+ Firing Line: The Economics and Politics of Race

June 19, 2017

Mr. Sowell had just produced a blockbuster (1983), called The Economics and Politics of Race: An International Perspective. Any author who writes about the topic of group characteristics is taking a tremendous risk, but Mr. Sowell (a) is not averse to risk and (b) had approached his topic empirically rather than polemically, presenting data that show how the peoples of various regions of the world have fared in different areas of endeavor. As we have learned before on Firing Line, he speaks as lucidly and compellingly as he writes: “One of the things I wanted to deal with in this book … is whether a group is formed by the society around it or whether, in fact, a group has its own pattern which follows it wherever it goes…. I looked at groups in other countries–Germans in Brazil and Australia and Russia, the Chinese in Indonesia and the United States and other countries–to see if they do in fact have their own pattern or are they simply reflecting what happened to them in that particular country, and what I found, by and large, was that they had their own pattern.”

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