Read Dismantling America: and other controversial essays by Thomas Sowell Online


These wide-ranging essays—on many individual political, economic, cultural and legal issues—have as a recurring, underlying theme the decline of the values and institutions that have sustained and advanced American society for more than two centuries. This decline has been more than an erosion. It has, in many cases, been a deliberate dismantling of American values and insThese wide-ranging essays—on many individual political, economic, cultural and legal issues—have as a recurring, underlying theme the decline of the values and institutions that have sustained and advanced American society for more than two centuries. This decline has been more than an erosion. It has, in many cases, been a deliberate dismantling of American values and institutions by people convinced that their superior wisdom and virtue must over-ride both the traditions of the country and the will of the people.Whether these essays (originally published as syndicated newspaper columns) are individually about financial bailouts, illegal immigrants, gay marriage, national security, or the Duke University rape case, the underlying concern is about what these very different kinds of things say about the general direction of American society.This larger and longer-lasting question is whether the particular issues discussed reflect a degeneration or dismantling of the America that we once knew and expected to pass on to our children and grandchildren. There are people determined that this country's values, history, laws, traditions and role in the world are fundamentally wrong and must be changed. Such people will not stop dismantling America unless they get stopped—and the next election may be the last time to stop them, before they take the country beyond the point of no return. ...

Title : Dismantling America: and other controversial essays
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780465022519
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dismantling America: and other controversial essays Reviews

  • Tom
    2019-03-18 01:46

    Reading Sowell is like watching a man smash the idols of progressive thought with a sledge hammer. Sowell gives no quarter while disclosing the negative effects of political correctness, moral relativism, and the thoughtless interference of congressman in our economy.Chris Dodd and Barney Frank may have escaped judgement from their peers and the press. But Sowell pins the responsibility where it belongs!

  • Steve Sawyer
    2019-02-16 07:38

    Great book which exposes the hidden agenda of the progressives in both political parties. This book is a great read and easy to understand. However, if you read "Economics in One Lesson" first, then read this book, you will better understand the deeper implications of what this book exposes...

  • wally
    2019-02-24 04:36

    i've been reading thomas sowell here and there for...i dunno...8-10 years? plain english w/an eye to understanding, to relaying information. sowell, i believe, is an educator as well as an him and you want to pull out your hair because eventually it begins to dawn on you that yes, what you have long-suspected is true...we are being played for fools.and we are allowing it to happen...we have allowed our servants to become our masters.speak for yourself did you say?yesterday, the president of the united states spoke on national television. there he was, playing the part of leland gaunt from stephen king's needful things, pandering to envy greed selfishness. incredible that the man knows that he can get away w/speaking like that.sowell offers a different perspective...some of the things he says are mind-boggling, as they contradict all i have been told, all that has been informed.......but one of the recent columns (these appeared, all, i believe, in newspapers, online)"cultural issues":"today, whole classes of people get their jollies and puff themselves up by denigrating and denouncing american society."i believe i read walter williams writing the same thing.dostoyevsky wrote about his time that there was an intense animal hatred for all things russian. we know what happened to dostoyevsky's russia...and yet we are too blind to what is happening to us.......i hazard to say the same thing...we are "Dismantling America"sowell writes of the "great global warming swindle" in several places...p 200 in one..and in his "random thoughts" the final chapter/section...."now that the british television documentary, "the great global warming swindle" is available on dvd, will those schools that forced their students to watch al gore's movie, "an inconvenient truth" also show them the other side? ask them." p341yes. we should ask our schools that question.there's many quotable quotes within...from marx: "the working class is revolutionary or it is nothing." p229to wit: the people on wall street are getting paid...some of them, some of the hispanics...whereas the people who speak the lingo have no excuse....holding up the signs, misspelled words, "feild" in one script for "field"...and so on. "the essence of bigotry is refusing to others the rights that you demand for yourself..." p 251"some people seem to think that we live in more 'liberated' times, when all that has happened is that one set of taboos has been replaced by another and more intolerantly enforced set of taboos." p 334he talks/writes about this, with the column about homosexual marriage, the reaction to states voting down, or voting for the idea that marriage is and shall be between a man and a woman....this review, consequently....will be noted as a "hate crime" by those whose superior wisdom shall not be questioned..."some people are so busy being clever that they don't have time enough to be wise." p 335"can you cite one speck of hard evidence of the benefits of 'diversity' that we have heard gushed about for years?" 335"what is your 'fair share' of what someone else has worked for?" 335talking points? sure....but there's more...he has several columns on the duke rape case, a case that alas i failed to follow. some of us...most of to work for a living...we have to work neighbor, bless his heart, told me once: you'll never work in this town again.alas...what to do...dueling went out about the time the west was the drones!good read...the pieces were written for a newspaper, their opinion page....heh!....and there's a lot of information presented here...if only "the other side of the coin" it....unless your motto is, tails i win heads you lose.or...unless you have access to drones.

