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865 of 936 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More facts and less name-calling, please
Since you're reading this, I assume you're thinking of buying — or at least reading — this book. That being so, you'll probably want to read other reviews than mine. This is in principle a good idea; but having just read all of them (147 at the time of writing) I should warn you that you'll need both considerable stamina and a strong stomach: there are...
Published on October 14, 2005 by Paul Magnussen

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88 of 99 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for those seriously interested in race issues.
I picked up "The Bell Curve" three years ago, and resolved to read it cover to cover, which I did. Quite a lot to absorb, but ultimately worth the time investment. I wouldn't suggest it for those who have less than a passing interest in race issues, since the authors took a measured and scientific approach to an otherwise emotional topic. This makes for a...
Published on April 10, 1999


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865 of 936 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More facts and less name-calling, please, October 14, 2005
Since you're reading this, I assume you're thinking of buying — or at least reading — this book. That being so, you'll probably want to read other reviews than mine. This is in principle a good idea; but having just read all of them (147 at the time of writing) I should warn you that you'll need both considerable stamina and a strong stomach: there are indeed thoughtful and informative reviews, but they are islands in a sea of drivel. By "drivel" I mean the following:

1) Reviews consisting entirely (or almost entirely) of expostulation rather than information ("racist garbage", "most important book of the 20th century")

2) Asserting what the book doesn't deny and denying what it doesn't assert.

3) Distortions of the book's content, and other disinformation, for instance:

- "the panel criticized the authors for not explaining what intelligence is" (intelligence is defined on page 4 (!) ).

- "The Bell Curve ignores bad diet" (Nutrition is explicitly dealt with on pp. 391-3).

And so on.

Many of the critics appear not merely to have misunderstood the book, but not even to have read it; amusingly, this is actually admitted in one review ("Although Head has only browsed through the book, she has seen this kind of pseudo-science before"). Some appear to be basing their argument upon the Moralistic Fallacy: if different groups had different average IQs for even partially genetic reasons, it would be a Bad Thing, and therefore that cannot possibly be the case.

(It also follows, naturally, that there's no need to examine the evidence, because the correct outcome is known in advance; and also that those who think otherwise must be making factual and/or logical errors, either unconsciously or consciously, making them fools in the former case and fascists in the latter.)

For myself, I found this a strange book in some ways, but only one other reviewer (Jennifer Kerns, I think the name was) touched on the reason. And that is that the book falls logically into three parts, which by their very nature are of varying reliability.

The first, and by far the largest, covers the available evidence on IQ and heredity. The second and third parts extrapolate present trends to the future (with unpleasant consequences) and make policy recommendations to deal with these projected consequences. Thus almost by definition these are on shakier ground.

- The first section, which excited by far the most controversy, is (ironically), easily on the firmest ground scientifically — as confirmed (for example) by an American Psychological Association task force explicitly set up to investigate it*; and by a letter to the Wall Street Journal by fifty-two leading psychometricians, a copy of which can be found on the Net ("Mainstream Science on Intelligence", also reprinted as an appendix in H.J. Eysenck's Intelligence: A New Look).

It seems to me a very able summary: it defines its terms, states its assumptions, produces its evidence and argues the merits of the various theories purporting to explain it. So there's no need for you to take my word (or anyone's) as to whether the thesis is justified; the evidence and the arguments are both there; if you're capable of rational thought, you should be able to decide for yourself. And this is what I advise you to do.

- The second part envisages the potential stratification of society by intelligence into a hereditary élite and underclass. Here the authors start to part company with some (at least) of the aforementioned psychometricians. Eysenck, for instance — certainly in the "hereditarian" camp as regards IQ — writes of an earlier article in Atlantic Monthly:

"Here Herrnstein is definitely beginning to run off the rails in his predictions (...) he disregards the importance of regression, the genetic factor which causes children of very bright and very dull parents to regress towards the mean of the whole population (...) [R]egression makes it quite impossible that castes should be created which will breed true — that is, where the children will have the same IQ as their parents. Within a few generations, the differences in IQ between the children of very bright and very dull parents will have been completely wiped out." (The Inequality of Man, pp.213-219)

Richard Lynn, however, disagrees, pointing out that if regression operated in all cases, then dog-breeding, and indeed evolution as a whole, would be impossible.

- The third part, the policy recommendations, is well outside my area of competence, so I offer no comment.

I should, however, like to make one further comment on other reviews, those containing the recommendation: "People wanting an honest scientific analysis of the claims of racial superiority should read Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man".

