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Download A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles Audiobook, by Thomas Sowell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (597 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Sowell Narrator: Michael Edwards Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2005 ISBN: 9781455169245
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Controversies in politics arise from many sources, but the conlficts that endure for generations or centuries show a remarkably consistent pattern.

In this book, which the author calls a “culmination of thirty years of work in the history of ideas,” Sowell attempts to explain the ideological difference between liberals and conservatives as a disagreement over the moral potential inherent in nature. Those who see that potential as limited prefer to constrain governmental authority, he argues. They feel that reform is difficult and often dangerous, and they put their faith in family, custom, law, and traditional institutions. Conversely, those who have faith in human nature prefer to remove institutional and traditional constraints. Controversies over such diverse issues as criminal justice, income distribution, or war and peace repeatedly show an ideological divide along the lines of these two conflicting visions.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Extraordinary…[Sowell] makes his case fairly, lucidly, and persuasively.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A provocative analysis of the conflicting visions of human nature that have shaped the moral, legal, and economic life of recent times…His discussion of how these conflicting attitudes ultimately produce clashes over equality, social justice, and other issues is instructive.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The book builds a convincing case that ethical and policy disputes are ultimately based on the differences in these visions. It covers a wide variety of political, philosophical, and economic thought…An important contribution to our understanding of current social issues.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dianna | 2/19/2014

    " Excellent information, but does not flow as well as his later works. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brannon | 2/16/2014

    " Amazing read. It fundamentally changed how I think and how I look at politics and philosophy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 2/12/2014

    " Forget everything you ever thought you knew about free markets..... 99.99999% of you don't have a clue. For enlightenment read this book. After reading this you realize the world is full of idiots pretending to be informed. Especially in the cable news channels and to a greater extent the business new channels also. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nanette | 2/11/2014

    " A very thought-provoking read that discusses the beginnings and fundamental differences between the constrained and unconstrained visions (i.e. the two main political parties). It will be a must read for my children. I'm buying the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victoria | 1/31/2014

    " This is an excellent book that thoroughly discusses the nature of ideological values, morals, and beliefs. Sowell uncovers the origins and ulterior meanings of human thought and action. His writing is very clear, focused, and well researched. I actually found out more about my own views while reading this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alan Colette | 1/19/2014

    " Excellent book if you're baffled by the conviction held by those on the opposite end of the political spectrum from yourself. If you read the preface, be patient. The read gets much easier. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rsoeffker | 1/13/2014

    " The material was quite good. It was too broad at times, but assize from that, the theory was solid. The weakness off this book was the dry, redundant nature of the book. I feel that the entirety of the book could have been explained thoroughly in about 10-20 pages. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 1/12/2014

    " Excellent. A basis for understanding political differences that need not include mention of political parties. This book gives one the means to state that the choice between the Democratic and Republican Parties is really no choice at all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sue | 12/8/2013

    " A fairly clear statement & defense of a "conservative" view of the world, of humanity, &c. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff Raymond | 11/20/2013

    " Honestly? Not nearly as great as The Vision of the Anointed, but just as important. I enjoyed it, but this was much drier. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jay | 10/29/2013

    " I've read several of Sowell's books, in my opinion, 'Conflict' and 'Basic Economics' are his two best (of those I've read). As clearly as Sowell lays out econ in 'Basic Economics' he lays out political philosophy in 'A Conflict of Visions'. This book may be a little heavy for new comers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 10/18/2013

    " Heavy reading, but essential. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hugo | 6/14/2013

    " After reading this book I will never argue an opposing view without knowing all the facts. Great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 José | 3/16/2013

    " Sowell writes a classic book on the particulars and the origins behind two ways of seeing the world that originated in the 18th century and continue to define today's political conflicts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jw | 12/26/2012

    " Clarified so much for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greta Bloyd | 7/10/2011

    " Sowell is brilliant! I gained so much insight into the ideologies behind the policies and decisions of our government leaders. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nate | 7/7/2011

    " One of the most important books I've ever read. If you want to better understand how you and others think this book has the tools. You'll be able to apply the insights to all areas of life. Read it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hugo | 4/25/2011

    " After reading this book I will never argue an opposing view without knowing all the facts. Great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jerry | 8/21/2010

    " If I could only recommend one book on political thought, this would be the one, no matter where you are on the political spectrum. Reading this book was as close as I have ever come to having an epiphany. I will never view a political debate the same way again.

    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff | 7/9/2010

    " Honestly? Not nearly as great as The Vision of the Anointed, but just as important. I enjoyed it, but this was much drier. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 6/30/2010

    " Interesting concept - the "constrained" and "unconstrained" visions - but doesn't appear to fit well with libertarian/voluntaryist principles, which seem to spill over to both visions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nanette | 12/14/2009

    " A very thought-provoking read that discusses the beginnings and fundamental differences between the constrained and unconstrained visions (i.e. the two main political parties). It will be a must read for my children. I'm buying the book.
    "

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About the Author
Author Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and the author of A Personal Odyssey, The Vision of the Anointed, Ethnic America, and several other books. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, Forbes, and Fortune and are syndicated in 150 newspapers. He lives in Stanford, California.

About the Narrator

Michael Edwards is a playwright and director from Baltimore.