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Thomas sowell has a large reputation, but not large enough. As a black, conservative intellectual in the US, he wears many hats. He writes a syndicated column, full of punchy libertarianism. He writes books on history, social policy and philosophy, almost all for the general public. And he has several academic works to his name, too-Sowell is an economist.

He is nearly 70 now. He grew up in North Carolina and Harlem, and studied at Howard, Harvard, Columbia and Chicago. At this last institution, he was a student of Milton Friedman and George Stigler. One of his more remarkable books…

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