INTELLECTUALS AND SOCIETY REVISED AND EXPANDED EDITION

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Intellectuals And Society

Author : Thomas Sowell
ISBN : 9780465031108
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 49.83 MB
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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.
Category: Political Science

Intellectuals And Race

Author : Thomas Sowell
ISBN : 9780465058723
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 79.25 MB
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Intellectuals and Race is a radical book in the original sense of 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. The views of individual intellectuals have spanned the spectrum, but the views of intellectuals as a whole have tended to cluster. Indeed, these views have clustered at one end of the spectrum in the early twentieth century and then clustered at the opposite end of the spectrum in the late twentieth century. Moreover, these radically different views of race in these two eras were held by intellectuals whose views on other issues were very similar in both eras. Intellectuals and Race is not, however, a book about history, even though it has much historical evidence, as well as demographic, geographic, economic and statistical evidence-- all of it directed toward testing the underlying assumptions about race that have prevailed at times among intellectuals in general, and especially intellectuals at the highest levels. Nor is this simply a theoretical exercise. The impact of intellectuals' ideas and crusades on the larger society, both past and present, is the ultimate concern. 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.
Category: Political Science

The Housing Boom And Bust

Author : Thomas Sowell
ISBN : 9781459609310
Genre :
File Size : 87.16 MB
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Scary headlines and scarier statistics tell the story of a financial crisis on a scale not seen in decades - certainly not within the lifetime of most Americans. Moreover, this is a worldwide financial crisis. Financial institutions on both sides of the Atlantic have either collapsed or have been saved from collapse by government bailouts, as a result of buying securities based on American housing values that eroded or evaporated.Now completely revised in paperback, The Housing Boom and Bust is designed to unravel the tangled threads of that story. It also attempts to determine whether what is being done to deal with the problem is more likely to make things better or worse.
Category:

A Conflict Of Visions

Author : Thomas Sowell
ISBN : 9780465004669
Genre : History
File Size : 79.87 MB
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In this classic work, Thomas Sowell analyzes the two competing visions that shape our debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality, and power: the "constrained” vision, which sees human nature as unchanging and selfish, and the "unconstrained” vision, in which human nature is malleable and perfectible. He describes how these two radically opposed views have manifested themselves in the political controversies of the past two centuries, including such contemporary issues as welfare reform, social justice, and crime. Updated to include sweeping political changes since its first publication in 1987, this revised edition of A Conflict of Visions offers a convincing case that ethical and policy disputes circle around the disparity between both outlooks.
Category: History

Wealth Poverty And Politics

Author : Thomas Sowell
ISBN : 9780465096770
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 52.84 MB
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In Wealth, Poverty, and Politics, Thomas Sowell, one of the foremost conservative public intellectuals in this country, argues that political and ideological struggles have led to dangerous confusion about income inequality in America. Pundits and politically motivated economists trumpet ambiguous statistics and sensational theories while ignoring the true determinant of income inequality: the production of wealth. We cannot properly understand inequality if we focus exclusively on the distribution of wealth and ignore wealth production factors such as geography, demography, and culture. Sowell contends that liberals have a particular interest in misreading the data and chastises them for using income inequality as an argument for the welfare state. Refuting Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman, and others on the left, Sowell draws on accurate empirical data to show that the inequality is not nearly as extreme or sensational as we have been led to believe. Transcending partisanship through a careful examination of data, Wealth, Poverty, and Politics reveals the truth about the most explosive political issue of our time.
Category: Political Science

Economic Facts And Fallacies

Author : Thomas Sowell
ISBN : 9780465026302
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 72.31 MB
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Economic Facts and Fallacies exposes some of the most popular fallacies about economic issues-and does so in a lively manner and without requiring any prior knowledge of economics by the reader. These include many beliefs widely disseminated in the media and by politicians, such as mistaken ideas about urban problems, income differences, male-female economic differences, as well as economics fallacies about academia, about race, and about Third World countries. One of the themes of Economic Facts and Fallacies is that fallacies are not simply crazy ideas but in fact have a certain plausibility that gives them their staying power-and makes careful examination of their flaws both necessary and important, as well as sometimes humorous. Written in the easy-to-follow style of the author's Basic Economics, this latest book is able to go into greater depth, with real world examples, on specific issues.
Category: Business & Economics

