The Bell Curve Wars: Race, Intelligence, and the Future o... and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Start reading The Bell Curve Wars on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

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

John F. Szwed , Steven Fraser
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 1.39 (14%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Wednesday, 23 April? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 8.17  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 8.60  
Amazon.co.uk Trade-In Store
Did you know you can use your mobile to trade in your unwanted books for an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details or check out the Trade-In Amazon Mobile App Guidelines on how to trade in using a smartphone. Learn more.

Book Description

7 April 1995 A New Republic Book
The Bell Curve by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray has generated a firestorm of debate, confirming for some their secret belief in the innate inferiority of certain "races" or ethnic groups, angering many who view the book as an ill-concealed racist manifesto, and worrying untold others who fear the further racial polarization of American society. In The Bell Curve Wars, a group of our country's most distinguished intellectuals dismantles the alleged scientific foundations and criticizes the alarming public policy conclusions of this incendiary book.Anyone who has wondered about the connection among genes, race, and intelligence, all those anxious about racial antagonisms in our nation, those who question the efficacy of social welfare programs, all those troubled but unconvinced by Herrnstein and Murray's book, will want to read The Bell Curve Wars.

Frequently Bought Together

The Bell Curve Wars: Race, Intelligence, and the Future of America + Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book) + The Mismeasure of Man
Price For All Three: 29.98

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (7 April 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465006930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465006939
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 12.9 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 477,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The Bell Curve, by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray (Free Press; $30), subtitled Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, provides a superb and unusual opportunity to gain insight into the meaning of experiment as a method in science. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:


Customer Reviews

5 star
0
4 star
0
1 star
0
2.5 out of 5 stars
2.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying 14 July 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is really just a summary of short, newspaper-length articles. The criticisms are therefore varied and interesting, but it's frustrating if you want a meaty discussion of the Bell Curve. <P>I recommend instead Devlin's compilation of scientific arguments, "Intelligence, Genes, & Success", or "Measured Lies."
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unscientific 29 May 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I read about half of it. Very few of the chapters are interesting, most are unscientific. Read the volume that criticizes Arthur Jensen's theories, with Jensen's replies. It is one of the few books of this type that gives 2-perspectives.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
176 of 201 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Scientists offering opinions and not doing science 17 Aug 2000
By Jonathan Wren - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I find it dissapointing when scientists and intellectuals take to the rhetoric when they see an idea they don't agree with or that disturbs them. I really wanted to see some research results, but the best this book seems to offer is citations of other authors who do not agree with Herrnstein & Murray and opinions on possible reinterpretations of some of the Bell Curve data. Some authors don't seem like they really read the book thoroughly, or at least are overstating H&M's argument. There is the standard sort of politically correct pretentiousness here:
1) Claim the writers have a bias (no need to prove you don't) 2) Talk about how statistics can be used selectively (no need to prove they were) 3) Talk about how racism has been cloaked as science before (no matter that these references are not to the Bell Curve) 4) Remind people that correlation does not equal causation (the only useful point in the book, but they don't offer much besides this cautionary statement) 5) Remind people that intelligence is composed of more than one part (even if true, that doesn't mean that generalizations can't be made about *overall* intelligence) 6) Insist intelligence cannot be adequately measured (Gould's favorite theme, joined with #5 above, which is more of an opinion than a fact. Intuitively, we all have met people that we characterize as 'smarter' or 'dumber' than average. Gould would have us believe that this opinion could never be put in numbers)
I wouldn't waste my money or time on this book, unless you're a liberal and you want to hear some left-leaning messages to make you feel better.
55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rebuttal of TBC, some good points, sometimes unfair 27 Dec 2002
By R. Michaels - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"The Bell Curve Wars" (BCW) is a collection of short essays that argue against Murray and Herrnstein's controversial book "The Bell Curve" (TBC). I think that if you read TBC you should read some of the criticism, and BCW has contributions from mostly eminent people. BCW makes several good points, though if you read TBC carefully Murray and Herrnstein conceded many of those points too. BCW also makes some unfair accusations. I particularly did NOT like the accusation that TBC was hateful and racist. This is not only inaccurate but dishonest since it amounts to using scare tactics to argue a point. There is also a somewhat absurd argument that intelligence is unmeasureable. Well, we measure it all the time. I've sat on committees to hire people in high-tech jobs, and we can normally arrive at a consensus of the relative IQs of the applicants, though this isn't always the decisive factor.
While TBC was only partially about race, this is the hot button issue and the focal point of criticism. BCW makes the good point that we cannot tell for sure what causes the observed average IQ differences, so environment might cause most of it. It is also plausible that hundreds of years of slavery and subsequent discrimination has some residual effect. Therefore it is reasonable to seek cost-effective methods to correct this. This is ultimately a political judgement and the gamble is acceptably small if the programs are sufficiently cheap.
With all the discussion in TBC and BCW, the main outcome has to be: What do we do about social problems ? What are the appropriate government policies and social lessons ? At least TBC presents some ideas, some of which are pretty good, e.g. fathers should stay home with their children until they are grown up. That is a cultural problem, and solving it will make a big impact. The most disappointing aspect of BCW is that it proposes hardly any new ideas of its own. It is basically anti-TBC, hence nothing new and not very interesting.
26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unscientific 29 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I read about half of it. Very few of the chapters are interesting, most are unscientific. Read the volume that criticizes Arthur Jensen's theories, with Jensen's replies. It is one of the few books of this type that gives 2-perspectives.
50 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fair content-including Sowell's critique 19 Jan 2004
By Enrique Cardova - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Bell Curve sparked an outpouring of liberal/leftwing anguish, and it was valuable for doing such- especially in exposing the hypocritical and deceptive assumptions that
have held sway in black education, especially the farce of
"affirmative action". Much of the sound and fury deals with
"racism" for pointing out the obvious-sub par black educational performance. The torrent of liberal anguish also may have helped to bolster conservative racism. After all with the liberals so upset, there must be something to it-"methinks they doth protest too much...."