Gould's writing certainly has many admirable qualities, but honesty and scientific impartiality are not conspicuous among them — for specifics, see (for example) Chapter 3 of John L. Casti's Paradigms Lost. Or see J. Philippe Rushton's review of "Mismeasure", or Arthur Jensen's review ("The Debunking of Scientific Fossils and Straw Persons"), or John B. Carroll's, all of which you can find on the Web.

I've been following the debate over IQ for 40 years, and The Mismeasure of Man has more factual errors per page than any book I've ever read.

For a critical but still rational review of Herrnstein & Murray, I suggest Thomas Sowell's from American Spectator, which can also be found on the Web ("Ethnicity and IQ").

If you want a balanced account of the IQ field, try Intelligence: The Battle for the Mind, half of which is written by H.J. Eysenck and half by Leon Kamin, with a final rejoinder from each. The best summary I'm aware of remains, despite its age, H.J. Eysenck's The IQ Argument (Race, Intelligence and Education in the U.K.); but good luck getting hold of it!

*UPDATE 2007

I should have said that although the APA report could not (or at least did not) explicitly rebut any of Herrnstein & Murray's data, or their logic, it refused to endorse their conclusions.

I haven't changed the body of the review because that would make nonsense of the discussion in the Comments.

For a more detailed factual account of the tactics of Gould et al, I recommend Ullica Segerstrĺle's Defenders of the Truth, although I'm not sure I'm convinced by her psychological diagnosis.

Probably the best survey of the various issues and viewpoints that I'm aware of is The Race Gallery by Marek Cohn (1995).
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706 of 796 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, and implying frightening consequences, August 4, 1998
By 
John Wismar (El Dorado Hills, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book) (Paperback)
In reading the synopses above and the few negative reviews below, I have to wonder if their authors read the book in question, or merely the media hype. This book is not about "ethnicity and intelligence." It's not racism, nor even about race.

This book tries to show that A) people are becoming stratified according to intelligence (you go to school with, work with, and largely socialize with people of similar ability) and B) many of our social problems can be explained in terms of differences in intelligence (ie, in blunt terms, dumb people are more likely to commit crimes, etc.) They provide a huge base of data to support their thesis.

The authors have bent over backwards to try to avoid any hint of racism in their studies; the only place the issue even arises is when they report that blacks and Latinos have historically scored lower in IQ tests than have whites (Asians have scored higher), and that the claims of "cultural bias" are not supported by any data or studies. These details alone are enough to inflame the politically correct among us, unfortunately.

To portray this book as some type of white supremecist manifesto, you would have to have a strong agenda of your own, and totally disregard the content of the book.
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88 of 99 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for those seriously interested in race issues., April 10, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book) (Paperback)
I picked up "The Bell Curve" three years ago, and resolved to read it cover to cover, which I did. Quite a lot to absorb, but ultimately worth the time investment. I wouldn't suggest it for those who have less than a passing interest in race issues, since the authors took a measured and scientific approach to an otherwise emotional topic. This makes for a thoughtful but demanding read, which I believe is a far superior approach to the topic than a "jazzed up", rhetoric filled, pulp novel, written for popular consumption. However, this means that the book is slow and requires careful reading in order to fully get at what the authors are saying. Most importantly, contrary to popular belief, the book is not all about race. Rather, the majority of the book envolves analysis of race neutral studies. Approximately 20% of the book is actually dedicated to racial analysis, and it is my honest opinion, having read the book, that the authors took a good-faith approach to a controversial topic. I do not know if their analysis was correct, but I do know that the controversy was undeserved. The hype that surrounded this book was less about the authors work and more about our society's inability to come to grips with the issue of race. In the final analysis, all the book proved was that the issue of race is far more complex than the popular media would have you believe. If you really care about this topic, read this book. Really read it, and then think about it. Then, whether you are outraged or inspired, atleast you will have a leg to stand on when you quote/criticise the work.
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188 of 218 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Class Structure Explained, October 2, 2000
By 
Eric Gartman (Bethesda, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book) (Paperback)
Readers who have not yet read this book will be surprised to learn that the main topic is not race, but how intelligence explains class structure. The authors argue that intelligence, not environment is the primary determinant of a variety of social behaviors, including class, socio-economic level, crime, educational achievement, welfare, and even parental styles. Hernstein and Murray back up these claims with some of the most persuasive data ever seen in the social sciences. The importance of a person's intelligence cannot be understated. Its is the number one determinant in shaping one's life. Hernstein and Murray do not stop there however. They go on, arguing that the bottom 15 percent in intelligence are simply not capable of taking care of themselves, falling into poverty, drugs, alchoholism, etc. American society can no longer accept such conditions for lower cognitive class. They make concrete suggestions on how to change this condition. They also make striking claims about the danger of affirmative action programs in promoting people who are not qualified to do important tasks. And finally, they deal with the issue that makes this book so controversial: The lower tested intelligence of African-Americans. At no point do they the claim the gap is only due to genetics. They suggest past environmental factors come into play. But their main point is that modern day racism cannot explain the gap, and programs designed to bridge that gap will fail, and putting underqualified individuals in important positions is not the answer. The authors really do not go into detail about why the gap exists, setting themselves up for criticism. But at least another scholar can research this topic and try and explain it. In sum, this book explains class structure in America, as well as the many of the social maladies of our time. It offers proof, and conrete solutions. It is a book of monumental importance, and cannot be denounced as racist. Those who make such claims either did not read the book, or are too biased to think objectively. As Murray notes in his new afterword, modern Sociology is riddled with taboos and self-censorship. The radical leftists who dominate the field do this country a great disservice by being so biased and non-objective. They also refuse to look at biology, relying only on environmental explanations, despite pyschology's growing reliance on genetic determinants of human behavior. The general public can only hope that the field right itself. Until it does, there will no solution to our most pressing social problems.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading -, December 2, 2013
This review is from: Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book) (Paperback)
The concept of measuring intelligence has been dismissed by many as racism, statistical bungling, and scholarly fraud for the last 50 years. The association between intelligence and heredity has been controversial since shortly after Darwin's 1859 Origin of Species when one of his followers published a book on the topic. And most controversial of all - the association between race and intelligence. All these topics are confronted in 'The Bell Curve.'

