Frank Miele (the author) acts as a "devil's advocate" in this book, as he interviews psychologist Arthur R. Jensen, who is a well-known geneticist. Miele says, in his preface,
"In this book, I skeptically cross-examine Arthur R. Jensen on Jensenism' how and why he believes the scientific evidence is even stronger today that:
"'IQ is real, biological, and highly genetic, and not just some statistic or the result of educational, social, economic, or cultural factors:
"race is a biological reality, not a social construct; and, most controversially of all,
"the cause of the 15-point average IQ difference between Blacks and Whites in the United States is partly genetic.'"
Jensen went from being a highly respected but little-known educational psychologist and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, until he was solicited, in 1969, to write a 123-page article for the prestigious Harvard Educational Review which began with the opening sentence, "Compensatory education has been tried and it apparently has failed." With that article he became a highly controversial figure because of his contention, which runs counter to the institutionalized politically correct view among social scientists, that heredity is of more importance than environmental factors in determining human intelligence.
Jensen, no racist by any stretch of the imagination, demonstrates throughout this book "the interviews which were conducted through e-mail" mainly through statistical analysis and other valid research methodology, the care with which he had arrived at his tentative conclusions.
As with The Bell Curve, by Herrnstein and Murray, The Blank Slate, by Steven Pinker, and Race Evolution and Behavior, by J. Philippe Rushton, all scholarly, well-researched books on similar subject matter, the advocates of the more politically correct view that the races may differ in virtually every other respect except intellectually, are attacking the message by attempting to kill the messenger.
The interviews that comprise this book are just short of hostile to Dr. Jensen in their tone, never granting agreement or accord, and with every answer, no matter how persuasive, the author merely changes the direction of attack. In fact, in the beginning, he announces his skepticism.
But, Dr. Jensen more than holds his own. The e-mail interview method seems to be a good one, since obviously both parties are enabled to be precise in their quotes and double-check everything before sending the question or answer.
We are given little information about the author, Frank Miele, except that he is a senior editor of Skeptic magazine, that his articles have appeared on "many web-pages," and that he lives in Sunnyvale, California, with his Great Dane dog, Payce. However, his questions of Dr. Jensen seem relevant and well-researched. The book is important, however, only because of Dr. Jensen's answers, which are invariably direct, careful, and backed up with very persuasive data and statistics. It is a veritable education in statistical methodology.
If you are interested in this subject matter, I consider this book indispensable to your library.
Joseph (Joe) Pierre
Author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
And other books