A Conflict of Visions (Magill's Literary Annual 1988)
Any new book by Thomas Sowell is likely to cause a stir among politically oriented readers. In a dozen or so books, Sowell—a model of the contemporary ideological warrior—has combined engaging scholarship with a fervently held political point of view. He has also been a contributor to the editorial pages of many newspapers and periodicals and occasionally appears as public speaker.
Educated as an economist under the tutelage of free-market advocate and pioneer monetarist Milton Friedman, Sowell has provided sympathetic guides to free-market economics (for example, Classical Economics Reconsidered, 1974), advocated the free market as an antidote to racism (for example, Markets and Minorities, 1981), raised doubts regarding the value of political responses to racial inequality (Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?, 1985), and associated black poverty in the United States with values promoted in black churches (Ethnic America, 1983).
These positions alone would probably be enough to afford Sowell some measure of notoriety, but he has become an especially controversial figure because he is a black man. Sowell brings to the conservative cause the advantage of rather special credentials. Well educated, articulate, and sincere, Sowell can champion individualism as opposed to affirmative action, free-market prosperity as opposed to massive jobs programs, and formal as opposed to substantive justice—all this...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1988)
Booklist. LXXXIII, January 15, 1987, p. 734.
The Christian Science Monitor. February 4, 1987, p. 23.
Commentary. LXXXIII, March, 1987, p. 78.
Kirkus Reviews. LIV, November 15, 1986, p. 1713.
Library Journal. CXII, January, 1987, p. 92.
National Review. XXXIX, February 13, 1987, p. 52.
The New Republic. CXCVI, February 9, 1987, p. 46.
The New York Times. January 24, 1987, p. 13.
The New York Times Book Review. XCII, January 25, 1987, p. 14.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXX, December 12, 1986, p. 44.
Time. CXXIX, March 16, 1987, p. 79.
The Wall Street Journal. February 6, 1987, p. 19.
The Washington Post Book World. XVII, January 4, 1987, p. 7.
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