Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study (Yale Nota Bene) [Paperback]

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In this important book, an eminent authority presents a new perspective on affirmative action, investigating its actual consequences in the United States and in other countries where it has been in effect. Evaluating his empirical data, Thomas Sowell concludes that race preference programs worldwide have not met expectations and have often produced the opposite of what was originally intended.

"A delight: terse, well-argued, and utterly convincing."---Economist

"Among contemporary economists and social theorists, one of the most prolific, intellectually independent, and iconoclastic is Thomas Sowell. . . . Enormously learned, wonderfully clear-headed, he sees reality as it is, and flinches at no truth. . . . Sowell's presentation of the data is instructive and illuminating---and disturbing."---Carl Cohen, Commentary

"Another brilliant, bracing achievement by Thomas Sowell. With characteristic lucidity, erudition, and depth, Sowell examines the true effects of affirmative action around the globe. This book is compelling, important, mind-opening."---Amy Chua, author of World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability

"A masterpiece that deserves to be one of the most influential books of our time. Any honest reader will be informed and enlightened."---Donald Kagan, Yale University

"A gem of a book. A brilliant and learned analysis of the negative effects of racially preferential policies both in the United States and in several other countries around the world."---Stephan Thernstrom, Harvard University

Item Specifications...

Pages   239
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Yale University Press
ISBN  0300107757  
EAN  9780300107753  

Availability  0 units.

More About Thomas Sowell
Thomas  Sowell Thomas Sowell was born in North Carolina and grew up in Harlem. As with many others in his neighborhood, Thomas Sowell left home early and did not finish high school. The next few years were difficult ones, but eventually he joined the Marine Corps and became a photographer in the Korean War. After leaving the service, Thomas Sowell entered Harvard University, worked a part-time job as a photographer and studied the science that would become his passion and profession: economics. Thomas Sowell graduated from Harvard University, received his Master's in Economics from Columbia University and his Doctorate in Economics from the University of Chicago. In the early '60s, Sowell held jobs as an economist with the Department of Labor and AT&T. But his real interest was in teaching. Sowell began the first of many professorships at Cornell University, and his other teaching assignments include Rutgers University, Amherst College, Brandeis University and the UCLA, where he taught in the early '70s and '80s. Thomas Sowell has a large volume of writing including a dozen books, and numerous articles and essays; covering a wide range of topics, from classic economic theory to civil rights and judicial activism, even choosing the right college. Much of his ground-breaking writing will outlive the great majority of scholarship done today! Though Thomas Sowell had been a regular contributor to newspapers in the late '70s and early '80s, he did not begin his career as a newspaper columnist until 1984. In 1990, he won the prestigious Francis Boyer Award, presented by The American Enterprise Institute.
"George F. Will's writing," says Sowell, "...proved to him that someone could say something of substance in so short a space (750 words). And besides, writing for the general public enables him to address the heart of issues without the smoke and mirrors that so often accompany academic writing."
Sowell's very timely book,The Housing Boom and Bust: Revised Edition attempts to determine whether what is being done to deal with America's 2009-2010 housing boom and bust problem is more likely to make things better or worse. His examination of racism and Liberalism in Black Rednecks and White Liberals is a classic from a daring perspective rarely heard in the Black Community. Nowhere else will you read about the co-dependent relationship between " rednecks.. and white liberals.." Currently Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute in Stanford, Calif.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
From the well received "Preferential Policies" research - then published for The Hoover Institution, Thomas Sowell has always been ahead of the headlines.

Ironically - or perhaps almost tragically, he is seldom read outside academic circles or among some few select (conservative) sociological specialists.

Since President Barack Obama has called for "a White House-sponsored jobs summit" during December, 2009 -- BOTH of Dr. Sowell's books should be read, heeded and then used as un-biased references for all invited participants at the planned White House 'Jobs Summit' next month!
The information is there if you want to learn...  Feb 7, 2006
Thomas Sowell remains one of those quiet but hard hitting teachers for those who would learn. He lays his arguements out and then backs them up with pages and more pages of footnotes, sometimes half of his books are notes where one can recheck HIS background facts. I have had no illusions about the inconsistencies of "affirmative action" since I left home for the Army. Having been in many different lands with as many different cultures, I too have seen some of what he writes about.. The hypocritical use of victimhood to push a group of people "forward" at the cost of others to the detriment of all. He shows this repeatedly and does so by staying almost entirely out of the US for his examples. Singapore, Madacasgar, India etc...he lines up all the arguments and shows why discrimanation never seems to work out like it is supposed to. I read this book while travelling on an airplane here in the States..needless to say I got many unkind looks from many 'enlightened' fellow passengers. Read it and pass the word, this man is doing the Lord's work!
Data-Based, Analytical Assessment of Affirmative Action  Oct 5, 2004
Mr. Sowell takes an analytical, data-based approach to the assessment of affirmative action and avoids getting caught up in the obtuse, political rhetoric that too often defines the debate. He also details problems with other well known data-based studies on the topic, illuding to the purposeful skewing of the analysis. The book offers a comprehensive analysis of affirmative action across several countries with long track records. Mr. Sowell concludes by drawing a clear picture of the predominant failures of affirmative action across the globe and over time.

