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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“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.

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3 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Sunfish

    Postrel’s work, I’m not so familiar with.

    The Bell Curve
    , I am. And you usually need to read AGW scaremongering to find that level of pseudo-scientific bull****.

    I’m not in a rush to read the new one.

  • renminbi

    Human Accomplishment makes the case for Western civilization. It is a fascinating read and I get much pleasure occasionally skimming through it again

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Proof is all around us. Whether we want to see it is another matter. What predictions does Murray’s thesis make? If they turn out the way he predicted, doesn’t that lend some level of credence to his theories?

    I’ll be very hesitant to bet against him. The Bell Curve has already been vindicated quite easily by things such as affirmative action and Detroit.