When published in 1981, The Mismeasure of Man was
immediately hailed as a masterwork, the ringing answer to those who would
classify people, rank them according to their supposed genetic gifts and
Yet the idea of biology as
destiny dies hard, as witness the attention devoted to The Bell Curve, whose arguments are here so effectively
anticipated and thoroughly undermined. In this edition, Stephen Jay Gould has
written a substantial new introduction telling how and why he wrote the book
and tracing the subsequent history of the controversy on innateness right
through The Bell Curve.
Further, he has added five essays on questions of The Bell Curve in
particular and on race, racism, and biological determinism in general. These
additions strengthen the book’s claim to be, as Leo J. Kamin of Princeton
University has said, “a major contribution toward deflating
pseudo-biological ‘explanations’ of our present social woes.” Download and start listening now!