Reexamining The Bell Curve

  • Stephen E. Fienberg
  • Daniel P. Resnick


Occasionally, very occasionally, big books appear in the social sciences that make scholars and the lay public take notice. Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life is one of those publishing events.1 The Bell Curve is big both in size, more than 850 pages, and in scope. It draws on a large social science database and deals with themes of broad social significance. The authors have provoked a counterliterature of criticism, qualification, and confrontation that has advanced the enterprise of social research. Without the contest over methods, argument, and policy implications that are generated by the publication of such big books, public understanding would lag even further behind scholarship, and scholarship itself would lose its edge.


Affirmative Action Intelligence Test Bell Curve Harvard Educational Review History Ofscience 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen E. Fienberg
  • Daniel P. Resnick

There are no affiliations available

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