Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell (Hardcover)

Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days


A biography of Thomas Sowell, one of America's most influential conservative thinkers. Thomas Sowell is one of the great social theorists of our age. In a career spanning more than a half century, he has written over thirty books, covering topics from economic history and social inequality to political theory, race, and culture. His bold and unsentimental assaults on liberal orthodoxy have endeared him to many readers but have also enraged fellow intellectuals, the civil-rights establishment, and much of the mainstream media. The result has been a lack of acknowledgment of his scholarship among critics who prioritize political correctness. In the first-ever biography of Sowell, Jason L. Riley gives this iconic thinker his due and responds to the detractors. Maverick showcases Sowell's most significant writings and traces the life events that shaped his ideas and resulted in a Black orphan from the Jim Crow South becoming one of our foremost public intellectuals.

About the Author

Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of several previous books, including Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed.

Praise For…

“Fascinating… Riley has achieved something rare in the field of intellectual biography­ — a recounting of a distinguished scholar’s life that draws on popular interest in Thomas Sowell the person and directs it to a lucid survey of Sowell’s volumi­nous intellectual output.”—National Review

“Sowell’s vast and diverse intellectual output, devoured over the decades by a loyal readership, screamed for a biography a long time ago. Jason Riley delivers, in a pleasing style that arrives as a must-read for any fan of Thomas Sowell, what the public so wanted but inexplicably did not receive until now.”—American Spectator

“Riley’s presentation of Sowell and his ideas is particularly important because it comes at a time when the Republican Party stresses its interest in reaching out to working-class and non-white voters. Sowell is one of the most influential black conservatives of the past 100 years.”—Daily Caller

“Riley, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, has done an admirable job distilling Sowell’s 90 years, 30-odd books, and countless columns into a single volume. Maverick will delight Sowell’s biggest fans and help introduce new generations to the man and his work.”—Washington Free Beacon

“An idea-centered life of the noted economist and political commentator. . . . This will be valuable to students of economics, Black conservatism, and public policy.”

“Thomas Sowell is among the most brilliant thinkers in the world today—deep, original, creative, fearless, intimidatingly erudite. His gripping and improbable life story can only magnify one’s awe at this astonishing man’s accomplishments.”—Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of How the Mind Works and Enlightenment Now

“Maverick is a brilliant intellectual biography of one of the most important thinkers of our time.  Jason Riley writes lucidly and engagingly, illuminating ideas of Sowell’s that are more timely today than ever, dispelling many myths along the way.”
 —Amy Chua, Yale Law professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations

“Enlightened opinion has it that the views of conservative black thinkers are boilerplate canards dismissible with a few statistics. Enlightened opinion is also uninformed by — and quite dismissible in the light of — the life's work of Thomas Sowell. At last a biography that shows how and why.”

 —John McWhorter, Professor of Linguistics at Columbia University, Contributing Editor at the Atlantic, and Host of Slate's Lexicon Valley

“With the publication of “Maverick,” Jason Riley has rendered  an enormous service by providing a compelling, informed and elegant intellectual biography of the great Thomas Sowell. It was obviously a labor of love. As a professional economist and Windy City native, I especially appreciated Riley's nuanced, deeply researched account of Sowell's roots in the Chicago School of economic thought, as it was led by Milton Friedman and George Stigler in the 1950s and 1960s.”—Glenn Loury, Professor of Economics, Brown University

“There are two important ambitions at work in this book. The first gives historical context to Thomas Sowell’s extraordinary genius. The second shows how his work spawned a new, post-60s conservative consciousness in black America. It looks with openness and courage at the often-awkward encounter between conservatism and racial conflicts. But most of all, this is the inspiring story of one of the greatest American thinkers who has ever lived.”
 —Shelby Steele, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and author of Shame

Product Details
ISBN: 9781541619685
ISBN-10: 1541619684
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: May 25th, 2021
Pages: 304
Language: English



Situated on the main street of the historic Delaware Riverfront town of New Hope, Pennsylvania, Farley’s Bookshop and its knowledgeable, experienced staff have endeavored to satisfy the literary tastes of the area inhabitants for over fifty years. Whether you are Bucks County born-and-bred or just stopping by to enjoy the crisp river air and delightful scenery, you will be pleasantly surprised to find the largest and most diverse collection of books-in-print in Bucks County. Farley’s may have competition, but it has few peers. We encourage you to browse our website, but please remember that getting acquainted with our online persona is no substitute for exploring the narrow passageways and teeming shelves of our storefront and discovering that perfect book nestled amongst so many others.


New Hope for American Art

                                               New Hope for American Art is the most comprehensive book ever published on artists from, and surrounding, the New Hope Art Colony (also known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists). This book, with its 612 pages and over 1,000 color plates of artwork include biographies of 165 individual Pennsylvania Impressionists and New Hope Modernists as well as artists from the Philadelphia Ten, a pioneering group of women all educated at Philadelphia art schools. 

In this book, you'll find biographies and artwork from such artists as:

  • Daniel Garber
  • Edward Redfield
  • George Sotter
  • Arthur Meltzer
  • Robert Spencer
  • William Langson Lathrop
  • Kenneth Nunamaker
  • John Folinsbee
  • Henry Snell
  • William F. Taylor
  • Fern Coppedge
  • M. Elizabeth Price
  • Clarence Johnson
  • S. George Phillips
  • Rae Sloan Bredin
  • Walter Baum
  • Walter Schofield
  • Morgan Colt
  • Charles Rosen
  • Joseph Meierhans
  • Charles F. Ramsey
  • Louis Stone
  • Charles Evans
  • Josef Zenk

New Hope for American Art was authored, designed and published by James M. Alterman, an expert in the field of Pennsylvania Impressionist and Modernist painting. A longtime collector and owner of two fine art galleries, Alterman wanted to create a user-friendly book intended not only to educate collectors and enthusiasts about this art but to help train one's eye. The book offers valuable tips on how to avoid common mistakes often experienced by new collectors drawn from the author's personal experiences as a collector and fine art dealer.