Stephen's Reviews > The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life

The Bell Curve by Richard J. Herrnstein
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's review
Jun 11, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: to-re-read, science, non-fiction, 1990-1999
Read from January 21 to 24, 1995 — I own a copy

4.0 stars. This is a very controversial book that holds as one of its major premises that intelligence, at least in part, is determined by genetics. Thus, according to the book, Asian people are, on average, more intelligent than caucasians and caucasians are, on average, more intelligent than African Americans. Very radical and very explosive, this certainly caused a firestorm of debate when it first came out.

Without getting into any of the merits (or lack thereof) of the above premise which I am not qualified to weigh in on, I remember reading this my senior year of law school (when I was trying to absorb as much informaiton as I could on a variety of subjects) and being intrigued by the book and thinking it was very well-written and interesting. Having just come across it again in writing this review, I intend to seek out the major "responses" and "critiques" of this book including the essay "Mainstream Science on Intelligence: 52 scientists respond to The Bell Curve" so I can see the other side of the debate.
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