Glenn Loury
The Glenn Show
Jason Riley and John McWhorter — The Life and Work of Thomas Sowell

Jason Riley and John McWhorter — The Life and Work of Thomas Sowell


This week John and I have something a little different for you: An interview with Wall Street Journal columnist and Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Jason Riley about his recent book, Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell. We discuss Sowell's ideas, their influence, and his place within the pantheon of American (and black America), intellectuals. Among his innumerable contributions, Sowell's books—especially A Conflict of Visions, Knowledge and Decisions, and Basic Economics—are a particular focus of this wide-ranging conversation. We also get into a broader discussion about black intellectuals, conservatism, and the academy.

And don’t worry, Substack subscribers, John and I will be posting our monthly Q&A later this week. Stay tuned!

As always, I’m curious to know what you think. Let me know here and on Discord.

Discuss on Discord

0:00 Intro

1:10 Comparing the legacies of Thomas Sowell and George Schuyler

5:27 Making the case for Sowell’s significance

16:55 The task of the popularizer

23:55 Why Sowell’s book A Conflict of Visions is important

31:15 The norm of inter-group disparity

40:47 What happened to Glenn’s generation of heterodox Black intellectuals?

50:12 Why it’s hard to be a conservative in academia

59:54 Where is the left-wing critique of progressive racial politics?


Jason’s book, Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell

Sowell’s book, A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggle

Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper's talk with Adolph Reed

Glenn Loury
The Glenn Show
Race, inequality, and economics in the US and throughout the world from Glenn Loury, Professor of Economics at Brown University and Paulson Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute