Intellectuals and Society – Thomas Sowell

February 1, 2010

In recent years intellectuals have held an increasing role in world decisions and their generation of ideas are shaping and forming the world we live in. Intellectuals whether right or wrong have made themselves heard and felt through war, attacks, and revolution.

Many of these intellectuals have been able to consume and agitate entire countries into revolt as many countries in the early and mid 19th centuries experienced with the rhetoric of Karl Marx. His set of ideas has fueled countless groups to question their preexisting governments and has changed social and economic predispositions. Hitler whether anyone likes it or not was an intellectual in his own rite and recognized the power of utilizing this group as a force to be reckoned with.

Thomas Sowell has addressed these and other instances of this group through history in his book Intellectuals and Society . While advancements in technology and products have jumped in leaps and bounds over the past century these innovators are not to be considered intellectuals as they have produced something tangible in their process. In the 1930’s many intellectuals were praising the Soviet Union for their equal distribution of wealth while the individuals that were experiencing this supposed golden age were starving and being shipped off to labor camps to die.

Intellectuals have given power to these foes without realizing the ramifications of their support. On paper many of the intellectuals were able to see positives of such systems but in practice the shortcomings were strongly felt.

With the release of the audio book version of Intellectuals and Society now released the book can come to life through any speaker system and Tom Weiner’s soothing deep voice is able to liven the subject and sink them into the listeners mind.

The audio quality for this audio book is amazingly clear and precise. As Weiner takes us through Thomas Sowell’s book his voice is sharp and keeps the information fresh.

Intellectuals mostly have shaped societies in totalitarian governments that have allowed some ideas to flourish when they support the current governments views while all those that oppose are shot down at the very least or punished and completely dismembered to keep others from following that path. This book also opens up the reader to the idea that only intellectuals who are free to use all available information in a intellectually free society can truly be appreciated as free societies are able to flourish under their own weight of merit.

There are many books on the subject and this is one that should be added to any ones audio library that considers the subject worthwhile and the study of these subjects can be appreciated in this audio format. As Sowell implies in his preface, this book is not one for intellectuals but rather at them and many intellectuals would be disappointed by the grim outlook of intellectuals in this book.

Many people that enjoy this book have also found that A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles by Thomas Sowell also helps to reveal the full nature of the previously mentioned book and the two work well as a pair to provide the reader or listener with a more full understanding of the subject.

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