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Intellectuals and Society

Book Description

This title offers a withering and clear-eyed critique about (but not for) intellectuals that explores their impact on public opinion, policy, and society at large. It has not been by shaping the opinions or directing the actions of the holders of power that modern intellectuals have most influenced the course of events, but by shaping public opinion in ways that affect the actions of power holders in democratic societies, whether or not those power holders accept the general vision or the particular policies favored by intellectuals. In "Intellectuals and Society", Thomas Sowell not only examines the track record of intellectuals in the things they have advocated but also analyzes the incentives and constraints under which their views and visions have emerged. Ultimately, he shows how often intellectuals have been proved not only wrong, but grossly and disastrously wrong in their prescriptions for the ills of society.