This explosive new book challenges many of the long-prevailing assumptions about blacks, about Jews, about Germans, about slavery, and about education. Plainly written, powerfully reasoned, and backed with a startling array of documented facts, Black Rednecks and White Liberals takes on not only the trendy intellectuals of our times but also such historic interpreters of American life as Alexis de Tocqueville and Frederick Law Olmsted. In a series of long essays, this book presents an in-depth look at key beliefs behind many mistaken and dangerous actions, policies, and trends. It presents eye-opening insights into the historical development of the ghetto culture that is today wrongly seen as a unique black identity--a culture cheered on toward self-destruction by white liberals who consider themselves "friends" of blacks. An essay titled "The Real History of Slavery" presents a jolting re-examination of that tragic institution and the narrow and distorted way it is too often seen today. The reasons for the venomous hatred of Jews, and of other groups like them in countries around the world, are explored in an essay that asks, "Are Jews Generic?" Misconceptions of German history in general, and of the Nazi era in particular, are also re-examined. So too are the inspiring achievements and painful tragedies of black education in the United States. "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" is the capstone of decades of outstanding research and writing on racial and cultural issues by Thomas Sowell.
Thomas Sowell's classic book on the influence of modern intellectuals
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 those intellectuals.
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 proved 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.
This much revised and reorganized edition of Intellectuals and Society is more than half again larger than the first edition. Four new chapters have been added on intellectuals and race, including a chapter on race and intelligence.
Thomas Sowell's incisive critique of the intellectuals' destructive role in shaping ideas about race in America
Intellectuals and Race is a radical book in the original sense of 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.

The views of individual intellectuals have spanned the spectrum, but the views of intellectuals as a whole have tended to cluster. Indeed, these views have clustered at one end of the spectrum in the early twentieth century and then clustered at the opposite end of the spectrum in the late twentieth century. Moreover, these radically different views of race in these two eras were held by intellectuals whose views on other issues were very similar in both eras.

Intellectuals and Race is not, however, a book about history, even though it has much historical evidence, as well as demographic, geographic, economic and statistical evidence-- all of it directed toward testing the underlying assumptions about race that have prevailed at times among intellectuals in general, and especially intellectuals at the highest levels. Nor is this simply a theoretical exercise. The impact of intellectuals' ideas and crusades on the larger society, both past and present, is the ultimate concern. 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.
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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