Gerald P. O'Driscoll, Jr., Senior Fellow, Cato Institute "In this provocative book, Thomas Sowell turns the table on those who automatically link disparate outcomes to discrimination. He begins by focusing instead on the myriad of factors that need to come together for success. Before we can explain why people fall behind in life, we must first understand what life demands for success. Sometimes individuals have all the prerequisites but one, and consequently fall short. Native intelligence by itself does not guarantee success. Hard work is important, but nature can be capricious. Who knew that being first born is a persistent factor for success in life? The book is chock full of such pertinent observations, none of which reflect discrimination by anyone. The book is a wonderful short introduction to the thought of one of our most important social thinkers."