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

Featured

Toxic Words

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

During this election year, we are destined to hear many words that are toxic in the way they misrepresent reality and substitute fantasies that can win votes. One of these words is "entitlement." To hear some politicians tell it, we are all entitled to all sorts of things, ranging from "affordable housing" to "a living wage."

Analysis and Commentary

After Iowa

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Senator Ted Cruz's upset victory against Donald Trump has robbed "The Donald" of his stock answer to any criticism from rivals— that he is winning and his critics are losers.

Analysis and Commentary

Random Thoughts

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Random thoughts on the passing scene: Will this November's presidential election come down to a choice between a felon and a pied piper? People who call Barack Obama a lame duck president seem not to have noticed that he is exercising more power than ever, and has turned the Republican Congress into a lame duck branch of government.

Featured

Grow Up!

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Saturday, January 30, 2016

Of all the many things said about Donald Trump, what was said by Roger Ailes, head of the Fox News Channel, said it all in just two words: "Grow up!"

Featured

The Demand For Villains

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The latest tempest in a teapot controversy is over a lack of black nominees for this year's Academy Awards in Hollywood. The assumption seems to be that different groups would be proportionally represented if somebody were not doing somebody else wrong.

Analysis and Commentary

Do Emotions Trump Facts? Part II

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Thursday, January 21, 2016

Former Gov. Sarah Palin is an intelligent person, contrary to how liberals have tried to portray her. So it seemed to me that, if anybody could explain why they were promoting the candidacy of Donald Trump, it would be Gov. Palin.

Featured

Do Emotions Trump Facts?

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Thursday, January 21, 2016

Those of us who like to believe that human beings are rational can sometimes have a hard time trying to explain what is going on in politics. It is still a puzzle to me how millions of patriotic Americans could have voted in 2008 for a man who for 20 years — twenty years — was a follower of a preacher who poured out his hatred for America in the most gross gutter terms.

Featured

What Are Elections For?

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

After months of watching all sorts of political polls, we are finally just a few weeks away from actually beginning to see some voting in primary elections. Polls let people vent their emotions. But elections are held to actually accomplish something.

Featured

'Messing With The Constitution'

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

In recent years, a small but growing number of people have advocated a convention of states to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States. The reaction to the proposal has been hostile, out of all proportion to either the originality or the danger of such a convention.

Featured

Showman-In-Chief

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Those who have been marveling at Donald Trump's political showmanship were given a reminder of who is the top showman of them all, when President Barack Obama went on television to make a pitch for his unilateral actions to restrict gun sales and make a more general case for tighter gun control laws.

Pages