Race and Culture: A World View


Encompassing more than a decade of research around the globe, this book shows that cultural capital has far more impact than politics, prejudice, or genetics on the social and economic fates of minorities, nations, and civilization.

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Encompassing more than a decade of research around the globe, this book shows that cultural capital has far more impact than politics, prejudice, or genetics on the social and economic fates of minorities, nations, and civilization.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sowell ( Ethnic America ) draws on a worldwide range of examples and more than a decade of research in this intriguing exploration of the role of cultural attributes on group advancement. He aims to demonstrate the ``reality, persistence, and consequences of cultural differences--contrary to many of today's grand theories based on the supposed dominant role of `objective conditions,' `economic forces' or `social structures.' '' He tackles a host of issues: the costs and benefits of residential segregation; how affirmative action primarily helps better-off members of preferred groups; how prominent political leaders are not crucial to group success; how low-scoring groups on intelligence tests do their worst on abstract questions devoid of ``cultural bias.'' Sowell's observations have force, but he sometimes sacrifices depth for breadth. Although he claims to avoid policy prescriptions, he includes facile swipes against multiculturalism and argues, with varying degrees of plausibility, against liberal policies on race. Conservative Book Club selection. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Sowell, a black conservative and senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, moves beyond the domestic focus of his Ethnic America (LJ 6/1/81) to analyze the interplay between the cultural capital and social position of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities around the world. Observing ethnic and racial minorities migrating from country to country, Sowell postulates that existing intergroup cultural values play a predominate role in social status. These values determine which groups follow advances in science, technology, and organization, which fall behind, and which become societal leaders. Sowell concludes that the economic and social condition of many minorities lies not in social and political programs such as affirmative action but in the internal cultural values of the group. Sowell's study undoubtedly will arouse controversy and provoke debate. A valuable addition to minority studies collections in public and academic libraries alike.-Michael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Lib., Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465067978
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/1995
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 480,027
  • Lexile: 1750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Sowell has taught economics at a number of colleges and universities, including Cornell, University of California Los Angeles, and Amherst. He has published both scholarly and popular articles and books on economics, and is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 A World View 1
Ch. 2 Migration and Culture 32
Ch. 3 Conquest and Culture 61
Ch. 4 Race and Economics 81
Ch. 5 Race and Politics 117
Ch. 6 Race and Intelligence 156
Ch. 7 Race and Slavery 186
Ch. 8 Race and History 224
Notes 259
Index 317
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2002

    Social Science to the Nth Degree

    I have read the book years before, and although I continue to buy copies for many friends and associates, my dog-eared edition of Race and Culture is my bible on the history of man, his development, societal interactions, economic tendendies of individuals within societies... in short, a much more robust reference to the historical development of people than the title implies. I was fascinated with the actual tempo of the book, explaining the consequences of slavery, wars, territorial conflicts, and even empire building with the strict doctrine of scientific scrutiny. Indeed, Dr. Sewell had been completely thorough in his research to provide a most comprehensive, non-judgmental view on people. This is contrasted with a view based on agenda and judgmental bias, which some of the professional critics have transparently displayed in their own reviews of Race and Culture. With over 750 footnotes, Dr. Sewell admirably captures virtually every nuance of human interaction and evolution. Without a doubt, 'Race and Culture: A World View' is indeed as seminal a reference to the evolution of Man as any other publication to date.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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