Thomas Sowell

Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy
Awards and Honors:
American Philosophical Society
National Academy of Education
Biography: 

Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution.

He writes on economics, history, social policy, ethnicity, and the history of ideas. His most recent books on economics include Housing Boom and Bust (2009), Intellectuals and Society (2009), Applied Economics (2009), Economic Facts and Fallacies (2008), Basic Economics (2007), and Affirmative Action Around the World (2004). Other books on economics he has written include Classical Economics Reconsidered (1974), Say’s Law (1972), and Economics: Analysis and Issues (1971). On social policy he has written Knowledge and Decisions (1980), Preferential Policies (1989), Inside American Education (1993) and The Vision of the Anointed (1995). On the history of ideas he has written Marxism (1985) and Conflict of Vision (1987). His most recent books are Barbarians Inside the Gates (1999) and The Quest for Cosmic Justice (1999). Sowell also wrote Late-Talking Children (1997). He has also written a monograph on law titled Judicial Activism Reconsidered, published by the Hoover Institution Press. His writings have also appeared in scholarly journals in economics, law, and other fields.

Sowell’s current research focuses on cultural history in a world perspective, a subject on which he began to write a trilogy in 1982. The trilogy includes Race and Culture (1994), Migrations and Cultures (1996), and Conquests and Cultures (1998).

Sowell's journalistic writings include a nationally syndicated column that appears in more than 150 newspapers from Boston to Honolulu. Some of these essays have been collected in book form, most recently in Ever Wonder Why? and Other Controversial Essays published by the Hoover Institution Press.

Over the past three decades, Sowell has taught economics at various colleges and universities, including Cornell, Amherst, and the University of California at Los Angeles, as well as the history of ideas at Brandeis University. He has also been associated with three other research centers, in addition to the Hoover Institution. He was project director at the Urban Institute, 1972-1974, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, 1976–77, and was an adjunct scholar of the American Enterprise Institute, 1975-76.

Sowell was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2002. In 2003, Sowell received the Bradley Prize for intellectual achievement. Sowell received his bachelor’s degree in economics (magna cum laude) from Harvard in 1958, his master’s degree in economics from Columbia University in 1959, and his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1968.

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Recent Commentary

Featured Commentary

Lawsuits and Impeachment

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Whenever Democrats are in real trouble politically, the Republicans seem to come up with something new that distracts the public's attention from the Democrats' problems. Who says Republicans are not compassionate?

Young black men
Featured Commentary

A Primer on Race

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Back in the heyday of the British Empire, a man from one of the colonies addressed a London audience."Please do not do any more good in my country," he said. "We have suffered too much already from all the good that you have done."

Featured Commentary

America's Birthday

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Birthdays are supposed to be times for celebration and gift-giving. But America's upcoming birthday on the Fourth of July is a time when the gift most needed is an urgent warning about the dangers of losing the things that have made this country America — and have long made "America" a ringing word of freedom, not only in this country but to people around the world.

an image
Featured Commentary

A Lame Duck Country?

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pundits are pointing to President Barack Obama's recent decline in public opinion polls, and saying that he may now become another "lame duck" president, unable to accomplish much during his final term in office.

US flag on military helmet
Featured Commentary

A Bitter After-Taste

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The news from Iraq that Islamic terrorists have now taken over cities that American troops liberated during the Iraq war must have left an especially bitter after-taste to Americans who lost a loved one who died taking one of those cities, or to a survivor who came back without an arm or leg, or with other traumas to body or mind.

American Flags
Featured Commentary

The Prisoner Swap Deal

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

People are arguing about what the United States got out of the deal that swapped five top level terrorist leaders for one American soldier who was, at best, absent from his post in a war zone. 

United States Postal Service truck
Featured Commentary

The Ambassador and the Post Office

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

At one time, people in India had to get on a waiting list to buy Hindustan Motors' Ambassador automobile, even though it was an obvious copy of Britain's Morris Oxford of some decades earlier. The reason was simple: the Indian government would not allow cars to be imported to compete with it.

Open Book Image
Featured Commentary

Random Thoughts

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Will the Veterans Administration scandal wake up those people who have been blithely saying that what we need is a "single payer" system for medical care? Delays in getting to see a doctor have been a common denominator in government-run medical systems in England, Canada and Australia, among other places.

Students walking in the snow
Featured Commentary

Poverty and Snow Storms

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Golden Gate Bridge
Featured Commentary

The Height of Utopianism

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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