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

The Left And The Masses

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The greatest moral claim of the political left is that they are for the masses in general and the poor in particular. That is also their greatest fraud. It even fools many leftists themselves.

Analysis and Commentary

The Left And The Masses: Part II

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It is never easy to tell what people's motives are. But, when the political left proclaims their devotion to improving the lives of others in general, and of the poor in particular, we can at least get some clues from the way they go about it.

Analysis and Commentary

The Left And The Masses: Part III

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Claiming the role of champions of the masses is something the political left has been doing ever since there has been a political left — which is to say, ever since the late 18th century, when people with such views sat on the left side of the French National Assembly.

Featured

Words Versus Deeds

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Do you choose a president by talk — or by actions and consequences?

Analysis and Commentary

Dunbar High School After 100 Years

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

One hundred years ago, on October 2, 1916, a new public high school building for black youngsters was opened in Washington, D.C. and named for black poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. Its history is a story inspiring in many ways and appalling in many other ways.

Analysis and Commentary

The Academic Curtain

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Back in the days of the Cold War between the Communist bloc of nations and the Western democracies, the Communists maintained pervasive restrictions around Eastern Europe that were aptly called an "iron curtain," isolating the people in its bloc from the ideas of the West and physically obstructing their escape.

Thomas Sowell on Uncommon Knowledge 2016
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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. 

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