Forget about all the clowns and comedians today posing as valid pundits, the man to clarify the American political debate is Thomas Sowell. For me this was the sort of tremendously-challenging book I came across only a couple of times in a decade that really makes me shift my assumptions and rethink my worldview.
Thomas Sowell's classic analysis of the opposing visions behind today's ethical and ideological disputes
Controversies in politics arise from many sources, but the conflicts that endure for generations or centuries show a remarkably consistent pattern. This revised edition of a classic analyzes the centuries-long debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality, and power. It distinguishes between those with the "constrained" vision, which sees human nature as enduring and self-centered, and the "unconstrained" vision, in which human nature is malleable and perfectible. A Conflict of Visions offers a compelling case that these opposing visions are behind the ethical and ideological disputes of yesterday and today.
About the Author
Thomas Sowell is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of dozens of books and the recipient of various awards, including the National Humanities Medal, Presented by the President of the United States in 2003.
"Extraordinary on several counts...[Sowell] makes his case fairly, lucidly and persuasively."—The New York Times Book Review
"A classic of a very special kind...Reading [it] is like looking up at the night sky and discovering a new constellation."—Christian Science Monitor
"[A Conflict of Visions] is recommended herewith to anybody sufficiently interested in the American condition to try to get beneath the surface of partisanship, trendy issues and pop ideology to the philosophical foundations of the Republic."—Boston Globe
"[A] fine book ... Sowell's illuminating guide to the political conflicts of our age teaches the valuable lesson that political choices always involve costs."—Commentary
"An excellent condensation of two centuries of social thought."—Booklist
"A provocative analysis of the conflicting visions of human nature that have shaped the moral, legal and economic life of recent times."—Publishers Weekly