“As someone known for writing defenses of chain stores and explaining Plano, Texas, to puzzled pundits, I agree that way too many smart people, particularly on the coasts, are quick to condemn middle-American culture without understanding why people value one or another aspect of it. But they were even worse in 1963.”
– Virginia Postrel, writing a review of Charles Murray’s latest book. In a nutshell, she skewers his central thesis that America is so much more fractured than in the past. That rather depends on what the chronological starting point is.
Murray is most famous, or depending on your point of view, infamous, for his role as co-author of The Bell Curve. More recently, I waded through his tome, Human Accomplishment, which uses various metrics to measure the fecundity of Western civilisation in particular. He’s certainly not afraid of the gods of political correctness.