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10 Best Thomas Sowell Books (2024)

Best Thomas Sowell Books ReviewBio

Thomas Sowell was born on the 30th of June, 1930, in North Carolina, United States of America. Thomas Sowell is a famous, well-respected American economist, social theorist, and a wonderful author who has garnered quite the following. At the present moment, Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.

Thomas was born in North Carolina, as we mentioned, but he was actually brought up in Harlem, New York. He attended Stuyvesant High School, but dropped out of it when he went to become a member of the United States Marine Corps at the time of the Korean War.

Best Thomas Sowell Books


In 1958, Thomas Sowell graduated magna cum laude, earning his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University along with a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1959. His Ph.D. was acquired nine years later from the University of Chicago.

During his lifetime, Thomas Sowell served in a number of different universities, among which are the University of California, Los Angeles, and, of course, Cornell University. In 1964, Sowell married Alma Jean Parr, but the two divorced in 1975. In 1981, Thomas married Mary Ash and the two have been together ever since. He has two children of his own. Now, let’s take a look at our Thomas Sowell book reviews.

Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy



Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy was published in the year 2000 and it spans a little under four-hundred-and-fifty pages. It is also one of the most well-known books of Thomas Sowell’s and, in our opinion, an indispensable read among the list of Thomas Sowell books.

What We Do and Don’t Know?

Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to Economy is a book that every man and woman should read at least once during their lifetime. It contains crucial and essential information regarding and pertaining to something that has great influence over all of our lives. Economics is something that we must understand if we have any hope of getting on the track of controlling our own financial and economic assets.

No Jargon. No Equations.

However, Sowell isn’t interested in any jargon or in mathematic equations that would make our heads hurt, no. Sowell writes his works in an accessible, easy to grasp language, while retaining the poise and the elegance of his writing style.

Here, he speaks of capitalism, of feudalism, of socialism, communism, and all the -isms concerning the Economy. The function of Economy is illuminated beautifully with the help of Thomas Sowell and we urge our readers to pick this one up.

Black Rednecks and White Liberals


Eye-Opening Truth

This 2005 book from the amazing and even extraordinary mind of Thomas Sowell is one that we find extremely easy to recommend. It is, without a doubt, one of Thomas Sowell’s best books we’ve come across and one we hope our readers will love as much as we do.

Black Rednecks and White Liberals is a brilliant book containing some of the most insightful and informative writing that we have seen from Thomas Sowell. The keen eye of Sowell has looked into the history and in the culture of the notion of race and he has seen much and has much to tell us.


During the 40s and 50s of the last century, Sowell argues that the destitute Southern rednecks were viewed by the employers from the North as ones that were slothful, without law, and salacious in nature. This paradigm or this form of pattern is what the Southern rednecks and the black minority shared, but not many, especially not during that time, were aware of this.


While over the course of time, these penniless whites and blacks slowly moved up in the social and economic ladder, the black rednecks are those that stagnated seemingly completely. Sowell argues that white liberals assert implicitly that the black redneck subculture is a facet of the black racial identity that is inextricable. This and the many other points that Sowell makes are more than worth your time.

Cultures Series


Important Contribution

The Culture series of Thomas Sowell’s is one of the very few he ever wrote, but also one of the most important contributions that he has made. The Thomas Sowell Culture series has some of the best Thomas Sowell books to read and we believe our readers will agree. The three books that comprise the series are:

  1. Race and Culture: A World View
  2. Migrations and Cultures: A World View
  3. Conquests and Cultures: An International History


It stands to reason that the idea of Cultures is something that we don’t confront each day of our lives. Hell, we barely ever think about what culture and all its tacit facets mean for us and for everyone in general, but we very much should.

It is an inextricable, indelible part of our identity, and it ought to be viewed as sacrosanct. In his Cultures series, Thomas Sowell makes numerous points that our review here cannot hope to cover, but only nudge our readers in the direction of the nearest bookstore.

