The Life and Work of Thomas Sowell


Thomas Sowell is one of the greatest living economists. His scholarship over the past half-century has clarified our understanding of economic and social disparities between racial and ethnic groups in the United States and around the world. He is also a major social theorist and intellectual historian. It was, therefore, a great privilege to sit down with Sowell biographer Jason Riley for a discussion of the great man’s life and work. I was joined in this discussion by my frequent conversation partner at The Glenn Show, John McWhorter of Columbia University.

Editor’s note: Find more of Glenn’s writing at SubStack.

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  1. EHerring Coolidge

    Sowell is my hero. 

    • #1
  2. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)

    Dr. Loury, does this mean that you’ve actually joined Ricochet?

    What a wonderful day, if so.  Thanks for the link to the video, though I’ve already listened to it, along with just about everything else that you post at YouTube.

    I agree that Dr. Sowell is a great sage and a hero, as are you, Dr. Loury.

    • #2
  3. Dotorimuk Coolidge

    Sounds great! Will watch.

    • #3
  4. danys Thatcher

    Great conversation. Thank you, Dr Loury.

    • #4
  5. Morley Stevenson Member
    Morley Stevenson

    I have said for years that Thomas Sowell is the wisest man in America.  I agree with John McWhorter that it is too bad that he is not twenty years younger.

    • #5
  6. Inactive

    I discounted Thomas Sowell initially because he was Black, and “affirmative action” had automatically stained, and discounted, intellectual achievements of American Negroes.  That is the way judgments, and choices were/are bent in many professions, then, and today.  If you were forming a basketball team, and the only information you were given was the player’s race, you would probably choose an American Black.  Similarly, if you were choosing a physician, or a lawyer, you would probably be inclined not to choose a Black physician.  Race continues to meld into judgements of performance/achievement. 

    Sowell changed my judgement when he asked, simply, “Compared to  what?” It is a simple, but loaded question, that puts in question commonly accept wisdom of opining experts.  If unemployment is 3.5 percent it achieves more meaning when compared to unemployment in a previous period, or in another country, even when showing differences between racial, cultural, and national groups. 

    Sowell also has an attachment to measurement.  I.Q.s were a measure to gauge human intelligence, allowing one to compare differences, say, in race, or education, hot button issues affecting public policies.  These simple intellectual habit, in the hands of Thomas Sowell, allowed him to tear down the curtain between truth and error.  He made me – he made everyone – better.







    • #6
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