Intellectuals and Race

  • by Thomas Sowell
  • Narrated by Robertson Dean
  • 5 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Intellectuals and Race is a radical book in the original sense - one that goes to the root of the problem. The role of intellectuals in racial strife is explored in an international context that puts the American experience in a wholly new light.
Intellectuals have played a major role in racial issues throughout the centuries. Though their individual views may differ, as a whole their views tend to group, and just over the course of the twentieth century, they have shifted from one end of the spectrum to the other. Surprisingly, these radically different views of race were held by intellectuals whose views on other issues were often very similar.
Intellectuals and Race is not, however, a book about history, even though it has much historical evidence, as well as demographic, geographic, and economic evidence - all of it directed toward testing the underlying assumptions about race that have prevailed at times among intellectuals in general, and especially at their highest levels.
Nor is this simply a theoretical exercise. Sowell’s ultimate concern is the impact of intellectual movements on the larger society, both past and present. These ideas and crusades have ranged widely from racial theories of intelligence to eugenics to “social justice” and multiculturalism.
In addition to in-depth examinations of these and other issues, Intellectuals and Race explores the incentives, the visions, and the rationales that drive intellectuals at the highest levels to conclusions that have often turned out to be counterproductive and even disastrous, not only for particular racial or ethnic groups but for societies as a whole.

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What the Critics Say

"Sowell brings an all-too-rare perspective to whatever he writes about - that of a conservative black intellectual, especially valuable for this book’s topic." (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Simply superb

Would you listen to Intellectuals and Race again? Why?

Yes. It is an excellent book with a lot of information. Robertson Dean did an excellent job of narration.


What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Viewing history from an economic perspective is absolutely fascinating. Personally, I have had a sporadic interest in history as a matter of race. Consequently, this book took a lot of I had learned in a sporadic fashion and bound it in a deeper context.


What does Robertson Dean bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I don't know. I just like Robertson's voice. I think that is partly because he and Sowell each have deep voices so it is more like hearing Sowell talk, though the rhythm of their speech is drastically different.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I don't know and I don't know why this question is asked.


Any additional comments?

This book is an expansion of some information from Sowell's Intellectuals and Society. I highly recommend each.

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- Joseph Ivy "I can has read"

A Satisfying Indictment of the Intelligentsia

Reading Thomas Sowell is like taking the red pill. Decades of thorough research has allowed him to offer readers an international and historical lens through which they might view contemporary issues, and it is truly eye-opening. This book focuses primarily on intellectuals/the intelligentsia and their role in shaping their respective societies' understanding (or, more appropriately, misunderstanding) of the various intergroup issues that they face. In a world where facts matter, his unflinching and often tragically humorous characterization of the intelligentsia, whose truth-be-damned rhetorical and ideological pieties have throughout history and in various places around the world led to devastating real world consequences, is painfully necessary. I must admit that I wryly enjoy his characterization of intellectuals as (and I may be paraphrasing slightly) pseudo-enlightened academics and educated folk who make everything a matter of social justice so that they may position themselves as warriors fighting on the side of the angels against the forces of evil in their own grandiose moral melodramas.

Indeed, in a world where facts matter, it's refreshing to have a man of good character who has always throughout an incredible career been dedicated to honest empiricism and rational analysis. That he is one of only a few makes reading his work as saddening as it is invigorating.
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- Andrew

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-22-2013
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.