Eric Hoffer

Author : Tom Bethell
ISBN : 9780817914165
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 61.31 MB
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Drawn from Eric Hoffer's private papers as well as interviews with those who knew him, this detailed biography paints a picture of a truly original American thinker and writer. Author Tom Bethell interviewed Hoffer in the years just before his death, and his meticulous accounts of those meetings offer new insights into the man known as the "Longshoreman Philosopher."
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Thomas Sowell Reader

Author : Thomas Sowell
ISBN : 9780465022502
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 80.94 MB
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Selections from the writings of Thomas Sowell over a half century cover social, economic, cultural, legal, educational, and political issues, ranging from late-talking children to tax cuts, baseball, race, war, medical care, and the rhetoric of politicians.
Category: Political Science

Collective Choice And Social Welfare

Author : Amartya Sen
ISBN : 9780241244609
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 82.94 MB
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Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen's first great book, now reissued in a fully revised and expanded second edition 'Can the values which individual members of society attach to different alternatives be aggregated into values for society as a whole, in a way that is both fair and theoretically sound? Is the majority principle a workable rule for making decisions? How should income inequality be measured? When and how can we compare the distribution of welfare in different societies?' These questions, from the citation by the Swedish Academy of Sciences when Amartya Sen was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, refer to his work in Collective Choice and Social Welfare, the most important of all his early books. Originally published in 1970, this classic work in welfare economics has been recognized for its ground-breaking role in integrating economics and ethics, and for its influence in opening up new areas of research in social choice, including aggregative assessment. It has also had a large influence on international organizations, including the United Nations, particularly in its work on human development. In its original version, the book showed that the 'impossibility theorems' in social choice theory-led by the pioneering work of Kenneth Arrow-need not be seen as destructive of the possibility of reasoned and democratic social choice. Sen's ideas about social choice, welfare economics, inequality, poverty and human rights have continued to evolve since the book's first appearance. This expanded edition, which begins by reproducing the 1970 edition in its entirety, goes on to present eleven new chapters of new arguments and results. As in the original version, the new chapters alternate between non-mathematical chapters completely accessible to all, and those which present mathematical arguments and proofs. The reader who prefers to shun mathematics can follow all the non-mathematical chapters on their own, to receive a full, informal understanding. There is also a substantial new introduction which gives a superb overview of the whole subject of social choice.
Category: Political Science

Shame And Glory Of The Intellectuals

Author : Peter Viereck
ISBN : 9781351491013
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 81.74 MB
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In this classic volume, written at the height of the Cold War, with a new preface of 2006, Peter Viereck, one of the foremost intellectual spokesmen of modern conservatism, examines the differing responses of American and European intellectuals to the twin threats of Nazism and Soviet communism. In so doing, he seeks to formulate a humanistic conservatism with which to counter the danger of totalitarian thought in the areas of politics, ethics, and art.The glory of the intellectuals was the firm moral stance they took against Nazism at a time when appeasement was the preferred path of many politicians; their shame lay in their failure to recognize the brutality of Stalinism to the extent of becoming apologists for or accomplices of its tyranny. In Viereck's view, this failure is rooted in an abandonment of humane values that he sees as a legacy of nineteenth-century romanticism and certain strands of modernist thought and aesthetics.Among his targets are literary obscurantism as personified by Ezra Pound, the academicization of literary culture, the rigidity of adversarial avant-gardism, and the failure of many writers and cultural institutions to conserve the very heritage their political freedom and security depend on. Viereck represents their attitude in a series of satirical dialogues with Gaylord Babbitt, son of Sinclair Lewis' embodiment of conservative philistinism. Babbitt Junior is as unreflective as his father, but the objects of his credulity are the received ideas of liberal progressivism and avant-garde mandarinism. Ultimately, Viereck's critique stands as a timely rebuke to the extremism of both left and right.
Category: Political Science