Monday, October 17, 2005

Black Rednecks and White Liberals

Jay Nordlinger at National Review reviews Thomas Sowell's latest book. Money quote: "Sowell takes on no issue that is easy, always going for the hard stuff. He is a scholar and writer who chews nails. You may not agree with him — but you must reckon with him."

Here's how Norlinger opens his review:

What a surprise, Thomas Sowell has written another brilliant book. He’s written about 30 of them — books, that is, and brilliant ones, or at least excellent ones. You won’t find a dud in the bunch. His books are on race, education, history, economics — and there is a quirky autobiography befitting the man. Sowell has also written hundreds of scholarly essays, magazine pieces, and reviews. He has done a newspaper column almost continually since the late 1970s. He is a model of the public intellectual, to use a term he probably doesn’t like.

Typical in a Sowell book are a raft of facts, a cold bath of logic, and myth-destruction. He has a quality that is priceless to a writer, or scholar: fearlessness. Sowell cares not a fig about popularity, and he does no jockeying whatever to affect his status. Reputation is unthought of. He says what he finds to be true, the consequences be damned. Many people claim to operate this way; precious few do.