Books

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… 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… 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… 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… 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… More

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… 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… 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.… More

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… 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… 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… 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,… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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,… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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.… 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,… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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… More

Essays

Black Excellence: The Case of Dunbar High School

– "Black Excellence: The Case of Dunbar High School," The Public Interest, Spring 1974, p. 8.
Excerpt: Social pathology has held an enduring fascination for researchers, and nowhere more so than in the study of black Americans. Isolated “successes” or “heroes” receive… More

Affirmative Action Reconsidered

– "Affirmative Action Reconsidered," The Public Interest, Winter 1976, p. 47.
Excerpt: Images and labels have taken the place of facts in the controversies surrounding “affirmative action.” Words like “quota,” “qualified,” and “under-utilization” are… More

Patterns of Black Excellence

– "Patterns of Black Excellence," The Public Interest, Spring 1976, p. 26.
Excerpt: The history of the advancement of black Americans is almost a laboratory study of human achievement, for it extends back to slavery and was accomplished in the face of the… More

Are Quotas Good For Blacks?

– "Are Quotas Good For Blacks?," Commentary, June 1976, p. 39-43.
Excerpt: Today’s grand fallacy about race and ethnicity is that the statistical “representation” of a group — in jobs, schools, etc. — shows and measures discrimination. This… More

Myths About Minorities

– "Myths About Minorities," Commentary, August 1979, p. 33-37.
Excerpt: Will Rogers once said that it’s not ignorance that is so bad, but all the things we know “that ain’t so.” Much of what we “know” about racial and ethnic minorities in… More

Poor Aim In War on Bias

– "Poor Aim In War on Bias," The New York Times, August 11, 1981.
Excerpt: One of the tragedies about affirmative action is that there is very little empirical evidence of any benefits to blacks or women out of affirmative action. Further there is reason… More

Second Thoughts About The Third World

– "Second Thoughts About The Third World," Harper's Magazine, November 1983, p. 34.
For many people the term “Third World” immediately conjures up images of poverty, distress and exploitation. In “Second Thoughts About the Third World” Thomas… More

‘Affirmative Action’: A Worldwide Disaster

– “'Affirmative Action': A Worldwide Disaster," Commentary, December 1989.
Excerpt: The starting point for rethinking and reform must be a recognition that “affirmative action” has been a failure in the United States and a disaster in other countries that have… More

On the higher learning in America: some comments

– "On the higher learning in America: some comments," The Public Interest, Spring 1990, p. 68.
Excerpt: The most fundamental misconception of many leading institutions of higher learning is that they are primarily institutions of higher learning. Money talks in academia as elsewhere,… More

The Scandal of College Tuition

– “The Scandal of College Tuition,” Commentary, August 1992, pp. 23-26.
Excerpt: In a world where parents go into debt to finance their children’s higher education and where alumni, corporations, and Congress are besieged with calls for more donations to… More

Have The Democrats Really Changed? — A Debate

– "Have The Democrats Really Changed? -- A Debate," Commentary, September 1992, pp. 23-26.
Excerpt: The 1992 Democratic party, led by Governor Bill Clinton and Senator Al Gore, has shed its leftist fads and is once again appealing to the American mainstream. The question which… More

The Nuance Excuse

– "The Nuance Excuse," The Weekly Standard, February 3, 1997, pp, 16-18.
Excerpt: One of the curious things about the bitter battle over preferences and quotas that came to a head in the California Civil Rights Initiative is how many critics of affirmative… More

The Day Cornell Died

– "The Day Cornell Died," The Weekly Standard, May 3, 1999, pp. 31-33.
Excerpt: No one who was at Cornell University in the spring of 1969 is ever likely to forget the guns-on-campus crisis that shocked the academic community and the nation. Bands of militant… More

Commentary

Going Over the Great Divide

– Fred Barnes, “Going Over the Great Divide,” The New York Times, January 25, 1987.
Excerpt: Thomas Sowell wrote in ”Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?” (1984) that two assumptions of the civil rights movement had persisted for decades despite their failure to… More

Black and right

– Ray Sawhill, “Black and right,” Salon, November 10, 1999.
Excerpt: Agree or disagree with such writers as Florence King, Richard Brookhiser, James Buchanan, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Francis Fukuyama, Milton Friedman, Kenneth Minogue, James Q. Wilson… More

The Point Of No Return by Thomas Sowell

– Peter Robinson, “The Point Of No Return,” Forbes, October 24, 2008.
Excerpt: Then there is Thomas Sowell, the economist and political philosopher. He prefers an older way of looking at American politics–a much older way. In his classic 1987 work, A… More

A Peerless Nerd by Kevin Williamson

– Kevin D. Williamson, “Thomas Sowell: A Peerless Nerd,” Commentary, December 01, 2011.
Excerpt: If a mad scientist were to repair to his laboratory to design a machine that would make white liberals uncomfortable, that machine would be Thomas Sowell, whose input is data and… More

Review of “The Thomas Sowell Reader” by James Person Jr.

– James E. Person Jr., “BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Thomas Sowell Reader’,” The Washington Times, January 27, 2012.
Excerpt: There is a wealth of instructive reading in “The Thomas Sowell Reader,” on the modern world and its discontents, on dogs and baseball, on life as a black child coming of age in… More

The March of Foolish Things by Kyle Peterson

– Kyle Peterson, "The March of Foolish Things," The Wall Street Journal, September 4, 2015.
Thomas Sowell turned 85 years old this summer, which means he has been teaching economics to Americans through his books and articles for some four decades. So it seems like a natural… More

Multimedia

The Economic Lot of Minorities

– “The Economic Lot of Minorities,” interview with William F. Buckley Jr., Firing Line, SECA, 12 November 1981.

Economic vs. Political Decision Making

– "Economic vs. Political Decision Making." Clip 1/4. An Address by Thomas Sowell to the Institution for World Capitalism. Jacksonville, Florida, 14 October 1993.

Thomas Sowell – Progressives, Liberals and Race

– "Thomas Sowell - Progressives, Liberals and Race." An excerpt of: “Thomas Sowell discusses his newest book, Intellectuals and Race,” interview with Peter Robinson, Uncommon Knowledge, Hoover Institution, 17 May 2013.

The Reality of Multiculturalism

– "The Reality of Multiculturalism." An excerpt of: “Thomas Sowell discusses his newest book, Intellectuals and Race,” interview with Peter Robinson, Uncommon Knowledge, Hoover Institution, 17 May 2013.