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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Featured Commentary

'Just Asking'

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The fact that most of the rhetorical ploys used by Barack Obama and other redistributionists will not stand up under scrutiny means very little politically. After all, how many people who come out of our schools and colleges today are capable of critical scrutiny?

Featured Commentary

Race, Politics, And Lies

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Among the many painful ironies in the current racial turmoil is that communities scattered across the country were disrupted by riots and looting because of the demonstrable lie that Michael Brown was shot in the back by a white policeman in Missouri — but there was not nearly as much turmoil created by the demonstrable fact that a fleeing black man was shot dead by a white policeman in South Carolina.

Featured Commentary

Anti-Trust Law And Lawlessness

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The European Union's commissioner for competition explained the basis for the complaint against Google: "We have a focus on a certain conduct, a certain behavior which, if our doubts are going to be proven, we would like to change because we believe that it hampers competition."

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Featured Commentary

Chaos In The Primaries

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Monday, April 20, 2015

Seldom does the initial "front-runner" in either party's primaries end up being the actual candidate when election day rolls around. However, even if we cannot predict the outcomes of the primaries this far in advance, we can at least start trying to understand the candidates, the almost candidates and the people who are running just for the publicity.

Featured Commentary

The New Inquisition

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How long will this country remain free? Probably only as long as the American people value their freedom enough to defend it. But how many people today can stop looking at their electronic devices long enough to even think about such things?

Featured Commentary

The Iran 'Agreement' Charade

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

By abandoning virtually all its demands for serious restrictions on Iran's nuclear bomb program, the Obama administration has apparently achieved the semblance of a preliminary introduction to the beginning of a tentative framework for a possible hope of an eventual agreement with Iran.

Featured Commentary

Who Trashes Liberal Arts?

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An op-ed piece titled "Conservatives, Please Stop Trashing the Liberal Arts" appeared last week in the Wall Street Journal. But it is not conservatives who trashed the liberal arts.

Featured Commentary

Etiquette Versus Annihilation

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Recent statements from United Nations officials, that Iran is already blocking their existing efforts to keep track of what is going on in their nuclear program, should tell anyone who does not already know it that any agreement with Iran will be utterly worthless in practice. It doesn't matter what the terms of the agreement are, if Iran can cheat.

A Simple Question

by Thomas Sowell
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It is amazing how a simple question can cause a complex lie to collapse like a house of cards. The simple question was asked by Bill O'Reilly of the Fox News Channel, and it was addressed to two Democrats. He asked what has Hillary Clinton ever accomplished

Featured Commentary

Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015)

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It is not often that the leader of a small city-state — in this case, Singapore — gets an international reputation.

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