Brilliant people understand and use very difficult concepts, while geniuses are that small group who can also explain those ideas simply enough for most others to understand them. Thomas Sowell, with his crystalline intelligence and erudite yet demystifying writing, is such a genius.
This book is a compendium of his works ranging over decades, yet so insightful and important are his thoughts that it is almost impossible to date them- their pertinence is literally timeless.
Ranging over politics, education, legal theory, race and other categories, Sowell brilliantly analyzes a broad spectrum of topics including the reason homeruns increased in the 1920's, the effects of affirmative action across the globe , Marx's life and personality, and the effects of geography on culture and economic development, always bringing to bear that ability to undermine commonly accepted assumptions with facts and logic.
As anyone who is familiar with Sowell knows, he is a Black Conservative philosopher whose main preoccupation is subjecting the thoughts and actions of those he calls the anointed, Progressive politicians and intellectuals, to the light of reality and commonsense, and in the process decimating their arguments while also demonstrating how dangerous they are. Given the partisan political environment today, this exegesis of so much of what is accepted as axiomatic fact is an invaluable guide for those who find themselves grasping to really understand and weigh the political and social aspirations and effects of the Left.
And therein lie the limits of the popularity of this book. For a Conservative or anyone who values the collective intelligence and experience that is institutionalized in the free market and cultural entities like the family and religions, or anyone with an open mind willing to be guided by one of the great thinkers of our times in navigating the treacherous maze that political and cultural discourse has become, this book is a delight and invaluable.
For Progressives and their intellectual allies this book will be anathema, something to be mocked and burned as a heresy.
You must decide who you are. For those who eagerly open this book to be enlightened or just comforted, you will find all your expectations more than fulfilled.