Barbarians Inside the Gates: And Other Controversial Essays (Hoover Institution Press Publication) [Paperback]

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In this latest collection of his highly provocative essays, Thomas Sowell once again demonstrates why he is one of the most thoughtful, readable, and controversial thinkers of our time. With his usual unrelenting candor, he cuts through the stereotypes, popular mythology, and what he calls the "mush" surrounding the critical issues facing the American social, economic, political, legal, racial, and education scenes. Sowell's hard-hitting, and ruthlessly honest, views include his commentary on

  • Affirmative Action "No dogma has taken a deeper hold with less evidence---or in the face of more massive evidence to the contrary."
  • Cultural Bias "Life is culturally biased. . . . As limited human beings, we must make our choices among the alternatives actually available. A culture-free society has never been one of those alternatives."
  • The Media "The public apparently has no 'right to know' that the politically correct conclusions they keep hearing may not be factually correct."
  • Immigration "The fact that immigrants were once valuable additions to the country does not mean that the same thing may be arbitrarily assumed today, any more than the fact that horses and buggies were once the best way to get around means that we should rely on them today."
  • The Minimum Wage "What is the minimum wage law but an unfunded mandate imposed on private organizations? It is like impulse buying and charging it to somebody else's credit card."
  • Multiculturalism "Are we to indulge in absolute fantasy and say that statistical 'diversity' promotes better intergroup relations, against blatant evidence that it is poisoning people against one another?"
  • Social Security "Nothing is more grossly a transfer of wealth from those with less to those with more. . . . Once we face up to the fact that Social Security is welfare for the elderly, we need to ask ourselves why affluent people of any age should be a burden on others."
  • The Litigation Explosion "The very idea that the burden of proof is on the party who makes a legal charge has gone out the window as far as whole categories of charges are concerned. This is true in . . . so-called women's issues, racial issues, environmental issues, and other crusades pushed by strident activists."
Sowell combines applied reason and common sense with actual historical and statistical evidence to demolish widely held views on these and other controversial subjects, including racial quotas, prayer in schools, the health care system, cultural "identity," Wade versus Roe, gays in the military, the death penalty, Louis Farrakhan, and more.

Item Specifications...

Pages   268
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 1, 1999
Publisher   Hoover Institution Press
ISBN  081799582X  
EAN  9780817995829  

Availability  0 units.

More About Thomas Sowell, Carly Robins, Gury Schneider-ludorff, Anselm Schubert, Axel Tollner, Tu Weiming, Frances F. Berdan & Gerard S. Sloyan
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?
Thomas Sowell provides tolerant insight.  May 26, 2006
If you have an open mind in religion and politics, or if you think you have, then Thomas Sowell is for you. He shows us how faith, spirituality, equality and social responsibility can fall into place. Sowell is not intimidated by the people in power. His shows us how tiny the difference is between education and brain-washing, between a capitalist democracy and fascism. My only criticism is that he asks us for the ultimate reason, for common sense and rationality. People are about love and relationships and not about reason. He asks the right questions, but we need to find the right answers.
Classic Sowell  Oct 17, 2004
The book is a collection of his short articles, organized in the following categories; Social, Economic, Political, Legal, Racial, Education.

Sowell's logical and concise arguments hit like a hammer blow to those on the political left how tend to disagree with him.

The title of the book comes from the first essay in the book. The relevant line in the essay is:

"The Barbarians are not at the gates. They are inside the gates -and have academic tenure, judicial appointments, government grants and control of the movies, television and other media."

Rome didn't fall in a day. Events which caused the fall of the Roman Empire happened decades before Rome fell. Sowell gives us a warning on the future of the USA and some hope that society can improve.
Cuts the Mush  Sep 17, 2004
Thomas Sowell writes about the most important issues facing the United States today. He is a brillant and insightful thinker who cuts through all the crap and sloppy ideas that the counter-culture has been pushing on us over the past several decades.

Dr. Sowell gives a rational argument for common sense in major issues of society, economic, political, legal, racial and educational.

