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The vision of the anointed : self-congratulation as a basis for social policy

by Sowell, Thomas, 1930-

Format: Print Book 1995
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 3 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
Oakmont Carnegie Library Non-Fiction 305.5 SO
Location  Oakmont Carnegie Library
 
Collection  Non-Fiction
 
Call Number  305.5 SO
 
 
Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 305.5 SOW 1995
Location  Sewickley Public Library
 
Collection  Nonfiction
 
Call Number  305.5 SOW 1995
 
 
 
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction IN TRANSIT
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
 
Status  IN TRANSIT
 
 
Summary
Sowell presents a devastating critique of the mind-set behind the failed social policies of the past thirty years. Sowell sees what has happened during that time not as a series of isolated mistakes but as a logical consequence of a tainted vision whose defects have led to crises in education, crime, and family dynamics, and to other social pathologies. In this book, he describes how elites--the anointed--have replaced facts and rational thinking with rhetorical assertions, thereby altering the course of our social policy.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Ever the contrarian, this time Sowell targets the rhetorical methods liberals use to support their views of social issues. Usually, they frame a crisis to which the well-educated, articulate liberal, ruthlessly disparaged by Sowell as the "anointed," offers a categorical solution. To reach the solution, the liberal resorts to argumentative means that Sowell regards as fallacious. Examples he cites are the "Aha!" statistic in which condition A (say, infant mortality) is claimed to have cause B (inadequate budgets for prenatal care); or the assertion of a policy preference as a right, which is how a federal judge ordered a public library to allow an odoriferous, boisterous vagrant to roam the stacks--so that he could exercise his "right to receive ideas." These means defend a worldview of perfectible man that Sowell contrasts with the "tragic" view, stemming from human fallibility. Sowell's targets will find his criticisms irksome, if even worthy of their notice, but avid conservatives, for whom Sowell is a true-blue intellectual force, will certainly seize upon his analysis for succor. (Reviewed July 1995)0465089941Gilbert Taylor"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this broadside against the received wisdom of America's elite liberal intelligentsia, noted conservative Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, offers some strenuous arguments as well as fuzzy generalizations. Thus, his attacks on the war on poverty, sex education and criminal justice policies forged in the 1960s counter some slippery rhetoric by their defenders, yet his suggestion that these policies exacerbated things is questionable. Sowell deconstructs how statistics can be distorted to prove assumptions (that lack of prenatal care is the cause of black infant mortality) and gleefully skewers ``Teflon prophets'' such as John Kenneth Galbraith (who said that big companies are immune from the market) and Paul Ehrlich (who said starvation loomed). While ``the anointed'' favor explanations that exempt individuals from personal responsibility and seek painless solutions, those with the ``tragic vision'' see policies as trade-offs. Sowell scores his targets for disdaining their opponents, but this book also invokes caricature-these days, many of ``the anointed'' are less unreconstructed than he assumes. Conservative Book Club and Laissez-Faire Book Club selections. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Elite (Social sciences) -- United States.
United States -- Social policy.
Publisher New York :BasicBooks,1995
Language English
Description x, 305 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0465089941
Other Classic View