Books & Monographs by Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell has written quite a few books on a range of subjects including immigration, education, civil rights, economics, and public policy among others.  Most of them are still in print in one form or another and are available through online sellers such as  Try Powell’s or the Advanced Book Exchange to find books that are out of print.

Listed below are all of his books and monographs that I’ve been able to track down.  The links below will take you straight to the appropriate page where you can purchase it.  Below each book are reviews that I’ve been able to track down, with links where available.

Online excerpts are noted where available.


Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study (2004)
Affirmative Action Reconsidered: Was It Necessary in Academia? (1975)
The complete text of this monograph is now online.

"Dark Horses", by M. Stanton Evans, National Review, November 12, 1976
Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One (2003)
"How Economics Works", by Epstein, Richard A., National Review, 12/31/2003
Barbarians Inside the Gates (1998)
Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy (2000)
Review by Rober Meiners, Ideas on Liberty, November 2001
"Basic Sowell," by Gene Callahan, Ludwig von Mises Institute, March 5, 2001
Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy (2004)
Black Education:  Myths and Tragedies (1972)
Read excerpt from Black Education: Myths and Tragedies
"Making It the Hard Way", by Smiley Anders, National Review, November 24, 1972
Review by Goodman, Walter; Commentary, Mar 1973; Vol. 55, Iss. 000003; pg. 96, 4 pgs
Black Rednecks And White Liberals: And Other Cultural And Ethnic Issues (2005)
"Chewing Nails", by Jay Nordlinger, National Review, August 29, 2005
Choosing a College: A Guide for Parents and Students (1989)
The complete text of this book is online

Review by David Hood, Ideas on Liberty, March 1990
Civil Rights:  Rhetoric or Reality? (1984)
Review by David Chilbin, Preface 13, Institute for Christian Economics, 1984 (PDF format, requires Adobe Acrobat)
"Strawmen in Struggle", The New Republic, June 11, 1984, by Michael Harrington
Review, Ideas on Liberty, January 1985, by David M. Brown
Classical Economics Reconsidered (1974)
Compassion Vs. Guilt and Other Essays (1987)
"Scourge of Deep Thinkers", by Joseph Sobran, National Review, October 9, 1987
Review, Ideas on Liberty, November 1988, by David M. Stewart
A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles (1987)

"Opposites Detract", The New Republic, February 2, 1987, by Dennis Wrong
"Behold: Symmetry", by Joseph Sobran, National Review, February 13, 1987
"Theoretically Speaking", by Morton Kaplan, World & I, August, 1987
Review, by Bryan Caplan, Fall 1994
Review (PDF), by Viktor Vanberg, Cato Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2 Fall 1987
Book review, David Gordon, Review of Austrian Economics, Volume 4, No. 1
Review, by David M. Stewart, Ideas on Liberty, July 1987
Conquests and Cultures: An International History (1998)
Measuring the Influence of Human Capital, by Brian C. Anderson,, June 4, 1998
Secrets of Success, by Joel Mokyr, Reason, December 1998
"Culture Wars," by Anthony Pagden, The New Republic, November 16, 1998
"Onward and Upward—But Why?," by John Keegan, National Review, June 1, 1998
"Reasserting the Complexity of 'Conquests and Cultures'", by John R. Bolton, The Washington Times, June 28, 1998
Review by George C. Leef, Ideas on Liberty, October 1998
Controversial Essays (2002)
Note: The complete text of this book is online, in PDF format, at the Hoover Institute website.
The Economics and Politics of Race:  An International Perspective (1982)
"Random Notes", by C. W., National Review, September 30, 1983
"The Human Factor", The New Republic, November 21, 1983, by Nathan Glazer
Review by Allan C. Brownfeld, Ideas on Liberty, April 1984
Economics: Analysis and Issues (1971)
Education:  Assumptions vs. History (1986)
Congressional Testimony is reprinted here.
The Einstein Syndrome: Bright Children Who Talk Late (2001)
Ethnic America:  A History (1981)
"Race, Culture, and Reason" by Aaron Wildavsky, National Review, October 16, 1981
"The Land of Opportunity", The New Republic, October 14, 1981, by Diane Ravitch
Inside American Education:  The Decline, the Deception, the Dogmas (1993)
"Revenge of the blob", by Chester E. Finn Jr., National Review, February 15, 1993
Review, Ideas on Liberty, June 1994, by Patrick Groff
Is Reality Optional?:  And Other Essays (1993)
Judicial Activism Reconsidered (1989)
The entire text of this monograph is now online.
Knowledge and Decisions (1980)
Note: the complete text of this book is available for purchase online at

