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Publisher's Summary

Here is the gritty, powerful story of Thomas Sowell's life-long education in the school of hard knocks, a journey that took him from Harlem to the Marines, the Ivy League, and a career as a controversial writer, teacher, and economist in government and private industry. It is also the story of the dramatically changing times in which this personal odyssey took place. The vignettes of the people and places that made impressions on Sowell at various stages of his life range from the poor and powerless to the mighty and the wealthy, from a home for homeless boys to the White House. More than an account of Sowell's life, this is also the story of the people who gave him their help, their support, and their loyalty, as well as those who demonized him and knifed him in the back. It is a study not just of one life, but also of life itself, with all its exhilaration, pain, constant striving, and deserved success.
©2000 Thomas Sowell; (P)2001 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Offered a job simply because he was a black man, he turned it down and said why. Despite this righteousness, he has retained a sense of humor....Sowell admits to having had plenty of enemies, but enough friends to save him. This memoir should multiply the latter. Jeff Riggenbach...renders the narrative vividly." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By M. Ramsour on 05-17-07

Helps you understand the man

This autobiography of the economist Thomas Sowell helps you understand how many of his ideas, especially about education, were formed. As a man who was able to reach the heights of academic prominence, he illustrates how high academic expectations for children from any socio-economic background create fertile ground for their future successes. Even though the author had his own academic bumps along the way, due to family problems in high school, the spark was there from his earlier educational experiences to propel his pursuit of excellence forward.

It was also interesting to see how Sowell's own independent streak influenced his odyssey. He is definitely a man who knows his own mind and will not be pushed around by anyone. This is evidenced fairly early in his life and is a theme that continues throughout this book.

I wish he had discussed more the intellectual odyssey that influence the change in his economic philosophy from Marxism to the one he holds today. But, perhaps that is for another book.

I thought that the reader was excellent and made the autobiography come to life.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

By Chris on 09-13-10

Fascinating Story with Good Narration

After reading the print version of Applied Economics, I was curious to know more about Thomas Sowell. This book did a great job of satisfying my curiosity. Though, maybe unintentional, the humor of Thomas Sowell had me laughing out loud many times throughout, which made this an especially easy listen. Humorous bits aside, this is an amazing story that shows what a GED (general equivalency diploma) and years of hard work might get you.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Lukas Koube on 05-13-15


Thomas so well has an amazing story to tell in this book. You can learn all about his humble start and how he became the greatest intellectual alive.

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