A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles (Library)

Thomas Sowell (Author) Michael Edwards (Read by)


Controversies in politics arise from many sources, but the conlficts that endure for generations or centuries show a remarkably consistent pattern.

In this book, which the author calls a culmination of thirty years of work in the history of ideas, Sowell attempts to explain the ideological difference between liberals and conservatives as a disagreement over the moral potential inherent in nature. Those who see that potential as limited prefer to constrain governmental authority, he argues. They feel that reform is difficult and often dangerous, and they put their faith in family, custom, law, and traditional institutions. Conversely, those who have faith in human nature prefer to remove institutional and traditional constraints. Controversies over such diverse issues as criminal justice, income distribution, or war and peace repeatedly show an ideological divide along the lines of these two conflicting visions.

Product Details

Blackstone Audiobooks
Publish Date
April 20, 2011
6.4 X 1.2 X 6.2 inches | 0.4 pounds
Compact Disc
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Thomas Sowell has taught economics at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst, and other academic institutions, and his Basic Economics has been translated into six languages. He is currently a scholar-in-residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has been published in both academic journals and such popular media as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Fortune and writes a syndicated column that appears in newspapers across the country.

MICHAEL EDWARDS is Professor of Classics at Queen Mary, University of London.


"Extraordinary...[Sowell] makes his case fairly, lucidly, and persuasively."

-- "New York Times Book Review"

"A provocative analysis of the conflicting visions of human nature that have shaped the moral, legal, and economic life of recent times...His discussion of how these conflicting attitudes ultimately produce clashes over equality, social justice, and other issues is instructive."

-- "Publishers Weekly"

"The book builds a convincing case that ethical and policy disputes are ultimately based on the differences in these visions. It covers a wide variety of political, philosophical, and economic thought...An important contribution to our understanding of current social issues."

-- "Library Journal"