"Who Shall Decide?", by Edward C. Banfield, National Review, May 30, 1980
Review, The New Republic, June 28, 1980, by Lester C. Thurow
Review, by Allan C. Brownfeld, Ideas on Liberty, August 1980
"Dark Horses", by M. Stanton Evans, National Review, October 17, 1980
Review, Ideas on Liberty, May 1996, by Jane S. Shaw
Late-Talking Children (1997)
Markets and Minorities (1981)
Review by Tommy W. Rogers, Ideas on Liberty, October 1982
Marxism: Philosophy and Economics (1985)

Review by Kenneth L. Marcus, Ideas on Liberty, October 1985
"Father of Alienism", by Joseph Sobran, National Review, 5/3/1985
Migrations and Cultures:  A World View (1996)
Note: An excerpt from this book, "History and Culture" is available online.

"Cultural Capital", by Thurston Clarke, New York Times, June 2, 1996
Migration Patterns, by John J. Miller, Reason Magazine, May 1996
"America's assisted suicide", Peter Brimelow, National Review, November 25, 1996
Review, Research Perspectives on Migration, Vol. 1, No. 2, January-February 1997
Review, by George C. Leef, The Freeman, May 1997
Minimum Wage Escalation (1977)
The complete text of this monograph is now online
On Classical Economics (2006)
A Personal Odyssey (2000)
Note: An excerpt of this book is available online at the Hoover Institute website.

"Profile in Courage", Lino A. Graglia, American Spectator, November 2000.
"Sowell Searching", Bruce Ramsey, Liberty, January 2001
Review, Nicholas Stix, January 3, 2001.
"The Soul of an Economist", by Jane S. Shaw, Liberty, November 2002
"Practicing What He Preaches," by James W. Michaels, Forbes Global, October 2nd, 2000
"He Did It His Way", by Deborah E. McDowell, New York Times, November 5, 2000 (read Thomas Sowell's letter to the editor in response to this review here.)
Pink and Brown People: and Other Controversial Essays (1981)
Review by Tommy W. Rogers, Ideas on Liberty, August 1983
Preferential Policies:  An International Perspective (1990)

Note: an article, “Affirmative Action: A Worldwide Disaster,” (Commentary December 1989, pp. 21-41.), was adapted from this book and is online.

Interview, Dr. Sowell discusses his latest book with Brian Lamb on Booknotes, (C-SPAN 6/10/90)
Review, by Richard M. Ebeling, Freedom Daily, October 1990
Review by David M. Brown, Ideas on Liberty, October 1990
"A Preference for Illusion", by Eugene J. McCarthy, World & I, August, 1990
The Quest for Cosmic Justice (1999)
Note: An excerpt of this book is available online at the Hoover Institute website.