  • lcfcjs
    2019-02-22 07:47

    Terrible rambles from a mad man. He actually believes that the American Republicans, despite their complete failures of the past decade, are the way forward. Right wing nut, who is almost as bad as Rush himself. Steer clear of this book and this author.

  • Patrick
    2019-03-16 07:59

    Bullshit on stilts.

  • Johnrh
    2019-03-02 01:00

    I finished reading Dismantling America by Thomas Sowell. Published last year it is a collection of his columns on very recent current events. It is reasoned commentary, opinion, and common sense.The format suits my attention deficits well. Each column/chapter is about 3 pages long, all the way through the book. It is easy to absorb a few chapters at a time and put the book down. There are a hundred or so chapters grouped into the topics of Government Policies, Political Issues, Economic Issues, Cultural Issues, and Legal Issues. It makes for a great bedside reader or one anywhere you want bite-size morsels of intelligent insight.I like his solution on political corruption:"The stakes are too high for us to be penny-wise and pound-foolish by putting trillions of dollars of the taxpayers' money in the hands of elected officials who are paid less than the beginning salary of a top student from a top law school.If we paid every member of congress $10 million a year, that would not increase the federal budget by one percent.Chances are that it would reduce the federal budget considerably, when members of the Senate or the House of Representatives no longer needed campaign contributions or the personal favors of special interest groups and their lobbyists." (p. 113-114)Hmm. OK, that insight is a bit out there, but a novel idea! How do you implement that?!In The Great Escape he notes: "The great escape of our times is escape from personal responsibility for the consequences of one's own behavior." (p. 208)Personal responsibility, one of my favorite themes. Especially since I took up reading Ayn Rand (rational self interest, taking care of oneself, but NOT at someone else's expense) and listening to Rush Limbaugh (individual rights, self responsibility, pursuit of happiness). It seems like politicians these days want everything at some else's expense.In Too Many Apologies he follows up with: "Aimless apologies are just one of the incidental symptoms of an increasing loss of a sense of personal responsibility -- without which a whole society is in jeopardy."......"Yet increasing numbers of educators and the intelligentsia seem to have devoted themselves to undermining or destroying a sense of personal responsibility and making "society" responsible instead. Aimless apologies are just one small symptom of this larger and more dangerous attitude." (p. 339)His final chapter, Random Thoughts (8 pages! the exception to the rule), has numerous zingers and aphorisms:"Ronald Reagan had a vision of America. Barack Obama has a vision of Barack Obama." (p. 334) (Did I mention that Sowell is Conservative?)"Some people are so busy being clever that they don't have time enough to be wise." (p. 335)"We can only hope that the rumor that Israel is going to take out Iran's nuclear weapons facilities is true. If they do, Israel will be widely condemned by governments that are breathing a sigh of relief that they did." (p. 338) (As they will sigh with Gaddafi's demise.)"We have now reached the truly dangerous point where we cannot even be warned about the lethal, fanatical and suicidal hatred of our society by Islamic extremists, because to do so would be politically incorrect and, in some European countries, would be a violation of the law against inciting hostility to groups." (p. 338)"Socialists believe in government ownership of the means of production. Fascists believed in government control of privately owned businesses, which is much more the style of this government. That way, politicians can intervene whenever they feel like it and then, when their interventions turn out badly, summon executives from the private sector before Congress and denounce them on nationwide television." (p. 338-339) (Reminds me of this article I saw in the news the other day:Fed Won't Let Bank of America Raise Dividend) (Please Mr. Government, may I mind my own business?)I'm not one to discourage book sales, but in addition to obtaining this book at your local county library you can read nearly all the essays, and many, many more, at (The internet exploratorialy astute will look up the table of contents at and then look for the same essay at Jewish World Review, but I digress.) As I thought a majority of Jewish people voted Democratic, I was pleased and amazed to find this bastion of conservative thought. Quite a few of my favorite conservative writers can be found listed in the margins of most any page.I have heard Sowell's book A Conflict of Visions highly recommended, and I have read his Basic Economics (a great primer, one can never get too much basic economics).(Update: Great essay from Sowell today, IMO: MARCH 29, 2011 6:30 P.M. Measuring Force by Thomas Sowell)