A Long Research

The books of the Culture series are comprised of decades-long research collected not just from a single country, but from around the world. In here, Sowell shows how culture has even farther-reaching power over the world than genetics, stereotypes, and politics have over the socio-economic outlook of peoples, nations, and everything in between.

Economic Facts and Fallacies


Extremely Insightful

In 2007, Economic Facts and Fallacies saw the light of day and the light of many bookstores. It is a fantastic, extremely insightful book that we absolutely adore coming back to. Rightfully, it is on our list of the best Thomas Sowell books.

Truths and Falsehoods

In Economic Facts and Fallacies, Thomas Sowell explains all of the fallacies that he deems to be popular among the population regarding economics in general, but most often pertaining to economic issues.

Sowell achieves this by not falling into superfluous, redundant, or inaccessible writing, but while maintaining his perfect sense of self blended with his ability to explain complex things in a manner simple, yet all the more effective because of that.

Elaborated Ideas

Faux ideas about problems in the urban aspect of life, in the differences between capital and income, even in the differences between the two sexes and their economic differences, along with the timeless ones about race, culture, education, etc. are all viewed and elaborated on by Sowell.

Sowell asserts that fallacies aren’t ideas that have no ground in reality, but ones that are quite believable, in spite of their falsehood. Read this one of the best Thomas Sowell books as soon as possible.

A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles


Time Capsule

The 1986 book by Thomas Sowell counts amongst the earliest works that the author ever published and it stands as one of the best books by Thomas Sowell, too. As we do all the others, we love this Sowell book especially because of its age and how it can act as a time capsule to look back between it and the later works of Sowell and notice the growth and peculiarities.

A War Going On

In a time such as ours, we can do without belaboring the point that politics and controversy are two indelible facts of life and that they are seemingly codependent, in more ways than just the obvious one.

However, Thomas Sowell’s outlook on controversy in the sphere of politics doesn’t come from the manifest one, but from those implicit, implied, and tacit ones that we aren’t immediately aware of, but are present, nonetheless.


In his classic in the genre, Sowell examines the pattern that comes from generations and centuries before. He ventures to say that there is a constrained vision, one that views human nature as perpetual and as absolutely egocentric, and the other, the unconstrained, which sees human nature as alterable and as something that can be perfected.

As his point reaches its apogee, we see the truth that Sowell noticed so long ago, yet even today we are barely aware of it. Of all the Dr Thomas Sowell books, this one might be the most important.

Intellectuals and Society


What We Don’t Notice

One of the best-selling Thomas Sowell and one of his newest is the 2009 book Intellectuals and Society. It is one of his most comprehensive, most important works, and it hammers home many of the points while showing that it has points in abundance about things we have barely noticed.

Past and the Present

Over the course of our lives and, more importantly, over the course of history itself, there have been a great deal of intellectuals who have changed the world in one way or in countless others. Today, the influence and the power of intellectuals are vastly different from Machiavelli’s or Newton’s time and this is essentially the premise of Intellectuals and Society.

In the past, intellectuals changed the ways that the rulers viewed the status quo or things of whichever nature, while today intellectuals change the perception of the public so as to achieve the same effect. Even those rulers, world leaders that might have contempt or disbelief for the intellectuals in question have no other choice but to listen to them, granted that the public clamors with approval of their assertions.

Beliefs and Assessments

A great focus in the book is also given to how certain things about the intellectuals’ beliefs and assessments are subject to change based on a number of things, all of which are expertly and deftly explained in one of the best Thomas Sowell books.

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy


Where Liberalism Faltered

The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy is a mesmerizing book from the master and it ranks as one of the top Thomas Sowell books of all time.

In The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy, we see the mighty critiques that Sowell has for the social policy of liberalism and how, over the course of some three decades, it has incontrovertibly failed. What contributed to this failure is not a random or even an abrupt series of single faults or drawbacks, but a very logical and cohesive thing that was seemingly fated to happen after a certain point.

