Dismantling America: And Other Controversial Essays

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Overview

These wide-ranging essays—on many individual political, economic, cultural and legal issues—have as a recurring, underlying theme the decline of the values and institutions that have sustained and advanced American society for more than two centuries. This decline has been more than an erosion. It has, in many cases, been a deliberate dismantling of American values and institutions by people convinced that their superior wisdom and virtue must over-ride both the traditions of the country and the will of the people.

Whether these essays (originally published as syndicated newspaper columns) are individually about financial bailouts, illegal immigrants, gay marriage, national security, or the Duke University rape case, the underlying concern is about what these very different kinds of things say about the general direction of American society.

This larger and longer-lasting question is whether the particular issues discussed reflect a degeneration or dismantling of the America that we once knew and expected to pass on to our children and grandchildren. There are people determined that this country's values, history, laws, traditions and role in the world are fundamentally wrong and must be changed. Such people will not stop dismantling America unless they get stopped—and the next election may be the last time to stop them, before they take the country beyond the point of no return.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465022519
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 8/10/2010
  • Pages: 341
  • Sales rank: 321,516
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Thomas Sowell has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst and other academic institutions, and his Basic Economics has been translated into six languages. He is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has published in both academic journals in such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine and Fortune, and writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country.
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Table of Contents

Preface vii

Government Policies 1

Dismantling America 5

Dismantling America: Part II 5

Playing Freedom Cheap 11

Pretty Talk and Ugly Realities 14

The Blame Game 17

Bowing to "World Opinion" 20

Subsidizing Bad Decisions 23

Are You an "Extremist"? 26

Varieties of Nothing 29

What Are They Buying? 32

Cheap Political Theater 35

The Limits of Power 38

Serious or Suicidal? 41

Are We France? 44

Notional Security 47

A Fatal Trajectory 50

Survival Optional 53

Words versus Realities 56

Morally Paralyzed 59

Point of No Return 62

Something for Nothing? 65

Political Issues 69

The Art of the Impossible 74

Solving Whose Problem? 77

It's Pricelless 80

Inept Republicans 83

The Brainy Bunch 86

Mascot Politics 89

Utopia versus Freedom 92

Magic Words in Politics 95

A War of Words 98

Republicans in the Wilderness 101

Burke and Obama 104

Oily Politics 107

Photographic Fraud 110

Political Corruption 113

Tragic Implications 116

A Home Invader Program? 119

An Ugly Reality 122

Fables for Adults 125

Economic Issues 129

Tax Cuts and "Trickle Down" 133

Income Confusion 136

Upside Down Economics 139

An Economic Whodunit 142

False Solutions and Real Problems 145

Curing Poverty or Using Poverty? 148

The "Greed" Fallacy 151

Payday Loans 154

Stimulus or Sedative? 157

French Student Riots 160

That "Top One Percent" 163

Race and Economics 166

The "Costs" of Medical Care 169

The "Costs" of Medical Care: Part II 172

The "Costs" of Medical Care: Part III 175

The "Costs" of Medical Care: Part IV 178

Jobs or Snow Jobs? 181

A Glimmer of Hope 184

An Off-Budget Office? 187

Cultural Issues 191

Taking America for Granted 195

De-Programming Students 198

Attention-Getters 201

Mind-Changing Books 204

The Great Escape 207

The Fallacy of "Fairness" 210

The Fallacy of "Fairness": Part II 213

The Fallacy of "Fairness": Part III 216

The Fallacy of "Fairness": Part IV 219

Adolescent Intellectuals 222

Ivan and Boris Again 225

An Investment in Failure 228

The Underdogs 231

Artificial Stupidity 234

Too Many Apologies 237

The Bullet Counters 240

Old Boxing Matches 243

The Right to Win 246

Freedom and the Left 249

The Gratingest Generation 252

The "Science" Mantra 255

"Intellectuals" 258

Autism Cures? 261

All the "News"? 264

Myths of '68 267

Say It Ain't So 270

Preserving a Vision 273

Legal Issues 277

"Empathy" versus Law 282

"Empathy" versus Law: Part II 285

The Legal Meatgrinder 288

Supreme Farce 291

The Left and Crime 294

The Left and Crime: Part II 297

High-Stakes Courts 300

The Duke Rape Case 303

The Duke Rape Case: Part II 306

The Duke Rape Case: Part III 309

The Duke Rape Case: Part IV 312

Good Riddance 315

A Tangled Web 318

Talking Points 321

Gay "Marriage" 324

Tabloid TV "Justice" 327

Random Thoughts 331

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2010

    Eye opening

    This is another great book by this common sense author/economist. His clear, no nonsence look at our government and how they have, as the title states, dismantled this country both ecomomically and judiciously. Dr. Sowel does not mix words nor does he fix the blame on anyone political party or President, but rather shows clearly how polititians have systematically perverted the Constitution and dooped the American citizen into believing that they are looking out for you, when in fact they're just looking to get re-elected. Dr Sowel shows in these short essays, how the government has failed time after time and program after program with disaterous results. One of his quotes, not found in this book, truly reflects how this government, or any government thinks and functions. He said " Nothing is more stupid or dangerous than putting decisions in the hands of those people who pay no price for being wrong". If you are interested in this book, I recommend that you read it with an open mind and leave your political affiliation at the door. Dr Sowel makes no bones that he is a Conservative, but is quick to blame Republicans for economic blunders an wastefull spending.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2010

    Brilliant Sowell Survey Course

    The first book I read by Sowell was "Intellectuals and Society," and I wrote in my review that reading it was as enlightening as taking the most interesting course you ever took in college, taught by a rogue conservative who somehow wound up on the faculty. Well if "Intellectuals and Society" was a specialized, upper-level course, "Dismantling America" could be considered the introductory survey course (Sowell 101).

    That is by no means meant as a put-down. This book is wide-ranging and fantastic. Sowell's logic is undeniable and he will broaden your mind, whether he is pontificating on political, economic or social issues or simply something else that happens to be on his mind. As this is a collection of columns from the past couple of years, a few of them have been rendered slightly dated by real-world events, but even these are well worth your time. The drawback to the collection of columns is that a few of Sowell's thoughts and examples repeat themselves in multiple essays, but this is a relatively minor quibble. It also doesn't go too far in depth on any one issue, but like I said, this could be considered a "survey course."

    And what a survey course it is. A wonderful addition to the collection of any open-minded thinker. The section of "random thoughts" at the end is worth the price alone. Highly, highly recommended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic Read -- Brief Chapters To The Point

    Usually I'm not a fan of books when writers take a collection of their columns and throw them in a book.

    This book is an exception. While many of Sowell's commentaries are specific to past current events but he puts them in a broader historical context that makes sense past, present and future.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2010

    Get Educated

    You can't go wrong with Mr. Sowell.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Excellent read; pure brilliance.

    Such thought provoking topics with pure genius insight.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2010

    A must read!

    Insightful, informative, and thought provoking. I read Mr. Sowell's articles on the web at Human Events. Check out his really spot on observations.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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