Actually, these controversies first recently intensified in 1969 when Arthur Jenson, educational psychologist and testing expert at Berkeley exploded the already volatile mix of genetic/psychological science and political correctness by asserting that compensatory education programs were bound to have little success because they were aimed at youngsters with relatively low IWs, IW was largely hereditable, and that blacks historically exhibited IQs substantially below that of whites. That uproar was then exacerbated by physics Nobel-winning William Shockley (contributor to the invention of the transistor) who proposed paying people with low IQs to be sterilized. Then Herrnstein, experimental psychologist at Harvard and co-author of this book, added further controversy by asserting that social standing, because of its link to IQ, was partly determined by inherited differences. Since then the controversy has gone largely underground into the academic literature as new hypotheses were tested, except for the brief 2007 flare-up created by another Nobel-winner, James Watson (DNA pioneer), who publicly remarked that black Africans are not as intelligent as whites. Now, with 'The Bell Curve' Herrnstein and Murray bring these controversies back into the forefront.

The difference in test scores between African-Americans and European Americans has converged on about one standard deviation for several decades, regardless of test used. This means the average white person tests higher than about 84% of blacks, and the average black tests higher than about 16% of whites. These differences are greater at high levels of SES. Similarly, Asian-Americans on average outscore White Americans by about 2 - 10 points, especially in nonverbal areas.

Observed ethnic differences in IQ could be solely explained by environment if the average environment of blacks was at the 6th percentile for whites and the average environment of East Asians at the 63rd percentile of environments among whites - highly implausible. Further, given the B/W difference is lowest at the lowest SES levels, why should the advantage of the white environment be greatest among the better-off and better-educated? Why do these differences persist in Great Britain and France, where slavery never existed? Similarly, why would negative environments for Jews and the Chinese in some areas of America have left them with higher scores than the national average? Another question - why do Asian-American students abound in engineering, medical and science programs, but not in humanities and social science programs?

Other assertions: Intelligence is largely heritable (40 - 80%), no one has been able to improve IQ to a significant degree through changes in environment, sustained unemployment, having an illegitimate baby, living in poverty, receiving welfare, and dropping out of high school are all strongly linked to low IQ, average American IQ is declining due to the tendency of the more intelligent to have fewer children than the less intelligent and the large-scale immigration into the U.S. of those with low intelligence, and the U.S. has been in denial of these facts.

Bottom-Line: 'The Bell Curve's' credibility rests entirely on the shoulders of Richard Herrnstein, one of the founders of quantitative analysis of behavior and distinguished professor of psychology at Harvard. Previously he had worked with B.F. Skinner and co-authored 'Crime and Human Nature' - a breakthrough and also controversial work that used statistical analysis and interviews to establish that heredity and poor parenting, not poverty, were the primary causes of crime. Like the Coleman Report of the 1960s, considered the most important education study of the 20th century - concluding that more money for education (improved environment) made very little if any impact, 'The Bell Curve' has also been highly criticized, but those criticisms have failed to overturn its major findings.

