ISBN: 0465025226
EAN13: 9780465025220
Language: English
Release Date: Mar 6, 2012
Pages: 680
Dimensions: 1.54" H x 9.25" L x 6.2" W
Weight: 2.61 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

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This title offers a withering and clear-eyed critique about--but not for--intellectuals that explores their impact on public opinion, policy, and society at large. The thesis of Intellectuals and Society states that the influence of intellectuals is not only greater than in previous eras but also takes a very different form from that envisioned by those like Machiavelli and others who have wanted to directly influence rulers. It has not been by shaping the opinions or directing the actions of the holders of power that modern intellectuals have most influenced the course of events but by shaping public opinion in ways that affect the actions of power holders in democratic societies, whether or not those power holders accept the general vision or the particular policies favored by intellectuals. Even government leaders with disdain or contempt for intellectuals have had to bend to the climate of opinion shaped by them. Intellectuals and Society not only examines the track record of intellectuals in the things they have advocated, but also analyzes the incentives and constraints under which their views and visions have emerged. One of the most surprising aspects of this study is how often intellectuals have been proven not only wrong, but grossly and disastrously wrong in their prescriptions for the ills of society--and how little their views have changed in response to empirical evidence of the disasters entailed by those views.

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Book Reviews (9)

5
  |   9  reviews
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5
   Another Bulls Eye
Takes black rednecks and white liberals to the next level and skewers the arrogant mindset. We truly need them to stay within their specialities and stop preaching about what they do not know.
 
5
   Intellectuals and Society
He is super smart and much like Bill Cosby in his attitude towards race problems and how to solve them. He is, however, much harder on the pseudo-intellectuals in society.
 
4
   Worthwhile. Not an easy read
At least for me, not always. I think that Sowell has written himself that this edition is more geared towards the layperson. Nevertheless, I find there are passages that I need to read to get the full meaning. But that is just me. That said, it is definitely worthwhile and, as usual, Sowell makes very good points and persuasive arguments about how the anointed erode our freedoms and why they get away with it.
 
5
   great book from a great thinker
Thomas Sowell gives clear expression to the nagging concern that the most devastating atrocities against mankind were preceded by self-impressed intellectuals that set dangerous ideas in motion as they congratulate each other for such impressive insight.
 
5
   A Challenging Way to View Life
This book explores many interesting aspects of life and how much society has come to think about them. Along with these ideas it offers alternative ways of thinking about the way these ideas actually evolved. It challenges the accepted norm of thinking about many aspects of our lives. The challenging read was enjoyed.
 
5
   Good for your Sowell
Thomas Sowell has read many books by me. He is a condescending and teaches us to teach our soul with every word he writes. I admire his wonderful mind and his ability to express his message.
 
5
   Scary!
Really good book ''. Shows how intellectuals are usually wrong as a group and how their ideas have hurt society.
 
5
   NOT the 2nd Edition
One option to tell if you have a real second edition is to look at the preface. If it begins with the words, This greatly revised and greatly enlarged edition..., then you have the 2nd edition. If the preface begins, there has probably never been an era in history..., then you are looking at the first and smaller edition. I have both editions and it appears Amazon does not offer the 2nd edition, though their product description says they do.
 
5
   Excellent history of Marxism on college campuses, and the destructive effects of socialist ideology on students.
My grandfather '' introduced me to Dr Sowell when I was 12. Saying the least, he helped shape my intellectual wrote. Although I was a good little socialist when I started college, a year as a vice president of the college democrats destroyed any sympathy I had for socialism. I resigned, told him why I was resigning and that they should probably wake up too, lose a bunch of friends '' and have never regretted it. If they support government stealing, they will just stick their hand in their purse.
 
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