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 book, Discrimination and Disparities (2018), gathers a wide array of empirical evidence to challenge the idea that different economic outcomes can be explained by any one factor, be it discrimination, exploitation or genetics. His 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), The Vision of the Anointed (1995), Barbarians Inside the Gates (1999), and The Quest for Cosmic Justice (1999). On the history of ideas he has written Marxism (1985) and Conflict of Vision (1987). 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 in 1989. 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 in 2006.

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

Where Is The West?

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Wednesday, November 8, 2006

European nations protesting Saddam Hussein's death sentence -- as they protested against forcing secrets out of captured terrorists -- should tell us all we need to know about the internal degeneration of western society, where so many confuse squeamishness with morality...

Analysis and Commentary

A New Voter Fraud

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, November 7, 2006

There is no real question that Democrats are more skilled at politics than the Republicans are...

Analysis and Commentary

The Rape of Justice

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Nothing should be surprising any more about the Duke University rape case...

Analysis and Commentary

Cast of Characters: Part IV

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Friday, November 3, 2006

This year's elections are not only contests between Democrats and Republicans, they are contests in which the mainstream media are not simply observers and reporters but active partisans...

Analysis and Commentary

Cast of Characters: Part III

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Thursday, November 2, 2006

Candidates are not the only major factors in this year's elections...

Analysis and Commentary

More Characters

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Thursday, November 2, 2006

A long-standing joke at election time is that if someone were to run under the name “None of the Above,” that candidate would win...

Analysis and Commentary

The Cast of Characters

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Perhaps nothing so captures the superficial, frivolous and irresponsible spirit of our times like the sudden boomlet for Barack Obama as a candidate for President of the United States...

Analysis and Commentary

Diversity's Oppressions

by Thomas Sowellvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, October 30, 2006

Iraq is not the first war with ugly surprises and bloody setbacks. Even World War II, idealized in retrospect as it never was at the time -- the war of "the greatest generation" -- had a long series of disasters for Americans before victory was finally achieved...

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Drifting toward the Brink

by Thomas Sowellvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 30, 2006

Once Iran and North Korea develop nuclear weapons, it’s only a matter of time before international terrorist organizations get their hands on them. Thomas Sowell on dark days ahead.

Freedom Man

by Thomas Sowellvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 30, 2006

Thomas Sowell

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