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Book Description: A biography of Thomas Sowell, one of America's most influential conservative thinkers.
Thomas Sowell is one of the great social theorists of our age. In a career spanning more than a half century, he has written over thirty books, covering topics from economic history and social inequality to political theory, race, and culture. His bold and unsentimental assaults on liberal orthodoxy have endeared him to many readers but have also enraged fellow intellectuals, the civil-rights establishment, and much of the mainstream media. The result has been a lack of acknowledgment of his scholarship among critics who prioritize political correctness.
In the first-ever biography of Sowell, Jason L. Riley gives this iconic thinker his due and responds to the detractors. Maverick showcases Sowell's most significant writings and traces the life events that shaped his ideas and resulted in a Black orphan from the Jim Crow South becoming one of our foremost public intellectuals.
1. What were some of the factors that contributed to Thomas Sowell’s success (think about personal factors and external factors)?
2. How were/are Sowell’s views on race different from and similar to views of other scholars, particularly black scholars? What was unique or different about Sowell’s approach?
3. What do you think about Sowell’s analysis of the “Constrained/Tragic” vision vs the “Unconstrained” vision in his book A Conflict of Visions? What resonated with you? What are some positions today that you see as Constrained or Unconstrained, and how might they look if they were framed from the opposite “vision”?
Location is TBD...
In addition to the book, check out this video playlist from The Reason We Learn to learn more about the Dumbing Down of America -
Discussion questions will be posted closer to the date.
Throw off the shackles of formal schooling and embark upon a rich journey of self-directed, life-long learning
After over 100 years of mandatory schooling in the U.S., literacy rates have dropped, families are fragmented, learning "disabilities" are skyrocketing, and children and youth are increasingly disaffected. Thirty years of teaching in the public school system led John Taylor Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory governmental schooling is to blame, accomplishing little but to teach young people to follow orders like cogs in an industrial machine.
He became a fierce advocate of families and young people taking back education and learning, arguing that "genius is as common as dirt," but that conventional schooling is driving out the natural curiosity and problem-solving skills we're born with, replacing it with rule-following, fragmented time, and disillusionment.
Gatto's radical treatise on public education, a New Society Publishers bestseller for 25 years, continues to bang the drum for an unshackling of children and learning from formal schooling. Now, in an ever-more-rapidly changing world with an explosion of alternative routes to learning, it's poised to continue to shake the world of institutional education for many more years.
Featuring a new foreword from Zachary Slayback, an Ivy League dropout and cofounder of tech start-up career foundry Praxis, this 25th anniversary edition will inspire new generations of parents and students to take control of learning and kickstart an empowered society of self-directed lifetime-learners.