Thomas Sowell

Economist and columnist Walter Williams' new book this year is "Race and Economics." You don't need to know any economics to read it, but you will know some after you do. If you believe that things like minimum wage laws or government regulations in general help low-income minorities, you will find it hard to keep believing that after this book bombards you with hard facts and hard data, going back for decades.

Ann Coulter's new book this year, "Demonic," is in the tradition of her other books with one-word titles, a blend of very sharp wit and thoroughly researched facts. It will delight Ann Coulter's fans and may cause those few liberals who read it to be at risk for apoplexy.

Although "Demonic" was published before the "Occupy Wall Street" movement got under way, its subtitle was prophetic: "How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America." Its theme is how mob thinking and mob actions have long been common on the left, whether in academia, the media or the streets. One chapter is titled, "You Can Lead a Mob to Water, But You Can't Make It Think."

Another writer whose series of books likewise blend wit and wisdom is Theodore Dalrymple, a British doctor who has lived in various countries around the world. His latest book this year is titled "Anything Goes," and its theme is the degeneration of Western culture, to the accompaniment of unthinking rhetoric.

My all-time favorite among Theodore Dalrymple's books is "Life at the Bottom." It is based on his chilling experiences working in a low-income, predominantly white neighborhood in Britain. It is a classic examination of the moral squalor produced by the welfare state and its ideological rhetoric, regardless of race.

My own new books this year include "The Thomas Sowell Reader," which has more than 400 pages of selections of my writings over the past decades, ranging from the humorous to the painfully serious. The 4th edition of my "Basic Economics" and the 2nd edition of my "Economic Facts and Fallacies" were also published this year. Merry Christmas.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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