Say’s Law: An Historical Analysis

Say's Law: A Historical Analysis. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1972.

“Say’s Law–the idea that supply creates its own demand — has produced two major controversies in the history of economics…. This contribution by Thomas Sowell [is] surprisingly the first comprehensive and analytical coverage on the subject.”–Economic… More

Race and Economics

Race and Economics. David McKay Company Inc, Philadelphia, PA, 1975.

Excerpt: Race makes a difference, in economic transactions as in other areas of life. There has been a tendency to pass over this unpleasant fact, or else to deal with it in purely moral terms. It needs to be dealt with in cause-and-effect terms as well: How does the extent and the degree… More

Knowledge and Decisions

Knowledge and Decisions. Basic Books, New York, 1980.

Sowell, one of America’s most celebrated public intellectuals, describes in concrete detail how knowledge is shared and disseminated throughout modern society. He warns that society suffers from an ever-widening gap between firsthand knowledge and decision making — a gap that… More

Markets and Minorities

Markets and Minorities. Basic Books, New York, 1981.

Thomas Sowell demonstrates that many of the things we “know” about ethnicity and economic status are not so… Milton Friedman describes Markets and Minorities as a breath of fresh air on a topic which is often prejudiced by unreasoning emotion. Sowell’s book deserves to become a… More

Ethnic America: A History

Ethnic America: A History. Basic Books, New York, 1981.

This classic work by the distinguished economist traces the history of [eight] American ethnic groups — the Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians, Chinese, African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans. http://www.amazon.ca/Ethnic-America-History-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0465020755

The Economics and Politics of Race

The Economics and Politics of Race. William Morrow, New York, 1983.

In this landmark study, Dr. Thomas Sowell… uses an international framework to analyze group differences. Examining the experience of given groups in more than a dozen countries, he seeks to determine how much of each group’s economic fate has been due to the surrounding society and… More

Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?

Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? William Morrow, New York, 1984.

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!” wrote Sir Walter Scott. Thomas Sowell recalls this eloquent couplet as he retraces the tortuous path of civil rights legislation from equal opportunity to reverse discrimination. Along the way he overturns many… More

Marxism: Philosophy and Economics

Marxism: Philosophy and Economics. Quill, 1986.

Sowell leads the [reader] through the Marxian scheme of ideas, shattering some existing interpretations of Marx which have developed through repetition rather than through scholarship. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1986565.Marxism

Education: Assumptions Versus History

Education: Assumptions Versus History. Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, CA, 1986.

In the papers collected in Education: Assumptions Versus History, Thomas Sowell takes a hard look at the state of education in our schools and universities… In a well-reasoned and engaging style, Sowell discusses the controversies surrounding affirmative action, race and IQ, tuition… More

Compassion Versus Guilt and Other Essays

Compassion Versus Guilt and Other Essays. William Morrow, New York, 1987.

[Sowell] draws this collection of essays from his Scripps-Howard syndicated column and his contributions to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Sowell offers opinions on social and foreign policy, law, education, and race, criticizing the trend of… More

A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles

A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. William Morrow, New York, 1987.

Controversies in politics arise from many sources, but the conflicts that endure for generations or centuries show a remarkably consistent pattern. In this classic work, Thomas Sowell analyzes this pattern. He describes the two competing visions that shape our debates about the nature of… More

Preferential Policies: An International Perspective

Preferential Policies: An International Perspective, William Morrow, New York, 1990.

In this cogent, crucial, and vitally important book, economist Thomas Sowell examines on a global scale the preferential policies of governments as diverse as those of India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Israel, Malaysia, Nigeria, and the United States. By substituting fact for rhetoric,… More

Inside American Education: The Decline, The Deception, The Dogmas

Inside American Education: The Decline, The Deception, The Dogmas, The Free Press, New York, 1992.

Thomas Sowell argues that the educational establishment of the United States – a vast tax-supported empire existing quasi-independently within American society – is morally and intellectually bankrupt. He suggests in a top-to-bottom tour of the mismanaged institutions, cynical… More

Is Reality Optional?: And Other Essays

Is Reality Optional?: And Other Essays, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, CA, 1993.

Sowell challenges all the assumptions of contemporary liberalism on issues ranging from the economy to race to education in this collection of controversial essays, and captures his thoughts on politics, race, and common sense with a section at the end for thought-provoking quotes.… More

Race and Culture: A World View

Race and Culture: A World View, Basic Books, New York, 1995.

Thomas Sowell here gives an international perspective to themes from earlier works like Ethnic America and Markets and Minorities. Arguing that major economic and social differences between groups cannot be explained by environment, Sowell asserts that tenacious cultural differences are… More

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

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy. Basic Books, New York, 1996.

Sowell presents a devastating critique of the mind-set behind the failed social policies of the past thirty years [1966-1996]. Sowell sees what has happened during that time not as a series of isolated mistakes but as a logical consequence of a tainted vision whose defects have led to… More

Migrations and Cultures: A World View

Migrations and Cultures: A World View, Basic Books, New York, 1996.

Most commentators look at the issue of immigration from the viewpoint of immediate politics. In doing so, they focus on only a piece of the issue and lose touch with the larger picture. Now Thomas Sowell offers a sweeping historical and global look at a large number of migrations over a… More

Conquests and Cultures: An International History

Conquests and Cultures: An International History, Basic Books, New York, 1998.

This book is the culmination of 15 years of research and travels that have taken the author completely around the world twice, as well as on other travels in the Mediterranean, the Baltic, and around the Pacific Rim. Its purpose has been to try to understand the role of cultural… More

The Quest for Cosmic Justice

The Quest For Cosmic Justice, The Free Press, New York, 2002.