  • ChunniSeth
    2019-03-15 02:58

    What a colossal waste of time. I picked up Sowell expecting an erudite Libertarian scholar, but he's in the same category as Bill Maher on the left and Beck on the right. Key styles in the book: Highfalutin moral grandstanding, lack of intellectual depth, simplification of issues to the extent that it becomes moronic to even argue, choosing whatever statistics suit your blend of ideology, and above all, painting everyone on the other side as not just wrong but on a crusade to dismantle America and everything that he finds sacred in it. Maybe I picked up the wrong work. I wanted to get 'A Conflict of Visions,' but that being unavailable, settled for this. But considering how this is written for morons, I am wary of anything else by this fellow. Ruined my sunday afternoon.

  • John Martindale
    2019-03-08 02:52

    This book was torture, I could only handle small doses at a time. It was agonizing and infuriating to see the unfathomable depths our culture has progressively sunk into destructive delusions and sheer stupidity, it sometimes made me want to cry. Sowell truly is brilliant, Oh that he could have been America's first African American president.

  • Aiden Heavilin
    2019-02-16 07:48

    In a characteristically eloquent turn of phrase, Sowell points out that “it doesn’t matter if you have a better product if your opponent has better salesmen.”Conservatism has terrible salesmen. I seriously doubt anyone has been persuaded to conservatism by Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh, let alone Ann Coulter. There are many factors behind this, notably that there’s just not much to sell these days. Republicans and Democrats alike are increasing the size of the federal government, infringing on our constitutional rights, and generally proving the saying that “power corrupts.” I think it’s fair to say there is no conservative party in America right now. Regardless of where politicians say they stand on ‘the issues’, the basic philosophy remains the same, unchanged by Trump’s election – more power for fewer people. So as Congress, the people’s voice, becomes less and less heard, the branches controlled by the least amount of people – the executive and judicial branches – have hungrily gobbled up power far beyond what the founders intended.So sure, you could say our populace has been primed like Pavlov’s dog to respond to certain words from politicians, to go to the polls when they hear the words they like to hear. You could say that most people don’t read up on the actual track records of the candidates themselves, but that would neglect the fact that the politicians themselves don’t read the bills they are passing. How do we expect the people to know what candidates stand for when the candidates don’t know themselves?The whole mess is what makes Sowell’s book “Dismantling America” such a frustrating read. Sowell’s ideas are so logical, his words so eloquent, that you can’t help but throw up your hands and cry out, “Why aren’t people doing this?” even though you know the answer is corruption, red tape, lies.Sowell’s words are like a razor blade, slicing through the nonsensical web of meaningless words that politicans have made for us, and getting right to the point.Take this gem. Some of our biggest political fallacies come from accepting words as evidence of realities. "Rent control" laws do not control rent and "gun control" laws do not control guns.The big cities with the tightest rent control laws in the nation are New York and San Francisco. The nation's highest rents are in New York and the second-highest are in San Francisco.There is a very straightforward explanation for that. Strong rent control laws can bring residential building to a screeching halt. Once politicians have milked the political advantages of passing rent control laws, they have to avoid a backlash if all building of apartments stops.That leads to an escape hatch in the rent control law. Luxury apartments with rents above a