“Politically Correct”

Sowell looks upon the ruins that lined education and schooling, criminal activity, the breaking up of the family, and other such similar negative effects. The term politically correct very often comes into direct conflict with facts, whose very nature is uncaring and absolute.

However, political correctness is what drives the skewing and even the overlooking of facts more and more. In a sense, it is not important what is true, but it is important to be agreeable to all.

Discrimination and Disparities


Special Work

Discrimination and Disparities is the most recent book that Thomas Sowell has published in his lifetime. Over the course of almost four decades, Sowell has published many a book, but Discrimination and Disparities is a special one. It definitely belongs among the best-selling Thomas Sowell books.

Suppositions and Assumptions

In Discrimination and Disparities, we see Thomas Sowell and his boldness once more. This time, he is putting forth a challenge towards those that believe in single-contributing factor elaborations about complex phenomena like stereotypes, discrimination, genetics, and exploitatory actions. Of course, while the themes might be exceptionally complex and require patience and willingness to understand, the readable, earnest writing of Sowell is here present as ever.

Analysis of Policies

What Thomas Sowell is getting at, to wit, what the crux of the book is, isn’t to explain how it is that we can amend certain failures in society, but an analysis of the many policies that failed, that were counterproductive, and what led to these policies’ failures. There are many fallacies and false truths that Sowell takes a look at in this book and we urge the reader to take a look at them. Sowell is as extraordinary as ever. One of the best Thomas Sowell books to read.

Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One


Economics’ and Politics’ Issues

Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One might just be the best Thomas Sowell book and it definitely is the easiest book to recommend of the terrific author, but we will explain our reasons for why we think so, nonetheless.

Economics isn’t just a matter or a thing that should concern world leaders, nor is it a thing that should concern just the average Joe. It is a thing that ought to concern all of us and it requires all of our diligent work so that it can be mastered, perfected, and refined to achieve those things that we have tried to for years, decades, and centuries.

Long-Lasting Consequences

These things include the issue of medical care, of stereotypes, discrimination, the development of the first world and third world countries, even housing, taxes, etc. Economic policies and ideologies aren’t just numbered off, mentioned here, but are carefully analyzed, viewed by a shrewd and insightful lens, as Thomas Sowell gets to the bottom of how their failures aren’t just immediately effective, but have long-lasting consequences.

Economics and politics are codependent and one cannot be spoken of without implying or mentioning the other. Sowell’s mastery truly shows in this one and we are sure our readers will love it.

The Quest for Cosmic Justice


The Human Condition

It was in the year of 1999 that The Quest for Cosmic Justice was published and it stands even today as one of the most significant works of Thomas Sowell. We would even venture so far as to say that it is amongst the best of Thomas Sowell’s books.

There is but an underlying, far-reaching substratum that is scarcely ever commented on and even more scarcely is it examined in the way that Thomas Sowell has in his book. This substratum has to do with problems and obstacles of an ethical and moral nature. By no means is this a book to comfort our anxieties and or depravities, but a book that aims to prod deep into those perturbing and uneasy aspects of the human condition.

Devaluation of Freedom

It shows how certain belief systems, even those supposedly based upon justice, can bring about so much injustice. Those so concentrated with equality beckon inequality in their ranks. And from all that, there doesn’t emerge just one consequence, but a steady influx of consequences that plague us daily and plague us for decades.

One of these concepts, Sowell asserts, is the devaluation of freedom in the United States. There is no way to sum up this book as anything except the best of Thomas Sowell books that we’ve picked up. The Housing Boom and Bust is one other book of the best Thomas Sowell novels that we love and recommend to all our readers.

Michael Englert

Michael is a graduate of cultural studies and history. He enjoys a good bottle of wine and (surprise, surprise) reading. As a small-town librarian, he is currently relishing the silence and peaceful atmosphere that is prevailing.