Research findings such as portrayed here are necessary to help guide genetic research into how to improve IQ for everyone, as well as improving current social policies on immigration and financial support for low-income persons to have babies..
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71 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't like all the conclusions, but facts are facts., December 24, 2001
By 
Gerard (Romeo, MI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book) (Paperback)
There is an interesting correlation between the style of the negative reviews of this book, and the ones you'll find on The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, probably the world's most respected biologist. When mainstream science, even stated conservatively, goes against deeply-held and cherished beliefs, many people will jump to scarecrow arguments to attempt to discredit a deeply relevant and well-supported text.
Even though my education is in psychology, I was not aware of what were even at the time (early nineties) empirically-derived observations essentially accepted without dispute by the psychometric community-- that there are in fact race differences in IQ. Of course, this is NOT the central theme of the book, it's simply the one that causes the most heartfelt emotional reaction. I'm reminded of fundamentalists who reject macroevolution but ignore or tacitly accept microevolution because they find it less threatening to their core beliefs. They only really go nuts about the stuff that hits close to home emotionally-- even though both concepts are equally well-established empirically.
I would like to mention for the person considering purchasing this book to keep in mind that the authors stated their case conservatively-- they actually PULLED punches because they wanted their case to be so unequivocal and unambiguous that what they were stating could not be reasonably questioned by anyone analyzing the data, without presenting new data of their own (in other words, without using the scientific method themselves and bringing new data to light that contradicts an entire century of research that unabiguously supports their conclusions). There is no social agenda here that I can find. I found it to be very even-handed.
I personally find a lot of the inexorable conclusions here depressing, as they indicate that many of our social problems are likely to be much more intractable than the political rhetoric would have you believe. But they do NOT advocate eugenics or any other racist or oppressive policy. And they DO repeatedly state that people of all races are represented in the full range of IQ's, from the dullest to the brightest. They also point out that two ethnic groups, of which neither of them is a member, have significantly higher IQs than whites. They do rather unequivocally advocate that we stop specifically subsidizing the births of children (of all races) who are irrefutably and apparently intractably at an enormously higher risk for every social malady that exists. That alone would be an enormous step forward.
Read this book. Even if you violently disagree with whatever generalizations about this work you have heard, if you refuse to read it and consider the contents, and continue to think that there is no possible way this work has any validity, I invoke the observation of Carl Sagan: "The truth should withstand scrutiny." Your beliefs about the subject should withstand scrutiny if you are a scientific-minded person. This book and it's cautiously-worded conclusions do. It's detractors arguments uniformly do not, and the caliber and style of their arguments lead me worry that the barrier between religion and government really has been broken down, and the new state religion is called Political Correctness.
I am certainly not a racist, and I conscientiously attempt never to prejudge anyone and chastise myself if I slip, like most other well-educated and intelligent people. But I am less and less inclined to cower before the demonstrably incorrect received wisdom of a self-appointed intellectual ruling class. The American Dream and the American way of doing things, and the vitality it has brought us, is being undermined through unsubstantiated dogma turned into Federal policies. It could cost us our future in a very real sense. Whatever course we go in the future, we desperately need to deal with facts rather than ideals, as painful and upsetting as it may be to ALL of us.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If I could give it an additional star, I would. Excellent!, May 31, 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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222 of 271 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the Book They Told You It Was, November 6, 2001
By 
Big Dave (Boise, Idaho) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book) (Paperback)
This book is not about race.
It's about intelligence, and how measured intelligence profoundly affects the lives of individuals in America.
More than socioeconomic background, parents' marital status or anything else, intelligence correlates with education, income, employment, criminal behavior, disability, likelihood of being in automobile accidents, and just about everything else.
And intelligence is largely genetic.
This has ominous implications for American society. The highly intelligent largely work and associate with other highly intelligent people. They marry each other, and have highly intelligent kids. Murry and Herrnstein argue that an intelligence-derived class system is developing in America.
Of course, it has even more ominous implications for people whose political credos rest upon the assumption that everything about an individual is socially conditioned and can therefore be improved by enlightened tinkering. These people, predictably, respond with wild accusations of "Nazi science!" This, of course, is a blatant and somewhat pathetic effort to taint the book so that no one will touch it.
Ignore the screamers. Read this book.
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59 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This data analysis still holds up 12 years later., December 1, 2006
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The Media considered this book controversial. But, this book opened up to the public what the specialists (psychometricians) already knew. In 1995, 52 of them signed a statement, "Mainstream Science on Intelligence," which fully supported Herrnstein and Murray (H & M). Also, the book is leveraging the extensive research from a well known psychometrician, Arthur Jensen from Berkeley.

