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

Universities lack faith in academic freedom

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Thursday, June 22, 2006

In the grand scheme of things, the resignation earlier this year of Harvard's president, Lawrence Summers, is a small episode…

Analysis and Commentary

Bordering on fraud

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The immigration bill before Congress has some of the most serious consequences for the future of this country…

Analysis and Commentary

Random Thoughts

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Monday, June 12, 2006

Random thoughts on the passing scene: When you have 90 percent of what you want, think twice before insisting on the other 10 percent…

Analysis and Commentary

How to counteract educational indoctrination

by Thomas Sowellvia Creators Syndicate
Saturday, June 10, 2006

Each year about this time, some parents write in to ask for suggestions of things for their children to read during the summer to counteract the steady diet of liberal-left indoctrination they have been getting in schools and colleges…

Analysis and Commentary

Birthright for sale

by Thomas Sowellvia Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Many stores held sales over the Memorial Day holidays…

Analysis and Commentary

Facts set aside as left fights to preserve vision

by Thomas Sowellvia baltimoresun.com
Thursday, June 1, 2006

Conservatives who point out the declining audience for the big television network newscasts, and declining public trust in the news media in general, often underestimate how much clout the liberal media still have…

Analysis and Commentary

Preserving A Vision

by Thomas Sowellvia Conservative Voice
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

In Shelby Steele's new book, "White Guilt," he mentions an encounter with a white liberal who fiercely defended the welfare state programs and policies of the 1960s…

Analysis and Commentary

Bordering On Fraud, Part III

by Thomas Sowellvia Conservative Voice
Thursday, May 25, 2006

Some people are worried that amnesty will give illegal aliens the same rights that American citizens have…

Analysis and Commentary

Bordering On Fraud, Part II

by Thomas Sowellvia Conservative Voice
Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Of all the insults to our intelligence in the current discussions of immigration legislation, the biggest insult is the claim that border control legislation and legislation on the illegal immigrants already in the country must go together…

Analysis and Commentary

Bordering On Fraud

by Thomas Sowellvia Conservative Voice
Monday, May 22, 2006

The immigration bill before Congress has some of the most serious consequences for the future of this country…

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