"Sowell's Plain Truths", by Jay Nordlinger, National Review, October 25, 1999
Review, by Richard M. Ebeling, Freedom Daily, December 1999
"Tocquevillian Sowell," by Joseph Shattan, American Spectator, February 2000
Review by Donald J. Boudreaux, Ideas on Liberty, July 2000
Race and Culture:  A World View (1994)
"Culture maven", by Jacob Cohen, National Review, November 7, 1994
Review by John W. Robbins, Ideas on Liberty, May 1995
Review, by Richard M. Ebeling, Freedom Daily, January 1995
"Nature, nurture, culture", Commentary; Mar 1995; Joffe, Josef
Race, Culture and Equality (1998)
The text of this monograph is completely online:
Executive Summary
Part 1
Part 2
Race and Economics (1975)
"Shattering the Clichés of Race," by Michael Novak, The Wall Street Journal, September 4th, 1975.
"Books in Brief", by Peterson, William H.; Viksnins, George J.; Lynch, Kevin, National Review, September 9, 1975
Review by Elliott Abrams, Commentary, Oct 1975; Vol. 60, Iss. 000004; pg. 93, 2 pgs
Say's Law:  An Historical Analysis (1972)
Some Thoughts about Writing (2001)
The complete text of this monograph is online.
The Vision of the Anointed:  Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy (1995)
"20/20 vision", by Robert P. George, National Review, October 23, 1995
"The Road of Good Intentions," by Herb Greer, World & I, November 1995
"Thomas Sowell, the Vision Thing, and the Muni Market," by Michael Lissack
"Blurred Vision," by Kenneth Silber, Reason Magazine, November 1995
Review, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Ideas on Liberty, Vol. 46, No. 1, January 1996
Review, by Michael R. Allen, SpinTech, January 12, 1998
Review, by Richard M. Ebeling, Freedom Daily, December 1995

Edited by

American Ethnic Groups (1978)
Review by Allan C. Brownfeld, Ideas on Liberty, January 1980
Essays and Data on American Ethnic Groups (1978)
More than 160 pages of statistical tables were added to the entire contents of American Ethnic Groups to form this volume. Tables are clustered under thirteen ethnic group headings: American Indians, Black Americans, Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, German Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Japanese Americans, Jewish Americans, Mexican Americans, Polish Americans, Puerto Ricans, and West Indians.

Contributed to

"Ethnicity and IQ" in The Bell Curve Wars, edited by Steven Fraser (1995)
Note: this is a reprint of the same article from The American Spectator, February, 1995
"False Assumptions about Black Education", The Fairmont Papers (Black Alternatives Conference) (1981)
Note: The entire text of this book is available online for purchase from
Review by Allan C. Brownfeld, Ideas on Liberty, October 1981
"Minorities and the City" in The Future of the Metropolis, edited by Eli Ginzberg (1974)
"Social Science and General Education" in The Philosophy of the Curriculum, edited by Sidney Hook (1975)
(Sowell's contribution is reprinted in Education: Assumptions Versus History)
"Black Studies: Slogan or Social History?" in Black Studies, edited by Bayard Rustin
"Economics and Economic Man," in The Americans, 1976: An Inquiry into Fundamental Concepts of Man Underlying Various U.S. Institutions, edited by Irving Kristol and Paul H. Weaver
"Culture, Economics, and Politics" in The Cultural Context of Economics and Politics, edited by T. W. Boxx and G. M. Quinlivan
Adam Smith and Modern Political Economy: Bicentennial Essays on the Wealth of Nations, edited by G. P. O’Driscoll (1979)
"Jean-Baptiste Say," Vol. 4, p. 249; "Say's Law," Ibid., pp. 249-251; "Jean Charles Leonard Simonde deSismondi," Ibid., pp. 348-350; "Stigler as a Historian of Economic Thought," Ibid., pp. 498-499; "Thorstein Veblen," Ibid., pp. 799-800. in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, Vol. 4
"Preferential Policies: An International Perspective" in Thinking About America: The United States in the 1990s, edited by A. Anderson and D. L. Bark

"Introduction" in The Supreme Court's Busing Decisions (I.E.E.R., September 1978), by Lino A. Graglia
"The Education of Minority Children," Education in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Edward P. Lazear (Hoover Institution Press, 2002) pp. 79-92.
Note: The entire text of this book is available online here.
"Discrimination, Economics, and Culture," Beyond the Color Line: New Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in America, edited by Abigail Thernstrom and Stephan Thernstrom (Hoover Institution Press, 2002), pp. 167-180.
Note: The entire text of this book is available online here.

Books on Tape

For you slackers that can’t be bothered with an archaic medium like books, several of Sowell’s books are available on audio tape.

Choosing a College

Civil Rights:  Rhetoric or Reality

Compassion Versus Guilt

A Conflict of Visions

The Economics and Politics of Race

Ethnic America:  A History


Preferential Policies