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The Bell Curve : Intelligence and Class…

The Bell Curve : Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (original: 1994; edição: 1996)

de Herrnstein J., Richard (Autor)

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,2921511,380 (3.48)27
The controversial book linking intelligence to class and race in modern society, and what public policy can do to mitigate socioeconomic differences in IQ, birth rate, crime, fertility, welfare, and poverty.
Título:The Bell Curve : Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life
Autores:Herrnstein J., Richard (Autor)
Informação:Free Press (1996), 912 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life de Richard J. Herrnstein (1994)


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The controversy surrounding this book is rather comical given the dull, muted, utterly conventional political orientation and prescriptions of the book. As I was reading it I was very critical of this cautious conservatism, but in retrospect I understand that it was an academic and political necessity -- in fact, it is part of the book's genius.

The objective of the book is purely to "get the data out there", distribute it as widely as possible, and to saturate the public consciousness with the cold, hard facts and data concerning the subject matter... If that means watering down the politics and pandering to fragile emotional states every other paragraph in order that the book is more widely read, then so be it -- as long as the "data gets out!"

That being said, I did get the sense that the authors truly do believe that "diversity is our strength", and given the logical conclusions of their own research it was difficult to reconcile how they could possibly believe this to be the case. As well, the book's failure to examine the role of Jews within the "Class Structure of American Life" was rather conspicuous...even suspicious. Given the massive overrepesentation of Jews within the American intelligentsia and halls of power it bordered upon intellectual dishonesty to fail to include them more widely throughout the comparative examinations in the book. ( )
  EchoDelta | Nov 19, 2021 |
This is one of the most important, most wrongly maligned books I've ever encountered. Essentially it is a summary of mainstream science on intelligence (IQ, "g", etc.) and some very straightforward statistical correlations of social trends and behaviors with IQ. I'm amazed that it was so hated by the left, since most of the arguments it makes actually inherently support redistributive policies and programs.

Part of why it was hated was ostensibly racial, but 90% of the book is specifically about white men and white households (as a way of limiting variables). There was one chapter on race, where a main conclusion was that to a very great degree controlling for IQ left no racial differences in skill or achievement in the 1990 data, but that substantial discrimination did exist in 1950/1960.

The policy recommendations made were essentially libertarian and pro-individual, designed to allow all individuals to achieve to their fullest potential. Primarily, to reduce artificial barriers (credentialism, regulation, and central bureaucracy) to allow lower IQ people to more fully participate in society (as they had in the pre-1900 period); improved education and support for high-IQ children, particularly from low economic backgrounds, and generally treating all people as valued citizens independent of their differing intellectual gifts. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
I leafed through it, but it struck me as just too uninteresting to spend my time with, so I gave it up permanently. Picked it up again, on the recommendation from "Racecraft", but still no progress.
  themulhern | Aug 20, 2020 |
Okay... Got this book from the Library. The basic premise of the book is that some minorities get less points in IQ because of inherited cognitive ability. Nature over nurture so to speak. This book has some very interesting points and ideas, but it's presentation is really cold and rather cruel. I guess you could say it is a scholastic affect, since it is almost like they consider this a mathematical problem and nothing more. They consider other probabilities among the poor and disadvantaged; bad nutrition, horrible home conditions, terrible neighborhood, drugs. Then they come out and say that education is mostly improved since the 1960's, but doesn't really add up to those being the root causes. Most of the time they seem to welcome argument, as though they wanted a huge controversy, or at least some discussion to begin.

On the other hand, I do agree that ability should be rewarded rather than a flat rate of meeting a quota for job positions so I am really torn about this book. I mean, it tells me that Affirmative Action is somewhat unfair, and I suppose I agree with that sentiment, but how far does one go with that? Naturally people that are smarter would get better treatment, but where would that leave most people?

Oh well, I would probably read this again, if only to refresh myself on the earlier arguments. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
I feel guilty even giving this book two stars, but I must admit that there are a few nuggets of ore buried in the excrement that is this book:

1. Yes, giften children are being dumbed-down by our school system, despite the Talented and Gifted programs in many states: those programs simply do not give the brightest kids the leeway and encouragement to learn as much as they can as fast as they can in as many interesting areas as they can, partly due to lack of resources, and partly due to a need to be 'practical' in job outlook, and partly due to the demonisation of intellectuals in the USA.

2. Yes, we need apprenticeships and other types of one to one job training. It is also true that poverty and high-crime neighborhoods did not go hand in hand 50 years ago. The factors are complex.


Race does not exist. Therefore, IQ cannot differ by racial grouping. Seee the Human Genome Project, and all 'racial' research in the last few years, as well as the many reviews of this book which have already cited the conditions under which certain groups of people have been forced to live which (as with lead pipes) make it very difficult for children in those groups to test at the level of even poor White Americans.

So, sadly, the arguments that the authors make are inherently biased, and perhaps also self-serving. ( )
1 vote FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Richard J. Herrnsteinautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Murray, Charles A.autor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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The controversial book linking intelligence to class and race in modern society, and what public policy can do to mitigate socioeconomic differences in IQ, birth rate, crime, fertility, welfare, and poverty.

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