serious topics. I highly recommend this book and others, such as Economic Facts and Fallacies and Ever Wonder Why. Highly recommended
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ties in well how and why both major political parties have become dominated by their wings and not their centrists. For those interested, I recommend Brion McClanahan's "Founders' Guide to the Constitution" & my own "The Albany Plan Re-Visited".
avidreader73 More than 1 year ago
Absolutely brilliant. Thomas Sowell is one of the greatest minds of this age. This and all of his other books are a must read!
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