Intellectuals and Society (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Basic Books, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 669 pages
4 Reviews
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.


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User Review  - seashoredawn -

This book was a gift. The recipient was thrilled! He said it is another great piece of work by Thomas Sowell. Shipping was quick too. All around a perfect experience. Read full review

Review: Intellectuals and Society

User Review  - John Martindale - Goodreads

Written and researched, but extremely depressing. The millions of lives and poverty and cultural ruin intellectuals have brought to the world, due their assumptions and propaganda is outrageous. Read full review


Title Page
Chapter 2 Knowledge andNotions
Economic Systems
Government and the Economy
Abstract People in an Abstract World
METHODS OFCHANGE Chapter 13 Law and Results
The World Wars
Chapter15The Cold War andBeyond REPLAYING THE1930s
Disparities and Their Causes
Race and Intelligence
Chapter 18 Liberalism and Multiculturalism THELIBERAL
The Influence of Intellectuals

EQUALITY Chapter 8 ArgumentsWithout Arguments
Patterns of the Anointed
Subjective Truth

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About the author (2012)

Thomas Sowell is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has been a professor of economics at leading American colleges and universities, and has lectured in Singapore, Israel, Switzerland, and Germany, as well as across the United States.

Bibliographic information