Bad Ideas & Their Consequences by J. Daryl Charles

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 tragic—examples of these contributions for Sowell are Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb, and John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice.

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J. Daryl Charles is the Acton Institute Affiliated Scholar in Theology & Ethics. He is the author or editor of twenty books, including Retrieving the Natural Law (2008), Natural Law and Religious Freedom (2018), and, most recently, Just War and Christian Traditions (forthcoming). He is also co-editor of Abraham Kuyper, Common Grace: God's Gifts for a Fallen World, Volume 3 (2020). He is a contributing editor to Touchstone.

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