♦♦♦♦ (of 5)
The bottom line: A thought provoking, if not a thought challenging, analysis on the way race has shaped the past and continues to influence the dynamics of the modern world.
Race and Culture takes a very economic approach to the effects of race on the global society at large. This scientific system relies on hard facts and data, and from there several conclusions are drawn. The benefit of this rational approach is that totally objective conclusions can be drawn “just from the data”. The downside is that this method does not necessarily account for the non-quantifiable forces that have a pervasive, influential role that shape the conversation on race. With this in mind, I believe many readers will step away from some sections the book with reservations, or be genuinely intrigued by the detailed analyses.
I fall in the latter group.
Particularly interesting is the chapter on race and slavery, which debunks the commonly held idea that the malicious institution was predominantly a Western construct starting in the last 400 years that exclusively involved white Europeans and black Africans.
Sowell also provides a myriad of acute, insightful comments—some of my favorites include: “The most dangerous kind of ignorance is the ignorance of the educated” (pg. 102) and “[P]olitical leaders tend to emphasize—sometimes exclusively—those factors for which a law or a government policy can be formulated, and those factors which lend themselves to the moral condemnation of other groups” (pg 139).
Dr. C.H.E. Sadaphal