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

'Tax Cuts For The Rich'?

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Monday, May 1, 2017

One of the painful realities of our times is how long a political lie can survive, even after having been disproved years ago, or even generations ago. A classic example is the phrase "tax cuts for the rich," which is loudly proclaimed by opponents, whenever there is a proposal to reduce tax rates. The current proposal to reduce federal tax rates has revived this phrase, which was disproved by facts, as far back as the 1920s — and by now should be called "tax lies for the gullible."

Featured

The Real Lessons Of Middlebury College

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Monday, March 13, 2017

Many people seem shocked at the recent savagery of a mob of students at Middlebury College, who rioted to prevent Charles Murray from addressing a student group who had invited him to speak. They also inflicted injuries requiring hospitalization on a woman from the faculty who was with him.

Featured

Education At A Crossroads

by Thomas Sowellvia Townhall
Saturday, February 4, 2017

In just a matter of days — perhaps next Monday — a decision will be made in Washington affecting the futures of millions of children in low-income communities, and in the very troubled area of race relations in America.

Education Image
Analysis and Commentary

Education At A Crossroads: Part II

by Thomas Sowellvia Townhall
Saturday, February 4, 2017

One of the painful realities of our time is that most public schools in most low-income, inner-city neighborhoods produce educational outcomes that are far below the outcomes in other neighborhoods, and especially in more affluent neighborhoods.

Thomas Sowell
Analysis and Commentary

Farewell

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.

Analysis and Commentary

A Public Service

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sometimes someone inadvertently performs a public service by bringing an unbelievably stupid and dangerous idea to the surface, where it can be exposed for what it is.

Featured

The 'Diversity' Fraud

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Nothing so epitomizes the politically correct gullibility of our times as the magic word "diversity." The wonders of diversity are proclaimed from the media, extolled in the academy and confirmed in the august chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States. But have you ever seen one speck of hard evidence to support the lofty claims?

Featured

Where Are We?

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

We are now in a kind of political no-man's-land between an administration on its way out and a new administration taking shape. Predictions are always risky — and nowhere more so than in times like these.

Featured

The Left's Gambles

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sometimes life forces us to make decisions, even when we don't have enough information to know how the decision will turn out. The risks may be even greater when people make decisions for other people. Yet there are some who are not only willing, but eager, to take decisions away from those who are directly affected.

Football in motion over grass
Analysis and Commentary

Football And Fallacies

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

This is a football story with both political and legal implications.

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