Book Review

Bad Ideas & Their Consequences

Intellectuals and Society by Thomas Sowell

Basic Books, 2009
(398 pages, $29.95, hardcover)

reviewed by J. Daryl Charles

Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society is a timely and penetrating critique of the “experts” responsible for creating and maintaining the dominating stream of modern cultural ideology. These experts are worthy of intense scrutiny and a calling-to-account because their work is instrumental in creating a climate of opinion in which issues of the day are not only debated but also acted upon by those possessing political power. “Whole nations have already been put at risk and indeed led into disaster” by “a climate of opinion to which the intelligentsia have made major contributions,” writes Sowell. Classic—and at times . . .

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J. Daryl Charles serves as the Acton Institute Affiliated Scholar in Theology & Ethics. He is author, co-author or editor of seventeen books, including: Wisdom’s Works: Essays on Ethics, Vocation, and Cultural Engagement (Acton Institute, forthcoming), America and the Just War Tradition: A History of U.S. Conflicts (Univ. of Notre Dame Press, 2019), Natural Law and Religious Freedom (Routledge, 2018), and The Just War Tradition: An Introduction (ISI Books, 2012). He is a contributing editor to Touchstone.

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