The Bell Curve Wars: Race, Intelligence, and the Future of America

Steven Fraser, Editor, Editor *, Editor Basic Books $16 (224p) ISBN 978-0-465-00693-9
This collection of articles by 19 journalists and academics represents a mostly effective counterattack against Richard Herrnstein's and Charles Murray's controversial bestseller, The Bell Curve. Stephen Jay Gould leads off by refuting the earlier book's central argument: that racial differences in IQ are due mostly to genes. Howard Gardner adds that East Asian examples show that culture, not genetics, is key. Alan Wolfe even doubts that an ``economic class structure has been replaced by a cognitive'' one. Some contributors offer useful context: Henry Louis Gates Jr. notes that The Bell Curve appeared in a time of diminished liberalism, Randall Kennedy observes that its prominence stems from problems in our market-driven intellectual culture and Jacqueline Jones tartly scores its authors' ``wide-eyed, romantic view of the past.'' Several authors--including Mickey Kaus, Martin Peretz and Leon Wieseltier--reprise pieces from a New Republic issue devoted to The Bell Curve. This collection, unfortunately, has the flaws of a rush job: the contributors, notably the conservative Thomas Sowell, do not respond to each other. (Sowell criticizes the genetics argument but believes that Herrnstein and Murray demolished double standards regarding college admissions and ``race norming'' on employment tests.) Moreover, this book could have used a solid postmortem on the press coverage and hype surrounding The Bell Curve's publication. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/10/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Show other formats
FORMATS
Hardcover - 978-0-465-00692-2
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.