Saturday, August 20, 2005

Classics of Conservatism - part X - Thomas Sowell - Personal Odyssey

Click here for previous editions of "Classics of Conservatism."

This month's "Classic of Conservatism" is Thomas Sowell's "A Personal Odyssey." Thomas Sowell is known to millions of readers as the conservative newspaper columnist who appears weekly across the country in many cities as well as twice weekly at various internet sites. We also hear him occasionally on the Rush Limbaugh program.

Personal Odyssey introduces us to a different side of Dr. Sowell. We learn of his childhood, his education and his early career. I have enjoyed many books. But this one is one of the few that I had a very hard time putting down.

I especially recommend this book for anyone about to enter college, as we learn much of the unpleasant side of academia, including dishonesty of administrators, low standards and political intrigue. Dr. Sowell shares his experiences as a student and economics professor at various colleges and universities, including Cornell, UCLA, Howard, Harvard and the University of Chicago (among others).

Sowell also recounts his experiences with the Ford administration, the Reagan campaign and the Bork hearings. Sowell's experience with the Bork hearings provide particular insight into what we can expect in future nomination fights.

The book is composed mainly of relatively short vignettes, all of which combine to make a compelling story. Dr. Sowell points out that he has lived during almost one third of this country's history. His observations provide new insight for much of that history. Dr. Sowell has come as close to anyone about which I have read to living the life of Howard Roark.

For previous discussions of Personal Odyssey, click here (late talking children) and here (a CBS news lie).

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