The book is extensive but easy to digest. The authors impart the information at different levels. For the casual reader in a hurry, they wrote abstracts of each chapter in italic so one could cover the entire material in not much more than an hour. For the interested layperson, the book is structured in readable chapters amounting to 550 pages. And, for the committed reader including specialists the authors added 200 pages of notes and appendices.

Twelve years after this book was published all of H & M findings still hold true. This is especially the case when looking at SAT scores and college acceptance levels of different ethnic groups. Recent research by Arthur Jensen continues to support this book's main findings. H & M were aware that some of the topics they covered were controversial. Thus, their analytical methodology was most rigorous including extensive use of Logistic Regression. In the appendices they disclosed all their statistical results so one could double check their interpretation of the data.

The book is divided in four parts. Part I discloses that our society is stratified by intelligence levels. This is true in education and the work place. The Ivy League schools are harder to get in than they used to be. The entry to the professions (lawyers, doctors, professors, engineers, etc...) is increasingly competitive as they are populated by individuals with ever higher IQ. H & M state this upward stratification of cognitive ability is market driven. The economic returns are so much higher in hiring top performers vs just above average ones.

Part II reveals that regardless of ethnicity different cognitive classes are associated with different behaviors. Intelligent individuals experience lower rate of poverty, unemployment, divorce, and welfare dependency. They also incur lower high school and college drop out rates vs not so intelligent individuals. H & M found that IQ had a far stronger association with behavioral outcomes (unemployed, etc...) than socio economic background.

Part III divulged that ethnic groups have different IQ levels. Doing a meta analysis of all available studies, H & M observed an average difference of one standard deviation (15 points) between the IQ of whites (100) and blacks (85). Arthur Jensen, in his authoritative tome "The g Factor" documented an even larger difference. As predicated by H & M study in Part II, such a difference implies different social outcomes. Many of these outcomes (higher unemployment rate, lower wages, etc...) are attributed to racial discrimination. But, H & M observed that these differences in social outcomes disappear once adjusted for cognitive ability. When focusing on individuals with the same IQ the gap between blacks and whites wages disappears. The authors concluded that our society differentiates between different cognitive ability levels and not between race.

Part IV reviews all the policy efforts we have taken to reduce the mentioned gap in IQ. The authors indicate that most policies (special education programs, Head Start) have not fared well in terms of sustainable narrowing in IQ gap. The authors review the impact of Affirmative Action in higher education and the workplace. They have no reservation with the concept but only with its flawed implementation. They observed that among 25 of the most selective universities, the average black SAT score was 180 points below whites. The authors indicate that such a disparity in cognitive ability has isolated the black community within these elite universities. The authors suggest that a more appropriate matching of black students' ability and college competitiveness would result in higher graduation rate and more successful social outcomes. Within the workplace they noticed a wide discrepancy in capabilities and job performance between ethnic groups. They expressed concerned that hiring practices associated with Affirmative Action has implication on the quality of the delivery of key services such as education (teachers), and law enforcement (police officers).

The authors convey an ominous vision in one of the last chapters: The Custodial State. The Government will recognize the existence of a growing and permanent underclass with no potential for upward mobility. Government childcare will replace many family responsibilities for this unable underclass. Per the author: "strict policing and custodial responses to crime will become acceptable." The Custodial State is a high-tech lavish version of today's Indian reservation.

In the last chapter, the authors offer their benign alternative to the Custodial State: A Place for Everyone (APE). Saddly, APE seems as utopic as it is desirable. APE is a return to the communal spirit of our agrarian days when all different cognitive classes worked harmoniously together. The authors advocate a simplification in the tax code and legal code so all could abide and follow them. That's highly unlikely. Both codes are becoming increasingly complex. This in turn accentuates the isolation of the highest cognitive class from the lowest. It is unclear what will change that.

If you are interested in this topic, I also strongly recommend "The g Factor" by Arthur Jensen that was published four years after this book. Arthur Jensen is considered the most authoritative scientist on the study of cognitive ability.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scary but probably true, December 30, 2005
This review is from: Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (A Free Press Paperbacks Book) (Paperback)
I used to work for a major IQ test publisher and can say that -- assuming the data here is true -- this seems to be a balanced assessment of how our country is being stratified according to intelligence. The author doesn't say that is correct, merely that it is happening. One of the best parts of the book is the discussion of possible societal implications in the back. Some scenarios are worse than others and one is horrible; all are food for thought. Unfortunately, the horrible one seems most likely at present. I would give 5 stars except I've heard rumors the data might be tainted. I see no evidence of that and would like details.
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