I love this guy and plan to read more of his books. I even begun writing my legislators. Thomas, I hope you don't mind me using your ideas when I do write them.

Thanks again for putting together these essays that cut through all the cerebral mush.
Thomas Sowell=5 stars. No, make it 10  Jul 5, 2004
While I've read plenty of work by plenty of writers influencing my beliefs on one issue or another, Thomas Sowell's writing has had a much more profound influence on my thinking: it's changed the very way that I view the world around me. As America becomes more divided and less free, Thomas Sowell is one of the only places I can reliably turn for an interesting dissident voice. In this collection of remarkably succint and insightful essays, Sowell pokes at the foundations of the prevailing ideologies of the day until the whole house of cards comes tumbling down. Although he's typically assigned the simplistic label "conservative," Sowell's analyses go well beyond the tired, often irrelevant divide between the "left" and the "right." Sowell isn't trying to get elected or win any popularity contests, and he doesn't have an ideological axe to grind; he's just a guy with a great deal of respect for logic, truth, and the founding ideals of this country. Indeed, Sowell dispenses with the drivel spouted by politicians of both parties as he cuts through what he calls the "mush" that typically passes for informed debate these days. Sowell has written much about the self-satisfied "anointed" who hold so much power and shape so much of the debate in this country, and he launches a frontal assault in these essays against every bastion of their power. No one is spared from Sowell's disdain for our self-appointed betters: politicians, welfare statists, race hucksters, feminists, the media, the judiciary, and most of all the educational establishment that has sold generations of kids down the river in the name of feel-good "progressive" ideas. Although he typically writes with the utmost restraint, Sowell can be outrageous and sometimes even hilarious, as in this little nugget: "Liberals love to say things like, 'We're just asking everyone to pay their fair share'. But government is not about asking. It is about telling. The difference is fundamental. It is the difference between making love and being raped, between working for a living and being a slave." There are plenty more such penetrating insights to be found here, along with an avalanche of facts, to go along with Sowell's justified contempt at America's modern-day elites. If you read Thomas Sowell and you're not quickly converted to his way of thinking, well then, as someone once said, "You can't handle the truth!"
I am in agreement with the other reviewers  Aug 24, 2003

Thomas Sowell is more than just a critical thinker: he has a penchant for expressing his ideas with a clarity with which it is difficult to argue. He uses that uncommon commodity known, for some strange reason, as "common sense."

Sowell points out`the ludicrous incongruities of the liberal "philosophy" in terms so plain and unvarnished that only one attempting a proctological examination on themselves could miss it.

An example: "The point of being a superpower is so that no one will attack you and require the sacrifice of more and more young Americans like those buried in this cemetery. We were attacked at Pearl Harbor because we were sitting ducks who had allowed our military forces to dwindle away until we had an army smaller than Portugal's--and not enough equipment even for this small force." Page 7.

Or: "Multiculturism is one of those affectations that people can indulge in when they are enjoying all the fruits of modern technology and can grandly disdain the processes that produced them. None of this would be anything more than another of the many foibles of the human race, except that the cult of multiculturism has become the new religion of our schools and colleges, contributing to the mushing of America. It has become part of the unexamined assumptions underlying public policy and even decisions in courts of law." Page 19.

Or: "Much of the current uproar about IQ differences between blacks and whites does not get down to the rock-bottom question: What is there to explain? The average score of blacks in IQ tests in the United States is about 85, compared to a national averge of 100. Is that unusual? No. It is not." He goes on to explain that various groups of various ancestries have had IQs of 85 at various times and places, and he names some of them, and says that the phenomenon is not peculiar to the United States, and he admits that he doesn't know why. Even American aoldiers of the First World War had lower IQs than our soldiers of the Second World War. Page 176.

This is a man to be reckoned with, and these essays are valuable for their insights, most of which effectively puncture widely and emotionally held ideas, especially those that are deemed "politically correct," and institutionalized unquestioned dogma of the liberal anointed who think they are qualified to tell the rest of us how to think and act.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books


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