Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell, with Jason Riley

Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell, with Jason Riley

Thomas and Martha Collins Free Enterprise Lecture
Feb. 17, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
MTSU Academic Classroom Building - Room 102
Free to attend.

Jason Riley, author and Wall Street Journal columnist, will be presenting a lecture on his new book, Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell.

About the Lecture: 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 30 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 this first‐​ever biography of Sowell, Wall Street Journal columnist Jason L. Riley gives this iconic thinker his due, responds to the detractors, and explains their motives. Maverick: A Biography of Thomas Sowell (Basic Books, May 2021) not only showcases Sowell’s most significant writings but also vividly traces the life events that shaped his ideas and resulted in a black orphan from the Jim Crow South going on to graduate from Harvard University, earn a PhD under Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago, teach economics at Cornell University and the University of California, Los Angeles, and spend the past four decades as one of America’s foremost public intellectuals.

Drawing on firsthand conversations with Sowell, and interviews with close friends and colleagues, Riley offers a nuanced portrait of one of America’s leading conservative intellectuals. Maverick shines a light on the extraordinary scope and depth of Sowell’s work, exploring where he has distinguished himself and how he is likely to be remembered.

About the Speaker: Jason Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, where he has published opinion pieces for more than 20 years. Topics include politics, economics, education, immigration, social inequality and race. He’s also a frequent public speaker and provides commentary for television and radio news outlets.

This lecture is made possible by the generous support of Thomas and Martha Collins as part of the Free Enterprise Lecture series.



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