Customer Review

22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If I could give it an additional star, I would. Excellent!, 1 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book) (Paperback)
I first heard of the Bell Curve over four years ago while attending one of my social science university classes. The Bell Curve got so much positive attention as a revolutionary, critical review of issues so current and pressing within our society, at the time, and today that I felt I would really appreciate reading it and reviewing the authors scientific efforts. As I studied the book (text) over a period of months, I could not help notice all of the off-the-cuff commentary, quick-shots really, by people who, obviously, had not studied the text nor the issues covered within the text. I heard claims of racism, subtle racism disguised as science, claims, to my complete astonishment, such as, "dirty little book, that's all it is". There seems to be some confusion, amazingly, as to what this book is all about. I guess that for some reason the standard remedy of "read the book" just doesn't seem to work here. I have noticed that a common trend among many of Murray's negative commentators: their ostentatious inability to distinguish the difference between the physical characteristic of "Ethnicity" and the sociological characteristics describing "One's ability to succeed in life". I continually read that the Bell Curve is about the relationship between "Intellect" and "Ethnicity"; this simply is NOT the case. In fact, as you will find, upon studying the text, the Bell Curve IS about the relationship between "Intellect" and "One's ability to succeed in life". I suppose that sociologists, psychologists etc... who hold dearly to conventional beliefs and "understandings" about sociological phenemon have, in light of Murray's and Hernstein's study, found themselves in a difficult spot and deeply disturbed. But so, I imagine, did followers of Archimedes when Newton developed his three laws of motion, refuting the conventional wisdom of the time that motion necessitated a force. And so, I imagine, did followers of conventional wisdom of the time, when Galileo presented his study, upholding the Coprenician system of planetary orbits. NO, in fact, they didn't like Galileo's findings at all, so much so that they forced him to renounce his SCIENTIFIC findings! It is scary to me, but when I, a student of the Bell Curve, see these commentators on telivision or read of them in the papers.... speaking of "dirty little books", "racism disguised as science" etc..., I have the feeling that If this were not the 20th century, and if we did not have the constitution protecting our right to publish scientific findings, these very same negative commentators might just try to force Murray to renounce his scientific findings, keeping us all in the dark for as long as possible. Well, fact is: the Earth does rotate around the Sun, folks. Read the book, get a telescope, know the truth.
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