certain level are exempted. This leads the shifting of resources away from building affordable housing to building luxury housing.Or his idea for ending corruption. Give every member of congress a 10 million dollar a year salary, and limit them to only one term. As he puts it.That would not increase the federal budget by one percent. Chances are that it would reduce the federal budget considerably, when members of the Senate or the House of Representatives no longer needed campaign contributions or the personal favors of special interest groups and their lobbyists.His rhetoric is perfectly clear, and he stays away from buzzwords and emotional appeals, interested only in hard logic.Government programs are usually less effecient than similar services provided by private enterprises.Compare the service you get at the Department of Motor Vehicles with the service you get at Triple-A. No one who belongs to the American Automobile Association is likely to go to the DMV for a service that is also available through Triple-A.Yet...if there is something for sale in the marketplace for ten dollars, and you would not pay more than five dollars for it, some politician can always offer to get it for you for free, as a newly discovered "basic right", or at least a "reasonable" or "affordable" price.Suppose that the "reasonable" or "affordable" price is three dollars. How do you suppose that the government can produce something for three dollars that private industry cannot produce for less than ten dollars. Greater efficiency in government?"Thomas Sowell is not a salesman, he does not exaggerate or make a situation sound better than it is just to seduce you into buying his ideas. He is simply realistic, about what government can do, about what people can do, about what is possible. When you read the almost 300 essays within this book, you begin to understand what conservatism might be, if it were not commandeered by folks like Donald Trump (whose economic policies, according to, are further to the left than Clinton's!) I recommend Sowell's writings to those on both the left and right. If you are on the right, hopefully it will help you see just how far republicans have fallen from actual conservatism, and if you are on the left, it most likely will not change your mind, but it will represent the opposing ideology at its strongest.

  • Kevin Heldt
    2019-02-16 07:54

    Brilliant. If only everyone had the ability to think this clearly on these important political and economic issues.

  • Sandy
    2019-03-03 03:52

    Drivel and nonsense. Fox 5 News driven prouncements bordering on racism.

  • Sam Johnson
    2019-03-17 02:54

    This isn't the go-to Sowell book if you've never read his stuff before. If that's the case, start with Vision of the Anointed. Another good starting point is Compassion versus Guilt. This is a collection of columns that all run to the 750-word mark and tread some familiar ground. It's a book to pick up once in a while, not read straight-through. But every once in a while, the reader gets a good dose of Sowell:"If you want to explain why some people have astronomical incomes, it cannot simply be because of their own desires--whether 'greedy' or not--but because of what people are willing to pay them.""If we have Constitutional rights only when judges like the end results, we make as well not have a Constitution.""Some people seem to think we live in more 'liberated' times, when all that has happened is that one set of taboos has been replaced by another and more intolerantly enforced set of taboos." "If people had been as mealy-mouthed in centuries past as they are today, Ivan the Terrible would have been called Ivan the Inappropriate.""If the choice between policy A and policy B is regarded as badge of personal merit, either morally or intellectually, then it is a devastating risk to one's sense of self to make empirical evidence the ultimate test.""There is a big difference between being ponderous and being serious."That last one is perfect.

  • Bob Lamothe
    2019-03-10 00:00

    Thomas Sowell is one of the great thinkers of our age. Having grown up in the ghetto as a child he earned his place among the intelligentsia through hard work and he recommends others do the same.This book is a collection of Sowells articles, mostly during the Obama administration. While he often refers to Obama and dates his articles, much of the content is still germane today, especially when a very violent and vocal part of our society insists your value derives from the group to whom you belong rather than who you are and how you contribute.If you've never been exposed to Thomas Sowell, this book is a great start.

  • Rbette1299
    2019-03-09 01:46

    Thomas Sowell is one of the smartest yet practical and down to earth logical thinkers and writers that I know not only in Economic topics but many life issue topics. I have more thoughts to add but want a little more time to streamline them.

  • Alex
    2019-02-26 05:34

    Thomas Sowell is brilliant. His words inspire clear thinking. All his works are worth reading.

  • Wodin
    2019-03-11 04:53

    Sowell does some great economics work (see: basic economics). He strays far and wide from that subject in this book, largely to prove he should have stuck to it.

  • Aseem Juneja
    2019-03-11 05:50

    Tom Sowell has picked some serious topics and has some extreme viewpoints..However, I found his take on those topics interesting and sometimes funny.

  • Vincent
    2019-03-02 23:38

    A very good book, written by a very smart man.

  • Rohan
    2019-02-16 08:02

    I have loved Sowell's writing from the moment I finished reading his book "Applied Economics". His Books and Articles generally make me question and ponder over things which you would think are very obvious and true on their face. This book is also similar and it didn't disappoint me. Although at points I felt this was same old Rhetoric about various Foreign affairs and Security policies of Obama's administration but time and again at various points in the essays he did bring up many useful points and good examples of the Administration's inaction over many issues. Readers must know that this book was written around the time when US was preparing for upcoming presidential election, so not all essays might carry the same impact and weight in terms of content. Some of the issues covered in the various essays are : Immigration Reform, Health Care, Iran's nuclear capability, Gay Marriage, Racism etc.Many points through out the book are repeated over and over from one essay to another and it is because of this I felt it would've been really good if Author would've mentioned the date of publication of the article at the beginning of each chapter (or essay). Now, I personally took upon reading this book because Sowell is a well known economist and I wanted to understand the role an administration plays in forming economic policies. I will say that I was not completely disappointed. Overall not a must read, but a good read.

  • Jeff
    2019-03-11 06:52

    Two stars - literally, "It was OK". Which is not to say this is a bad book, or that it doesn't contain good commentary. The problem with this book is that it's solely a collection of 3-page newspaper opinion columns. While reading Thomas Sowell once a week in the newspaper is enjoyable, reading 100 columns back-to-back in a continuous stream is less so. Compiled into a single volume, the columns become fairly repetitive (a few common themes show up over and over). Also, the columns are almost relentlessly negative in tone. I have a couple more Thomas Sowell books in my stack of books to read, and I have higher hopes for them. I just don't think this book, which doesn't allow for a single, cohesive, thoughtful thesis to be presented and argued, doesn't do justice to any of the topics upon which it touches.

  • Kenny
    2019-02-21 00:37

    A compendium of newspaper columns by the inimitable Thomas Sowell, who is not only a brilliant economist (his Basic Economics should be required reading for every politician in America) but he's also allowed to state hard truths because he's black.Thus is the state of race relations in America, thirty years after Eddie Murphy said "nigger" a hundred times in his HBO special; now, you don't even dare use the word. (I do, but I'm allowed; I'm a writer and all words are fair game for professionals. Do not try this in public.)Sowell covers the gamut of political subjects in these two-page columns, slicing and dicing the opposition with his hard-eyed realism and fearlessness about race and class. He's allowed by virtue of his unalienable characteristics.You're allowed to read the literal definition of "clear thinking."Unless you're afraid of being called a racist.

  • David Crain
    2019-02-19 05:01

    So many good thoughts, so little time.Written by a stalwart defender of personal liberties, these essays point out the flaws of "progressive" ideologies and programs. Many, if not all, of these programs have been established within the author's living memory. He remembers what it was like before government was ubiquitous, and encourages us to consider taking the hard path back to those days. Will it happen? I don't know...but his arguments for it are convincing. This book at once eloquently defends true freedom and the plain-sounding principles behind it, and deals a sweeping blow to the castles in the sky that the self-titled Illuminati pontificate regularly. Well-worth every minute it took to read the first time, and every minute I've spent re-reading it since.

  • Julie
    2019-03-11 04:37

    Sowell lays it all bare, as usual. If you don't want to admit the government has overstepped its bounds in SO many ways, feel free to keep the wool over your eyes, as the Obama administration does so well. Sowell talks about this administration as the pinnacle of the underhand, socialist dealings going on in this country and it's true. Our rights are about to be taken, right and left, for the "good" of everyone. It's true, it's all dismantling America, bit by bit and creating a country that's doomed to fail. Sowell's writing is so easy to read, and these essays are the perfect 2-4 page length. You can read one or two and put it down for the day. A political must-read!

  • Ray
    2019-03-17 06:53

    I stuck it out, and finished it, but couldn't wait for it to end. Sowell is the foremost Obama critic, and ties every evil of today or the past to Obama, the left, or liberals. The only problem is that it seems to have been one of the many books published around the time of the last presidential election, apparently with the hope of influencing voters to voate against Obama. Now that the election is over, the point of the book is somewhat diminished. Updates can be heard on the Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity shows however if you're interested.

  • Joseph D. Walch
    2019-02-27 23:36

    This is a collection of essays from the inimitable Thomas Sowell's last year of writing. The themes range from Iran's nuclear ambitions and the Duke Lacross rape case to the Civil War and President Coolidge. As an economist, Sowell brings his wisdom to bear on the current events, especially as the foremost black critic of Pres. Obama. It contains phrases, stories and ideas that are somewhat redundant since they are a collection of essays. It is very good, though, and I enjoyed the nuggets of wisdom stitched between these two boards.

  • Gavin
    2019-02-24 07:58

    Excellent book of Sowell's essays. It shows how all politicians are moving to the left—quickly under democrats, slowly under republicans—and how our culture, politics, law, and education are increasingly becoming more insulated from feedback from reality. It gives a very pessimistic picture of where we are going. It nevertheless is clearly written and it is unfortunately an accurate picture of the poor state our country is in due to the bad ideas of the left. The only consolation we have is that nothing is inevitable until it happens.

  • Tee
    2019-03-15 06:44

    Really awesome book! In addition to Mr. Sowell's easy to read style, he gets straight to the point of the subject and uses impeccable logic to back up his statements. Subjects range from "Gay 'Marriage'" to "Adolescent Intellectuals" to "Racism." A must read for conservatives, liberals, and progressives alike.Also:You can't call a black man racist, can you? XD Read the "Random Thoughts" section in the back of the book. It's quite cute.

  • Amy
    2019-03-12 04:33

    LOVED. Love, love, love.Thomas Sowell writes pure, common sense. And I love it. You could call him a genius but I think he would dislike that. Because what he is writing isn't that least when he writes it.I was encouraged by his common sense and practical, even pessimistic, approach to life. What he has to say is good, if pretty politically biased, and I personally enjoyed it immensely.

  • Paul
    2019-02-23 05:34

    2010.1117-2010.1118While this book was a large aggregation of Sowell's new articles, and I have read most of them elsewhere, the collection is a must read. sowell is insightful and fun to read. He reminds us that we need to pars out rhetoric and be careful with blindly excepting 'facts' we are feed.

  • eden
    2019-02-28 01:46

    3.5The essays can get redundant, particularly in the first two sections. Also, there are no dates, which is kind of strange and not helpful when you're trying to figure out the context of certain essays. But it's Sowell -- he's great and perceptive, and his style is so simple and plain-spoken that it's easy to undervalue his insights.