Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dr. Thomas Sowell says goodbye


In his final weekly column, Dr. Thomas Sowell has announced his retirement.

Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long.

There's more at the link.

Dr. Sowell's many books have entertained me for many years, and provided much food for thought.  I highly recommend them to any inquiring mind.  In particular, I strongly endorse his 'The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy'.  It perfectly explains the present US administration, and the horrified reaction of left-wing progressives to the election of Donald Trump, which is effectively a repudiation of everything they believe.




Vox Day has put up an excellent selection of ten of Dr. Sowell's best quotes from his books and articles.  It's well worth your time to read them, particularly if you don't know his work.

I was particularly struck, in his retirement article, by Dr. Sowell's reminiscences of growing up, and how they compared to his younger contemporaries.

With all the advances of blacks over the years, nothing so brought home to me the social degeneration in black ghettoes like a visit to a Harlem high school some years ago.

When I looked out the window at the park across the street, I mentioned that, as a child, I used to walk my dog in that park. Looks of horror came over the students' faces, at the thought of a kid going into the hell hole which that park had become in their time.

When I have mentioned sleeping out on a fire escape in Harlem during hot summer nights, before most people could afford air-conditioning, young people have looked at me like I was a man from Mars. But blacks and whites alike had been sleeping out on fire escapes in New York since the 19th century. They did not have to contend with gunshots flying around during the night.

I suppose that's like my memories of childhood, which I discussed yesterday in comparing them (favorably) to the cocoon spun around modern children.

Dr. Sowell, sir, your writings will be missed.  May your retirement be happy and contented.  Thank you for many years of inspiration and thought-provoking comment.

Peter

3 comments:

Mike said...

Sowell's Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality is a must read. While politicians, the media, and government school functionaries treat the Civil Rights movement as an unquestionable good, Sowell analyzes the movement's real-world impact.

The thesis of the book can be summarized in the third quote Day posted: "Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good."

Sad but true.

davidhuntpe said...

I have a list of books in my journal for my kids: "Books you must read". Every single one he's written is on that list.

You will be missed, Dr. Sowell.

Old NFO said...

He will be missed...