Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sole source for the Sowell authority

Because of our visit to the Hoover Institution at Stanford U., the Register opinion page is the first place with fairly complete information on Thomas Sowell's new book, "Intellectuals and Society." He argues that those we think of as intellectuals -- people who deal in ideas, with ideas the end product of their work (rather than, say, an engineering design, a piece of surgery or a bridge) -- have by and large not been a good influence. Here's my column on the book and on our hour-plus interview, and here is Mark Landsbaum's column. Here is a gallery of photos, and here are some video excerpts of the interview.

Although he certainly values freedom, I've come to think that Tom Sowell is more conservative than libertarian in his orientation. Ah, well. Though I might disagree with him on certaion issues -- minly to do with war and foreign policy -- I have to acknowledge he is one of the foremost intellects of our time. And he's better in person than in print.


Nicolas Martin said...

I'm afraid that Dr. Sowell might be an example of an intellectual whose neocon influence has done more harm than good, though I still remember the excitement of reading Ethnic America when it first appeared.

Alan Bock said...

If there's a next time I'll engage Tom Sowell on the subject; I broached it late, when the interview was winding down, and he just said some libertarians seem too "atomistic" to him. I loved "Ethnic America" too, and his writings on economics, on affirmative action, and some on culture. But as smart and fun as he is, he's a bit too supportive of war and an expansive U.S,. foreign policy for my taste.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sowell, is the one who wrote, "Most wars are started by well-fed people with time on their hands to dream up half-baked ideologies or grandiose ambitions, and to nurse real or imagined grievances." I wonder where that man went.

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