Thomas Sowell: a ‘Maverick’ Leader

[July 7, 2021]  From my early college days, I was intrigued by the writing of various “mavericks”1 who tested my limits of understanding the difference between good and evil.  One of these men was Thomas Sowell.2  When I read his 1972 book, “Black Education: Myths and Tragedies,” I was hooked.

I have always looked to find different ways of thinking, and Thomas Sowell gave me a new opportunity.  When I first began college at Texas Tech University, I thought of myself as a liberal.  I was for the “little people.”  After reading Sowell and others like William F. Buckley to understand better their perspective, I was hooked.

Thomas Sowell has written on the education, race, and culture of the past 50 years.  An article by David Mikies salutes Sowell in a great Tablet column, “The ‘noble lies’ of the new race politics.”  Mikies gives us a brief overview of Sowell’s thinking.

In this Tablet article, Mikies takes the publication of Jason Riley’s new biography of Sowell as a chance to contrast his deep, clear-headed thinking with the current crowd of race hustlers.  When someone is good at poking holes in an argument, I listen.  And poking at the upside-down thinking of Ibram X. Kendi, a black activist, professor, and historian, is what Thomas Sowell has done.

Kendi wrote that “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination.”  That is some wild thinking.  Thus, if you oppose this new racism, then you are a racist.  Sowell is the polar opposite of Kendi and others like him.

“Fifty years ago, Sowell was already denouncing the trends that now afflict fashionable movements like Black Lives Matter: pursuing symbolic results rather than real ones, choosing white guilt over Black advancement, and seeking special treatment instead of equal chances. Sowell knows that racism still persists, but he refuses to blame the gap between Black and white social outcomes on white supremacy, choosing instead to look to the ways that history shapes both group cultures and individual choices.” – David Mikies

I highly recommend this article in Tablet.  Read the whole thing.  It provides us with some of Thomas Sowell’s greatest thoughts and helps arm us against the creeping approach of nihilistic socialism.


  1. I use the term “maverick” as fittingly used in the recent biography of Thomas Sowell by Jason L. Riley, Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell, 2021. I’ve not read the book but have flipped through it and found it contains some great information on Sowell.  Jason Riley is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal.
  2. I’ve wrote about Thomas Sowell’s leadership more than five years ago here:
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

20 thoughts on “Thomas Sowell: a ‘Maverick’ Leader

  1. Mark Evans

    Our time on earth is limited. Make the best use of it. Be a good person, take responsibility, develop your family and help your community. That is the way we become happy with our lives and others can look at us and say, wow, he was a good man.

    1. Mr. T.J. Asper

      Really good point. That’s what I tell my students. Many are listening.

  2. Max Foster

    There are people who are simply better thinkers. Those that can communicate their thoughts are highly valued. Unless you are a political progressive where intellect does not matter but only following the current ideology, then you are on target. Let’s continue to encourage the study of men like Thomas Sowell. Gen. Satterfield does the right thing by encouraging us. Let’s follow up on his advice.

  3. Plato

    It is good to see and read about leaders of our time. Some may call him a maverick but, like others have written, the term intellectual and perhaps also philosopher are more appropriate in the context of what he has done to help us. Western civilization is tearing itself apart and the root cause is the easy lifestyles we have. Plus fatherless families are encouraged. Well, how do you like them apples? Not so good after all, I will say.

  4. McStompie

    Another fitting article from the archives of the intellect of Gen. Satterfield.

    1. Jonathan B.

      Just another reason for reading this leadership blog. Gen. Satterfield is on it. My whole family are fans of this website.

  5. Lynn Pitts

    My recommendation is simple, take a few weeks and read any of his books. 😊

  6. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    Hmmmm, I do like these articles that are specific on the thinking of these ‘conservative’ thinkers. They make sense. But most of them fail to hit the emotional buttons required to get their point accepted at the lower intellectual levels. The black population, I must say, fits the stupid gene pool. Want to not believe me, watch this:

    1. Andrew Dooley

      Yes, you are right. When we allow theft to occur without any punishment and, in fact, encouragement from the likes of the US VP K. Harris, you get more theft. Ghee, who would have believed it?

      1. Dead Pool Guy

        She is a lightweight anyway. Just a throwaway person because she is a woman and black. That was her only qualification. Low expectations.

  7. Gil Johnson

    Gen. Satterfield, excellent article on a man who we all can acknowledge is an intellectual of our time. Pay close attention to what these kind of men say and do. They help us define ourselves and show us how to do right.

  8. KenFBrown

    “Maverick?” Well, yes only in the sense that too many “leaders” in the US today are bonkers. They want the attention that a 6 year old would want. As long as people are looking and them and oohing and aahing, then they will go on being stupid, voluntarily ignorant, and a blowing in the wind leader; who is not a real leader.

  9. Audrey

    Thomas Sowell is the kind of man we need everywhere to help us overcome stupidity that reigns in so many of our big cities and on college campuses. Sowell hits right at the heart of the problems we have today and is not shy about it. That is the definition of a real man.

    1. Guns are Us

      Right, unlike the sissy men we have as politicians. Cowards galore. Cowardice is now seen as a good thing. Personally, I prefer a gun on my hip and a 15-round mag. No liberal will past my front door step.

      1. Wendy Holmes

        He He He….. you are great with that comment.

  10. Colleen Ramirez

    I would call him an intellectual as his most important trait. Leader? Yes, but intellectual, hell yes.


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