Up From the Ice Age

"Nature knows no equality."
—Luc de Varvenargues

For about four years before the publication of The Bell Curve last fall, occasional news reports dribbled out tidbits of information about the book and its coauthor. The stories were often pegged to Charles Murray's departure from the neoconservative Manhattan Institute in 1990 because of the institute's discomfort with his plans to research and publish on the verboten topic of racial differences in intelligence. When the book finally appeared, at almost exactly the same time as Philippe Rushton's work on the evolution of racial differences, it was the immediate subject of extended and usually vituperative discussion in the country's major newspapers Samuel Francis is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Washington Times. and magazines for a month or more—by which time it had ascended to the dubious but lucrative dignity of the best-sellers list. One of the remarkable features of the book's reception was the utter vapidity and dishonesty of most of the criticism, which ranged from the merely stupid (e.g., Richard Neuhaus' pompous comment in National Review that "society depends upon taboos and interdictions" and that therefore the authors should not have published their conclusions) to the outright vicious (e.g., the unfounded claim in the New Republic...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here