The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy

Thomas Sowell, Author Basic Books $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-465-08994-9
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.)
Reviewed on: 07/03/1995
Release date: 07/01/1995
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4417-5667-1
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-465-08995-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-4417-5664-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4417-5662-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4417-5661-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-4417-5665-7
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