Which author (living or dead) do you think is most underrated?Thomas Sowell, an eighty-seven-year-old African American economist, has written more than thirty mind-expanding books. These include his Culture trilogy which (among other things) anticipated Jared Diamond’s ideas in Guns, Germs, and Steel and explains the ubiquity of anti-Semitism; A Conflict of Visions, which identifies the rival theories of the human condition underlying left-wing and right-wing political ideologies; The Quest for Cosmic Justice, which compares this quixotic pursuit with the quest for human justice; Intellectuals and Society, an uncomfortable exposé of the follies of all-star intellectuals; and Late-Talking Children, which anticipated Simon Baron-Cohen’s work on the extreme male brain. Sowell is a libertarian conservative, which makes him taboo in mainstream intellectual circles, but even those who disagree are well advised to grasp his facts and arguments.
Friday, February 23, 2018
… The TLS interview: Twenty Questions with Steven Pinker. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)