The Mismeasure of Manby Stephen Jay Gould
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 limits. Yet the idea of 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."
- Tantor Media, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Unabridged CD
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.10(d)
What People are Saying About This
Meet the Author
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Geology at Harvard University and the author of over twenty books.
Arthur Morey has recorded over two hundred audiobooks in history, fiction, science, business, and religion, earning a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards and two Audie Award nominations. His plays and songs have been produced in New York, Chicago, and Milan, where he has also performed.
- Date of Birth:
- September 10, 1941
- Date of Death:
- May 20, 2002
- Place of Birth:
- New York, New York
- Place of Death:
- Boston, Massachusetts
- B.S., Antioch College, 1963; Ph.D., Columbia University, 1967
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Many thanks to the previous reviewer for setting out the main themes and content of this remarkable book. I read the original version of The Mismeasure of Man when it was originally published, and I'm now nearly through the updated edition. Here we are, twenty years later, and society is still operating under the same old prejudices disguised as 'science' and 'fact.' Will the isolated voices of reason (Gould, Montagu, Kamin, et al.) ever be heard? If Stephen Jay Gould weren't already a national treasure because of his essays on evolution, history of science, and even baseball, The Mismeasure of Man would guarantee him a place as one of the most important thinkers of our time. You need to buy this book. Trust me.
This book reveals the historical truth about man's unfortunate attempts to limit human potential by relegating the complexities of individual intelligence to performance on arbitrary tasks. Man's obsession with quantifying human performance has had disastrous consequences for society. This book gives insight and perspective to the current practices that plague psychologists today in attempting to categorize and quantify the human capacity for intelligence.
This version of the book is great because it includes additional comments by the author, updating it into more recent contexts. A definate 'must read' for anyone interested in the study of IQ development and assessment. Although the lengthy introduction can be protracted at times, the work is still an essential source for those wishing to understand the misues of statistics by many credentialed scientists. Although the book starts slowly, as straight-backed chair reading, it becomes more vital as it progresses. Gould's agenda is clearly visable throughout, making it an honest work. This is an excellent study for any graduate researcher to understand before beginning any major research project.
I dont. Now about this book
Interesting and well written. Entertaining. But unable to to draw conclusions that are politicaly incorrect and, therefore, little more than a comfort piece for twentieth century humanists. There are diferences in intelligence and they are measurable. (Do you really believe that short order cook could have been a neurosurgeon if only he had applied himself?) The real question is, "What do differences in intelligence mean and what should we do about them." These are tough questions, but that does not mean we should pretend they do not need to be asked. We're not going to send the short order cook to medical school--unless he graduates from college and has excellent scores on his MCAT's (a surrogate for intelligence testing). My advice is, read "The Bell Curve." It draws some simple conclusions and asks some hard questions. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better than most of the writing claiming to "demolish" it!