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

Analysis and Commentary

Notable And Quotable: Thomas Sowell

by Thomas Sowellvia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, April 8, 2016

[Subscription required] Just as we can better understand the economic role of prices in general when we see what happens when prices are not allowed to function, so we can better understand the economic role of workers’ pay by seeing what happens when that pay is not allowed to vary with the supply and demand for labor.

Analysis and Commentary

Dangerous Donald Trump

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Donald Trump's victories in the Republican primaries may make him seem like a sure winner. But those victories have been achieved by receiving either somewhat less than 40 percent of the votes or somewhat more than 40 percent, but never a majority.

Analysis and Commentary

Supreme Hypocrisy

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

If there is one thing that is bipartisan in Washington, it is brazen hypocrisy. Currently there is much indignation being expressed by Democrats because the Republican-controlled Senate refuses to hold confirmation hearings on President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Featured

Black And White, Left And Right

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Much is made of the fact that liberals and conservatives see racial issues differently, which they do. But these differences have too often been seen as simply those on the right being racist and those on the left not.

Analysis and Commentary

Voting At A Crossroads

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

It is seldom that the fate of a nation can be traced to what happened on one particular day. But that may be what happens in the United States of America on Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

Featured

Desperate Tactics

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

It is desperation time for the Republican party establishment. Its extremely well financed favorite — Jeb Bush — never got anywhere with the voters in the primaries, and has already been forced out of the contest.

Analysis and Commentary

Random Thoughts

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Random thoughts on the passing scene: The presidential election prospects for the Democrats are so bad this year that only the Republicans can save them — as Republicans have saved them before.

Featured

Last Chance For America? Part II

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The worst political blunder of all time, according to scientist Freeman Dyson, was the decision of the emperor of China in 1433 to cut off his country from the outside world. In the wake of that decision, China lost its position in the forefront of human achievements and fell behind, over the centuries, to become a Third World country.

Featured

Last Chance For America?

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Monday, February 29, 2016

The "Super Tuesday" primaries may be a turning point for America — and quite possibly a turn for the worse. After seven long years of domestic disasters and increasing international dangers, the next President of the United States will need extraordinary wisdom, maturity, depth of knowledge...

Analysis and Commentary

Paranoid Politics

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Monday, February 22, 2016

Amid all the media analyses of the prospects of each of the candidates in both political parties, there is remarkably little discussion of the validity — or lack of validity — of the arguments these candidates are using.

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