This is not a comforting book — it is a book about disturbing issues that are urgently important today and enduringly critical for the future. It rejects both “merit” and historical redress as principles for guiding public policy. It shows how “peace”… More

A Personal Odyssey

A Personal Odyssey, The Free Press, New York, 2002.

This is the gritty story of one man’s lifelong education in the school of hard knocks, as his journey took him from Harlem to the Marines, the Ivy League, and a career as a controversial writer, teacher, and economist in government and private industry. It is also the story of the… More

Controversial Essays

Controversial Essays, Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, CA, 2002.

One of conservatism’s most articulate voices dissects today’s most important economic, racial, political, educational, legal, and social issues, sharing his entertaining and thought-provoking insights on a wide range of contentious subjects. “This book contains an… More

The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late

The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late, Basic Books, New York, 2002.

The Einstein Syndrome is a follow-up to Late-Talking Children, which established Thomas Sowell as a leading spokesman on the subject. While many children who talk late suffer from developmental disorders or autism, there is a certain well-defined group who are developmentally normal or… More

Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One

Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One, Basic Books, New York, 2003.

The application of economics to major contemporary real world problems — housing, medical care, discrimination, the economic development of nations — is the theme of this new book that tackles these and other issues head on in plain language… It examines economic… More

Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy

Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy, revised and expanded ed. Basic Books, New York, 2004.

At last there is a citizen’s guide to the economy, written by an economist who uses plain English. No jargon, no graphs, no equations. Yet this is a comprehensive survey, covering everything from rent control and the rise and fall of businesses to the international balance of… More

Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study

Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2004.

In this important book, an eminent authority presents a new perspective on affirmative action, investigating its actual consequences in the United States and in other countries where it has been in effect. Evaluating his empirical data, Thomas Sowell concludes that race preference… More

Black Rednecks and White Liberals

Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Encounter Books, San Francisco, 2006.

This explosive new book challenges many of the long-prevailing assumptions about blacks, about Jews, about Germans, about slavery, and about education. Plainly written, powerfully reasoned and backed with a startling array of documented facts, Black Rednecks and White Liberals takes on… More

On Classical Economics

On Classical Economics. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2006.

The classical era in the history of economics is an important part of the history of ideas in general, and its implications reach beyond the bounds of the economics profession.  On Classical Economics is a book from which students can learn both history and economics. It is not simply… More

Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays

Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays. Hoover Institution Press, Stanford, CA, 2006.

Thomas Sowell takes aim at a range of legal, social, racial, educational, and economic issues in this latest collection of his controversial, never boring, always thought-provoking essays. From “Gun Control Myths” and “Mealy Mouth Media” to “Free Lunch… More

A Man of Letters

A Man of Letters. Encounter Books, New York, 2007.

A Man of Letters traces the life, career, and commentaries on controversial issues of Thomas Sowell over a period of more than four decades through his letters to and from family, friends, and public figures ranging from Milton Friedman to Clarence Thomas, David Riesman, Arthur Ashe,… More

Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (3rd Ed.)

Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (3rd ed.). Perseus Books Group, Cambridge, MA, 2007.

Basic Economics is a citizen’s guide to economics for those who want to understand how the economy works but have no interest in jargon or equations. Sowell reveals the general principles behind any kind of economy — capitalist, socialist, feudal, and so on. In readable language,… More

Economic Facts and Fallacies

Economic Facts and Fallacies. Basic Books, New York, 2007.

Economic Facts and Fallacies exposes some of the most popular fallacies about economic issues — and does so in a lively manner… These include many beliefs widely disseminated in the media and by politicians, such as mistaken ideas about urban problems, income differences,… More

Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One (2nd Ed.)

Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One (2nd ed.). Basic Books, New York, 2008.

This revised edition of Applied Economics is about fifty percent larger than the first edition. It now includes a chapter on the economics of immigration and new sections of other chapters on such topics as the “creative” financing of home-buying that led to the current… More

The Housing Boom and Bust

The Housing Boom and Bust. Basic Books, New York, 2009.

Sowell offers a tour of the housing boom and bust that has much to say to both the specialist and the non-specialist alike. Drawing on a wide range of sources, decades of scholarship, and his signature style and wit, Sowell exemplifies how what is true is not always popular, and what is… More

Intellectuals and Society

Intellectuals and Society. Basic Books, New York, 2010.

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… More

Dismantling America: And Other Controversial Essays

Dismantling America: And Other Controversial Essays. Basic Books, New York, 2010.

These wide-ranging essays — on many individual political, economic, cultural and legal issues — have as a recurring, underlying theme the decline of the values and institutions that have sustained and advanced American society for more than two centuries. This decline has been… More

Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide To The Economy (5th Edition)

Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (5th ed.). Basic Books, December 2014.

This is an updated edition of Basic Economics — a citizen’s guide to economics for those who want to understand how the economy works but have no interest in jargon or equations… In readable language, [Sowell] shows how to critique economic policies in terms of the… More

The Thomas Sowell Reader

The Thomas Sowell Reader. Basic Books, New York, 2011.

These selections from the many writings of Thomas Sowell over a period of a half century cover social, economic, cultural, legal, educational, and political issues. The sources range from Dr. Sowell’s letters, books, newspaper columns, and articles in both scholarly journals and popular… More

Intellectuals and Race

Intellectuals and Race. Basic Books, New York, 2013.

  The role of intellectuals in racial strife is explored in an international context that puts the American experience in a wholly new light… Intellectuals and Race is not a book about history… [The] historical evidence, as well as demographic, geographic, economic and… More