- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books (28 Jun. 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 046508995X
- ISBN-13: 978-0465089956
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
194,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #241 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Government & Politics > Countries & Regions > United States
- #486 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Social Issues > Social Welfare & Services
- #1568 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Government & Politics > Political Science & Ideology > Political Science
- See Complete Table of Contents
The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy Paperback – 28 Jun 1996
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About the Author
Thomas Sowell has taught economics at a number of colleges and universities, including Cornell, University of California Los Angeles, and Amherst. He has published both scholarly and popular articles and books on economics, and is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have studied systems - engineering, ecological, social and to some extent economic - as I have, you will understand why some actions that appear to be obviously correct have a much reduced or opposite effect to that intended. A brilliant, readable account of one case is given in `Risk' by John Adams. He describes, amongst many other things, why seat belts do not save lives or reduce accidents. (Read it - the argument is compelling.) Social and economic systems are much more complicated than seat belts and understanding them is much more difficult. (Hayek, in `The Fatal Conceit' takes the view that many are effectively beyond understanding.) The result is that governments intervene, guided by a dogma that is regarded as self-evidently correct and is rarely questioned. This is what Sowell calls the `Vision'. Because the vision is so deeply ingrained, the anointed find excuses for each failure and repeat the process. They learn nothing from history.
The writing style is serious of course, but the book is very readable and includes many interesting cases. These examples are American but most people will identify many similar cases in the UK. The vision, and problems it causes, are international.
This is a political message of course; and the response of many people will simply be to turn off. A little silent abuse will be, for many, enough to dismiss the unpleasant thought that they may be wrong. However, for anyone interested in our political systems, who is objective enough to consider the whole spectrum of views, this book is a must.
That said, this is an important book, an excellent catalog of fallacies relied on by those who prefer force to persuasion in the furthering of their beliefs.
Everybody with a social conscience should read and understand the message in this book. Literacy and numeracy aren't enough, you must understand how Political systems work too. Sowell provides answers that educated people should know, understand and act upon.
The book is very well written, crisp and coherent without itself becoming dogmatic - this is no rant from the Daily Mail. On my shelf next to `The March of Unreason' and `Life at the Bottom' which are also excellent.
Buy, read and share with others.
This is hardly news in itself, but what Sowell does to great effect is explain what the underlying cause of their beliefs is, ie that mankind can be perfected at no cost if we were to just give the right people power over us. He highlights the media and its complicitness in not examining the facts that the anointed put forwards, even when a fairly simple look at the figures would reveal the truth to be the exact opposite.
His chapter on judicial activism, the use of courts to create legislation in direct contravention of the written law of the land, is illuminating. Often Judges clearly overstep the limits of their power and invent completely new laws. Despite the fact that most of the examples are American one does not have to look too far to see parallels in Britain, (ie. the Bulger case and the European courts pro IRA verdicts)
Paul Johnson the Historian who writes for the Daily Mail and Spectator in the U.K. has said he considers Thomas Sowell to be the greatest living Philosopher/Commentator in America and the rest of the world yet aside from that his work gets very little exposure in this country.
Sowells biggest strength is observing the common patterns of deception that the left uses time and time again without being picked up on it. His book conveys often conveys complex information yet never alienates itself from a lay reader. A Superb book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Received book within 3-4 days.
Book was in the condition stated.
It should be a standard read for ALL politicians.
This is an excellent book and although I have only given it three stars I do so only because the examples the author uses are perhaps a little out of date (when every week, if not... Read morePublished 17 months ago by opus
Strongly recommended and eerily predicts much of modern politics.Published on 18 Jan. 2015 by mickey
A fascinating read from one of the most learned and educated men whose works I've stumbled across. Will dismantle a lot of social myths, but is not simply a guidebook on how to win... Read morePublished on 22 Nov. 2014 by Amazon Customer
Brilliant analysis, cutting comment, totally accurate representation of the 'anointed'.Published on 1 Oct. 2014 by RDGeorge
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the way decisions that affects us are made in the government of today and how falsely they are presented as the... Read morePublished on 14 Mar. 2014 by Stefanos Stamatiou
Thomas Sowell is truly the beacon of scholarly honesty and profound scientific attitude in a misty world of self-congratulating and halo-polishing academia. Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2013 by Per Harbo
When considering public policy issues, we often think only of the elements of that specific problem. Read morePublished on 24 Dec. 2012 by James Gallen
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