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

'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.

Analysis and Commentary

Complicating The Obvious

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Engineers who design computerized products and services seem to have an almost fanatical determination to avoid using plain English.

Featured

Remembering 2015

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How shall we remember 2015? Or shall we try to forget it? It is always hard to know when a turning point has been reached, and usually it is long afterwards before we recognize it. However, if 2015 has been a turning point, it may well have marked a turn in a downward direction for America and for Western civilization.

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Obama’s Outrageous Attempts To Dictate The Racial Make-Up Of Neighborhoods

by Thomas Sowellvia New York Post
Monday, December 21, 2015

The political left has been trying to run other people’s lives for centuries. So we should not be surprised to see the Obama administration now trying to force neighborhoods across America to have the mix of people the government wants them to have.

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Attacking The Truth

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Among the many sad signs of our time are the current political and media attacks on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, for speaking the plain truth on a subject where lies have been the norm for years.

Analysis and Commentary

Attacking The Truth: Part II

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, involving racial double standards in admissions to the University of Texas at Austin, has an Alice-in-Wonderland quality that has been all too common in other Supreme Court cases involving affirmative action in academia, going all the way back to 1978.

Thomas Sowell discusses wealth, poverty, and politics
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Wealth, Poverty, And Politics

interview with Thomas Sowellvia Uncommon Knowledge
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Poverty in America and the Welfare State.

Barack Obama
Featured

The President's Speech

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

When the President of the United States asks the television networks to set aside time for him to broadcast a speech from the Oval Office, we can usually expect that he has something new to say.

Analysis and Commentary

A Resurgence Of Intolerance

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Storm trooper tactics by bands of college students making ideological demands across the country, and immediate preemptive surrender by college administrators — such as at the University of Missouri recently — bring back memories of the 1960s, for those of us old enough to remember what it was like being there, and seeing first-hand how painful events unfolded.

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