Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell (/soʊl/; born June 30, 1930) is an American economist and social theorist who is currently a Senior Fellow at the Hoover InstitutionStanford University.

Sowell was born in North Carolina but grew up in HarlemNew York. He dropped out of Stuyvesant High School and served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. He received a bachelor’s degree, graduating magna cum laude[1] from Harvard University in 1958 and a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1959. In 1968, he earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago.

Sowell has served on the faculties of several universities, including Cornell University and the University of California, Los Angeles. He has also worked for think tanks such as the Urban Institute. Since 1980, he has worked at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He writes from a libertarian conservative perspective, advocating supply-side economics. Sowell has written more than thirty books (a number of which have been reprinted in revised editions), and his work has been widely anthologized. He is a National Humanities Medal recipient for the innovative scholarship which incorporated history, economics and political science.


  • (1971), Economics: Analysis and Issues
  • (1972), Say’s Law: A Historical Analysis
  • (1975), Race and Economics
  • (1980). Knowledge and Decisions.
  • (1981). Pink and Brown People and Other Controversial Essays.
  • (1981). Markets and Minorities.
  • (1981). Ethnic America: A History.
  • (1983). The Economics and Politics of Race.
  • (1984). Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?
  • (1985). Marxism: Philosophy and Economics.
  • (1986). Education: Assumptions Versus History.
  • (1987). Compassion Versus Guilt and Other Essays. William Morrow
  • (1987). A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles.
  • (1990). Preferential Policies: An International Perspective
  • (1993). Inside American Education
  • (1993). Is Reality Optional?
  • (1995). Race and Culture: A World View.
  • (1995). The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy.
  • (1996). Migrations and Cultures: A World View,
  • (1998). Conquests and Cultures: An International History,
  • (1998). Late-Talking Children,
  • (1999). Barbarians Inside the Gates and Other Controversial Essays,
  • (1999). The Quest for Cosmic Justice,
  • (2000). A Personal Odyssey,
  • (2002). Controversial Essays,
  • (2002). The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late,
  • (2003). Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One,
  • (2004). Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy, revised and expanded ed.
  • (2004). Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study.
  • (2005). Black Rednecks and White Liberals.
  • (2006). On Classical Economics. New Haven, CO: Yale University Press.
  • (2006). Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays.
  • (2007). A Man of Letters.
  • (2007). Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy(3rd ed.).
  • (2007). Economic Facts and Fallacies.
  • (2008). Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One (2nd ed.).
  • (2009). The Housing Boom and Bust.
  • (2010). Intellectuals and Society.
  • (2010). Dismantling America.
  • (2010). Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy(4th ed.).
  • (2011). The Thomas Sowell Reader.
  • (2013). Intellectuals and Race.
  • (2014). Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy(5th ed.).
  • (2015). Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective.
  • (2016). Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective (2nd ed.).
  • (2018). Discrimination and Disparities.
  • (2019). Discrimination and Disparities: Revised, Enlarged ed.