"Black Rednecks and White Liberals" by Thomas Sowell. Short Review
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Thomas Sowell, the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, prolific writer, and award-winning thinker, has compiled a series of essays, binding them together in the 250-page paperback "Black Rednecks and White Liberals". Though most of the material is primarily dichromatic, addressing subjects regarding blacks and whites in America, it has a larger reach. Each of the six-lengthy chapters take the reader through piles of historical details, social and cultural phenomena, and economic reflections. It is a studied volume, and will add valuable historical aspects and backgrounds to one's knowledge.
The author butts heads with much of the reigning tales and tutelage on race, slavery, history, conquests, colonialism, and economics. He doesn't debunk or dismiss, as much as he fills out what is usually missing or misdirected. This is a manuscript made to give a reader reasons to pause and reflect. To summarize Sowell's main thesis in the book, these few sentences should do: "Injustices should not be swept under the rug, but whole peoples are more than the sum of the injustices they have suffered. At least they should be seen as more, if history is truly to be history and not just the projection into the past of contemporary visions and agendas" (248).
I found "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" refreshing and insightful. And I also found his recollections at times made me cringe from my own embarrassing chronologic lack. As an example, Sowell's delving into the ethnic and cultural history and habits of the antebellum southern U.S. populations, and how these played out, cleared up much that I was missing. I highly recommend the book.
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