City Journal Winter 2016

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Winter 2016
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Daniel J. Mahoney
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The most detailed exposés of the Ukrainian famine and Walter
Duranty's fraudulent reports were published in a series of
pieces by the Welsh journalist Gareth Jones between 1930 and
1933. In "Russians Hungry, But Not Starving" (New York Times,
March 30, 1933), Duranty extended his deceits about the
famine by attempting to discredit Jones, knowing full well that
he was lying. Jones responded with a definitive refutation in a
letter to the editor on May 13, 1933. Jones' articles and copious
notes on his travels through the Ukraine may be found at
Sowell is no more an "intellectual" in the sense described and critiqued in this book than Friedman or Solzhenitsyn are.
And this review emphatically defends Sowell against the tendentious charge that he is anti-intellectual(as it states,only an ideologue fails to appreciate the crucial difference between ideas and ideology).
"Sowell, it’s true, denies being an intellectual"

On the contrary, Sowell acknowledged during his "Uncommon Knowledge" interview that he IS an intellectual, given that his primary output is ideas.

However, he possesses the vital virtue that most intellectuals do not: humility. He has a reasonable understanding of his strengths and limitations.

"He thus leaves himself vulnerable to the charge that he opposes the intellectual life per se."

Were he opposed to the intellectual life per se, he wouldn't be ensconced at a think tank, nor would he publish books hand over fist.

"the totalitarianisms of Left and Right"

Does Sowell use this formulation? Because only the Left (total government) can be totalitarian, whereas the Right (anarchy) cannot. If you or he is using "Right" to refer to Nazism, I'd refer both of you to Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism," which demonstrates how that deceptive nomenclature came to be and why it ought to be discarded.
I have read many of Mr. Sowell's books and find him a brilliant thinker and writer. However, of late I find his analysis a bit lacking in focus. He continues to attribute America's plethora of ills to misguided thinking by essentially well-meaning liberals. I prefer Occam's razor, and attribute evil means and evil ends to evil men.
Perhaps a word Mr. Sowell might use for this common sense logic is heuristics ('He acknowledges the need to reconnect intellect with practical reason, but he provides no designation for such prudence.') There is also Pierce's (pre-inductive or pre-deductive) abductive reasoning to a hypothesis; i.e. formulating a heuristic that requires further validation. In any case, common sense is not so common and Mr. Sowell's thoughtful commentaries are always a pleasure to read — good brains have no colour, but much charm.
Sir: I appreciate and respect your op-ed opinions which I read in the Johnson City Press, Johnson City, Tn. I am surprised that our paper, which has a Democrat editor, allows your column in our paper. More and more, I admire your stance on current events. It takes a bold and courageous person to write as you do. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Rebecca Vines Jonesborough, TN
I must warn you, Dr. Sowells approach to common sense, intellectual expression combined with his easy to read eloquence can become very addicting.

And, as the expression goes..."Its ALL good."
Interseting article