Magazine October 4, 2021, Issue

Thomas Sowell: The Anti-Utopian

The grave of Karl Marx at the Highgate Cemetary in London (LWilk/Getty Images)
Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell, by Jason L. Riley (Basic Books, 304 pp., $30)

In the world of progressive politics, the most visceral dis­plays of rancor and belligerence are often reserved not for the traditional opponents of progressives, who originate outside the political Left, but for apostates from their own ranks. The bitter internecine feuds among socialist intellectuals have long exemplified this pattern, but nowhere is the disdain for political heretics more palpable than in matters of racial and ethnic identity.

The impetus to ostracize a defector from an ideological norm often emerges from the belief that a person’s interests may be ascertained by his or her belonging to a certain group, whose members are

To Read the Full Story

This article appears as “The Anti-Utopian” in the October 4, 2021, print edition of National Review.

Something to Consider

If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content on the site including the digital magazine and archives, no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going.

If you enjoyed this article and want to see more premium content like this, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS.


Become a Member
Phillip Magness — Mr. Magness, an economic historian, is a senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of more than two dozen scholarly works on the economic dimensions of slavery and the American Civil War.

In This Issue

Special Issue on Crime

Books, Arts & Manners




A response to the notion that the U.S. military footprint in Afghanistan was a low-cost, high-reward deployment.


The Latest