The Bell Curve: Intelligence And Class Structure In American Life
(Richard J. Herrnstein ; Charles Murray)
The Bell Curve is a meticulous examination of the nature of human intelligence and its role in shaping American society. It argues that intelligence, as measured by IQ and similar tests, is a real and important attribute of individuals; that intelligence varies from person to person in the same way that height and other physical characteristics vary (there is a "normal distribution" of intelligence within a population--hence "the bell curve"); that American communities (residential, educational, occupational, social) are becoming stratified by cognitive ability; that this stratification jeopardizes social welfare and our political institutions and ideals in important ways; and that numerous government policies are aggravating the problem.
The Bell Curve presents an enormous weight of evidence and scholarship on each of these points, while providing balanced discussion of alternative interpretations and viewpoints. The book is a model of clear writing about complex and controversial topics and is carefully organized to be easily accessible to general readers as well as to experts.