The book is filled with untapped data and new ways of looking at this topic. As the author notes, many of the question he seeks to answer with regard to the promised benefits of affirmative action are considered taboo in today's ultra-politically correct society.
A rare international study of affirmative action  Sep 11, 2004
Growing up in the 80's and 90's, all of the arguments I heard regarding Affirmative Action focused on what was fair and who deserved what. I consider it a real triumph of A.A. supporters to keep the debate over (1.) rationale and not results, and (2.) the local school district or state college system. My test scores and grades in high school might have been good enough for a full scholarship at Univ. of Illinois, had I been anything other than a white male. Yet, I was convinced in those days that A.A. was merely overextended and still valid in many situations. Years of working have since taught me that those who were artificially promoted/admitted/etc. through A.A. were not, in the end, done any real favors. It's not the late 1990's anymore: the severe costs of hiring and firing in this country make it increasingly likely that an academic degree is insufficient to land someone the job one wants. They have to demonstrate some real ability. Hence, I became very skeptical about A.A. before ever seeing Dr. Sowell's book, but I had grown well beyond any personal bitterness from those collegiate admission days. You don't have to have some bugaboo about A.A. to appreciate this book.

This study is the result of travelling and in-depth research. Dr. Sowell has obviously thought about India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Malaysia for a long time, and met with the people on multiple "sides" in each country. Unlike the proponents of A.A., he went out and collected the data. Reviewers here bring up Zimbabwe, but I think Dr. Sowell has done enough to show the implications of the politicization of ethnic differences. Judgements of A.A. are based on the examination of the outcomes, and if all you've previously heard about A.A. is the rhetoric, these judgements are going to strike you as extremely controversial.

A highly recommended purchase. The price looks high for a small book, but the brevity and clarity are assets in this case.
Required AA reading  Aug 18, 2004
This book is required reading for anyone with an opinion on affirmative action. If you haven't noticed, most of the support and opposition for AA is somewhat theoretical and rhetorical, very little study has been made about the actual affects of these policies. Another interesting fact is that the US didn't exactly invent AA, and has been around more than twice as long in countries like India in much more stringent forms. So wouldn't it be a good idea to study these countries when creating our own AA policy? Not to mention, these countries, unlike the US, have kept much more detailed statistical records of their AA programs. This is exactly what Sowell does, and his conclusions are not favorable for the pro-AA crowd.

The book is well organized into an introductory chapter, and then single chapters each for the various country case studies. The final chapter summarizes the findings. Each case study is further subdivided into common subsections.

The overriding conclusion of every study is that AA does not work, almost universally hampers the progress of racial minorities instead of helping, and creates racial tension so severe it has resulted in the deaths of over a million people in Nigeria and India (the two worst cases). The severity of these consequences is directly proportional to the stringency of the AA rules. The US version of AA for instance is really quite weak when compared internationally, with its broad racial classes and use of normalizing quotas. Policies in other countries were far more severe and therefore damaging. For instance in Malaysia, the government literally forced Chinese business owners to give interests in their own private businesses to the ethnic Malays in order to promote their equality in commerce. Malaysia's policies eventually resulted in an unusual historic event, the first ever instance of a country voluntarily disowning part of its own territory, Singapore in this case, in order to separate the two now violently opposed racial groups. The case of Nigeria is the saddest of all, where there was formerly racial harmony of this multiethnic state, once the strict AA policies were imposed the country fell into one of the worst civil wars in history, breaking the country into separate territories and an enormous death toll.

Sowell's conclusion is that almost universally AA policies were intended for narrow use, and temporary in nature. Yet as with all government programs, they inevitably take on a life of their own, instead of lasting only a few decades they live forever, and grow in scope as in the US from helping blacks, to eventually helping every group that can lobby their way in from hispanics to native americans to white women. It is at this point that the real purpose of AA becomes all to clear, both in the US as in countries around the world, the wholesale purchase of minority votes at the expense of the entire country.

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