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Extended Audio Sample Intellectuals and Society 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 (506 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas Sowell Narrator: Tom Weiner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455195923
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This title offers a withering and clear-eyed critique about—but not for—intellectuals that explores their impact on public opinion, policy, and society at large.

The thesis of Intellectuals and Society states that the influence of intellectuals is not only greater than in previous eras but also takes a very different form from that envisioned by those like Machiavelli and others who have wanted to directly influence rulers. It has not been by shaping the opinions or directing the actions of the holders of power that modern intellectuals have most influenced the course of events but by shaping public opinion in ways that affect the actions of power holders in democratic societies, whether or not those power holders accept the general vision or the particular policies favored by intellectuals. Even government leaders with disdain or contempt for intellectuals have had to bend to the climate of opinion shaped by them.

Intellectuals and Society not only examines the track record of intellectuals in the things they have advocated, but also analyzes the incentives and constraints under which their views and visions have emerged. One of the most surprising aspects of this study is how often intellectuals have been proven not only wrong, but grossly and disastrously wrong in their prescriptions for the ills of society—and how little their views have changed in response to empirical evidence of the disasters entailed by those views.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mr. Sowell builds a devastating case against the leftist antiwar political and intellectual establishment.”

    Washington Times

  • “Sowell takes aim at the class of people who influence our public debate, institutions, and policy. Few of Sowell’s targets are left standing at the end, and those who are stagger back to their corner, bloody and bruised.”

    National Review Online

  • “Narrator Tom Weiner paces the somewhat dense material well and handles the author’s often-inflated vocabulary with ease. Thus, Weiner is able to enhance the material in a way that might trip up lesser readers. While conservatives will likely embrace Sowell’s theories, even those who disagree should appreciate the well-written points and be left with much to ponder.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Cooke | 2/6/2014

    " Terrific prose, easy to follow, great ideas. The elites and the benighted. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff | 2/1/2014

    " Other reviewers have provided plenty of content description, so I'll just say that I found this book an interesting read, if a little long and repetitive. Worth reading, though not the best Sowell book I've read to date (see A Conflict of Visions and The Quest for Cosmic Justice). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rita M | 1/28/2014

    " Made be evaluate and think. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 1/21/2014

    " If you pay attention to what is going around about you, particularly in the media and the press, Dr. Sowell laid out with great perspective, what a thinking person intuits. If you are among those who think, rather than just feel about the issues not just of today, but in the future. Read it, I suspect like many other books who challenge conventional thinking this will be dismissed. Only the smug and incurious will dismiss. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 1/13/2014

    " Excellent. Amazing what elites will do when blinded by their own certainty and arrogance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danny | 12/24/2013

    " Thomas Sowell is a paradigm buster. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Derek | 12/8/2013

    " Combine this with Paul Johnson's intellectuals and you have yourself a great refutation against those who want a sophmoracracy (government by idiotic and foolish "experts" and professors). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gary | 11/30/2013

    " One of the better books I have read in some time. Thomas Sowell's ability to analyze the differences between seperate world views is phenomenal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy Aquila | 11/25/2013

    " A thought provoking view of policy makers in our country. Mr. Sowell describes the methods and tactics that the elitist have used to influence the direction of our country. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jerry | 9/22/2013

    " This book is a hoard of economic, policy and cultural wisdom that factually contradicts prevailing notions of justice, fairness and equality today. I would give it six stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Philski | 8/14/2012

    " Great read on why we should be skeptical of intellectuals (the 'intelligentsia') who opine outside their area of expertise. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ted Heitz | 6/19/2011

    " Can't go wrong with Sowell. Intellectuals and Society evaluates the people that form our culture to a surprising extent, but never pay for poor results(which come about all too often). Important read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Martindale | 2/19/2011

    " Written and researched, but extremely depressing. The millions of lives and poverty and cultural ruin intellectuals have brought to the world, due their assumptions and propaganda is outrageous. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alan | 2/18/2011

    " I agree with some of his argument about income inequality..If MSNBC and "fairness" makes you cringe, you might, too. But book is tedious on audio. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Betty | 11/4/2010

    " Very difficult to get through but interesting. I'm a fan of Thomas Sowell but this is one of the more difficult to read books of his. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 9/24/2010

    " Like a diamond.

    I wrote a review a few minutes ago but I think I didn't save it properly. Will write another soon.

    The book is about the effect of people going outside their expertise and it being ineffective to actually help.

    My re-review still to come. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve | 8/24/2010

    " Excellent. Amazing what elites will do when blinded by their own certainty and arrogance. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thomas | 5/24/2010

    " A book by a public intellectual about public intellectuals, but not for public intellectuals. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ted | 4/16/2010

    " Can't go wrong with Sowell. Intellectuals and Society evaluates the people that form our culture to a surprising extent, but never pay for poor results(which come about all too often). Important read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert | 3/10/2010

    " Terrific prose, easy to follow, great ideas. The elites and the benighted. "

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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

Tom Weiner, a dialogue director and voice artist best known for his roles in video games and television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Transformers, is an Earphones Award winner and Audie Award finalist. He is a former member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.