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.

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Thomas Sowell on Uncommon Knowledge 2016
Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

Wealth, Poverty, and Politics

interview with Thomas Sowellvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Thomas Sowell on the importance of human capital.

Featured

'Favors' To Blacks

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Back in the 1960s, as large numbers of black students were entering a certain Ivy League university for the first time, someone asked a chemistry professor — off the record — what his response to them was. He said, "I give them all A's and B's. To hell with them."

Analysis and Commentary

Our Political Predicament

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

There is no point denying or sugar-coating the plain fact that the voters this election year face a choice between two of the worst candidates in living memory. A professor at Morgan State University summarized the situation by saying that the upcoming debates may enable voters to decide which is the "less insufferable" candidate to be President of the United States.

Analysis and Commentary

Election Year Books

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Election year politics generates much rhetoric and confusion. And the media often adds its spin. But, fortunately, there are some books around that deal with reality and can cut through the nonsense. 

Featured

Racial Issues

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ordinarily, it is not a good idea to base how you vote on just one issue. But if black lives really matter, as they should matter like all other lives, then it is hard to see any racial issue that matters as much as education.

Analysis and Commentary

Misleading Statistics

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mark Twain famously said that there were three kinds of lies — "lies, damned lies, and statistics." Since this is an election year, we can expect to hear plenty of all three kinds.

Featured

A Gem In Chicago

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

We have gotten so used to seeing college presidents and other academic "leaders" caving in to so many outrageous demands from little gangs of bullying students that it is a long overdue surprise to see a sign that at least one major university has shown some backbone.

Analysis and Commentary

Abstract Immigrants In An Abstract World

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Why would a country with the world's largest Jewish population, outside of Israel, admit large numbers of immigrants from countries where hatred of Jews has been taught to their people from earliest childhood?

Analysis and Commentary

A Clash Of Police Policies

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Amid the rioting in Milwaukee, there is also a clash between two leading lawmen there — Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and the city of Milwaukee's Chief of Police Edward Flynn. They have very different opinions about how law enforcement should be carried out.

Featured

Trump And Blacks

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Thursday, August 18, 2016

Who would have thought that Donald Trump, of all people, would be addressing the fact that the black community suffers the most from a breakdown of law and order? But sanity on racial issues is sufficiently rare that it must be welcomed, from whatever source it comes.

Pages