Conservative economist Thomas Sowell's analysis pronounces a pox on both houses. He welcomes the exposure of the hypocrisy surrounding Race and IQ, and notes that many critics are long on shrill emotion and short on hard analysis.

H&R he asserts, are quite accurate in their analysis and presentation of the stats. Speculative conclusions are another matter. The authors claim that the higher incidences of incarceration in black populations and their higher illegitimacy rate is largely explainable by their lower overall IQ. But this does not stand up to the record of history. Whites of similar IQ have similar anti-social patterns, but also to be remembered is the fact that there are white ethnic groups in the US that have long had a pattern of high incarceration, high out of wedlock births, high levels of crime and violence, and a general disinclination towards education and learning. These folks are conveniently forgotten in the haste of many to point the finger at blacks.

They are called the white Irish, and the patterns noted above were seen not just in America but also over in Ireland and among Irish immigrants in Britain. In Sowell's "Ethnic America" for example, he points out that the illegitimacy rates among the Irish in sections of New York in the 1800s rivaled that found among urban blacks in the late 20th century. And as for levels of violence, just one of the many Irish riots back then killed more that all the people that died during the black riots of the sixties. Phrases such as "paddywagon" or "donnybrook" "fighting Irish" are based on historical realities like these. And let's not get into historically high levels of substance abuse (alcohol) among the white Irish... Over time the Irish improved their lot and behavior over time. Blacks are no different provided they are left alone to get on with the job.

Others have used the Bell Curve stats stats to argue that black intelligence is declining- hence the high rates of illegitimacy and incarceration. None of these speculations stands up to the record of history.

In fact the intelligence scores of blacks (along with other initially low IQ whites) have been rising for decades. As Thomas Sowell points out, it is the "norming" of IQ tests from their earlier baselines so that increases are reshuffled to yield a "normal average" of 100, that has concealed black

progress. When progress is measured from the original baselines, in fact, whole nations have experienced rising IQs. This change over time does some damage to H&R conclusions. It should be noted as well that Jewish soldiers scored rather low on Army mental tests given in WWI, leading some Anglo experts to cast doubt on the mental capacity of Jews- but who's laughing now?

Nor are Jews unique as to the moving pattern of IQ scores. As far back as the First World War, black soldiers from northern states, places like New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio scored higher on mental tests than white soldiers from southern regions like Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Mississippi.

Some patronizing white liberals argue that blacks need special "help" and preferences to register improvement- hence the farce of affirmative action. But history shows nothing of the sort. Back in the Jim Crow era, when blacks were blatantly and systematically denied opportunities open to whites, blacks were making progress without any "special" help or "preferences" from whites. All they needed was an equal chance. And when they did, all black PUBLIC schools like Dunbar High in Washington DC, along with many others for example, consistently produced test scores for decades ABOVE the white average.

Sowell exhaustively documents the above in books like "Black Education", 'Ethnic America", "Race Ind IQ" and "Inside American Education".

It should be noted that Sowell, whle praising certain aspects of the Bell Curve, is also critical of it- including the authors' seemingly naive use of statistical correlations:- QUOTE:

-------------------------------------------------------------------
"Perhaps the most troubling aspect of The Bell Curve from an intellectual standpoint is its authors' uncritical approach to statistical correlations. One of the first things taught in introductory statistics is that correlation is not causation. It is also one fo the first things forgotten and one of the most widely ignored facts in public policy research. The statistical term "multicollinearity," dealing with spurious correlation, appears only once in this massive book.

Multicollinearity refers to the fact that many variables are highly correlated with one another, so that it is very easy to believe that a certain result comes from variable A, when in fact it is due to variable Z, with which A happens to be correlated. In real life, innumerable factors go together."

--Sowell, Thomas. "Ethnicity and IQ" pp70-79 IN: The Bell Curve Wars: Race, Intelligence, and the Future of America. 1996. ed Steven Fraser
-------------------------------
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying 14 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is really just a summary of short, newspaper-length articles. The criticisms are therefore varied and interesting, but it's frustrating if you want a meaty discussion of the Bell Curve. <P>I recommend instead Devlin's compilation of scientific arguments, "Intelligence, Genes, & Success", or "Measured Lies."
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews
ARRAY(0xab9efcfc)

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback