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Is Reality Optional?: And Other Essays


Sowell challenges all the assumptions of contemporary liberalism on issues ranging from the economy to race to education in this collection of controversial essays, and captures his thoughts on politics, race, and common sense with a section at the end for thought-provoking quotes.
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Sowell challenges all the assumptions of contemporary liberalism on issues ranging from the economy to race to education in this collection of controversial essays, and captures his thoughts on politics, race, and common sense with a section at the end for thought-provoking quotes.
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Editorial Reviews

A collection of pieces originally published in Forbes, newspapers, and The American Spectator. Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817992620
  • Publisher: Hoover Institution Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1993
  • Series: Publication Series , #41
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Among his published works are Basic Economics, Late Talking Children, and Race and Culture. He has also published in both academic journals and the popular media including Newsweek, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and 150 newspapers that carry his nationally syndicated column.
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Table of Contents

Pt. 1 The Social Scene
Is Reality Optional? 3
Grasshopper and Ant 5
Families under Siege 7
Saving the Whales 9
Apologizing for Civilization 10
Being "With It" 12
Wise Man 14
The Green Bigots Turn Bloody 16
Science versus Unisex 18
Abusing Children - and the Truth 20
Social Deterioration 22
What's News? 24
The Real Anita Hill 26
The Chump Society 28
Pt. II The World Scene
India's Economy 33
China's Birth Control 35
Bilingualism in Singapore 37
Beggars in Paris 39
Western Civilization under Siege 41
Testing Intelligence 43
The Mindset of Munich 45
All Over the Map 47
Despotism in Retreat 49
Pt. III The Economic Scene
"Rich" and "Poor" Statistics 53
"Needs" 54
Who Watches the Watchers? 56
The Nobel Prize in Economics 58
Homelessness and Property Rights 61
Photography and the Economy 63
Social Security Fraud 65
Profit Without Honor 67
"Non-Profit" Without Honor 69
George J. Stigler (1911-1991) 71
Pt. IV The Political Scene
The Century of the Intellectual 75
Media Bias 77
Wars over Values 79
The Left versus the Common Man 81
Super Safety 83
The Time of the Tinkerers 84
Nibbling Away Freedom 86
Throwing Money - and Intercepting It 88
Spoiled Brat Politics 90
Dangerous Government 92
AIDS Testing 94
Drug Addicts and Busybody Addicts 96
What is "Conservatism"? 98
"Aha!" Statistics 100
"Aha!" Statistics (No. 2) 102
"Aha!" Statistics (No. 3) 104
"Aha!" Statistics (No. 4) 106
"Impossible" Political Reforms 108
Pt. V The Education Scene
Excuse Time 113
Minority College Students 115
Brainwashing in School 116
The Economics of Academe 119
Quotas Against Asians 121
"Sex Education" Fraud 123
The Future of Academe 125
Unsung Heroes 127
Students as Pawns 129
Student Loans 131
Multicultural Madness 133
Pt. VI The Legal Scene
"Views" versus Integrity 139
The Anti-trust Picture 141
Supreme Second-Guessers 142
Supreme Chutzpah 144
Will Property Rights Return? 146
Court Politicians 148
Courting the Anointed 150
The Constitution 152
Pt. VII The Racial Scene
"Minorities" 157
Historical Apologies 159
"Affirmative Action" Backlash 161
Race and Religion 163
Apartheid in Adoptions 165
Stereotypes versus the Market 167
A Look Back 169
The Un-Quota 171
"Leaders" and "Spokesmen" 173
Gratitude to Fat Cats 175
Racial Statistics 177
Moral Monopoly 179
Racial Paranoia 181
The New Racial Etiquette 183
An Exceptional Need 185
Pt. VIII Random Thoughts
Random Thoughts 189
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