The Bell Curve produced literally dozens of reviews from academics that are readily available... the topics in the book have been the subject of discussion in academia for centuries before, and those discussions have continued, even as consensus has been established. *thread*
Gould published Mismeasure in '81; Lewontin published Not in Our Genes in '84. Both of these engage heavily with the intelligence literature and claims that the Bell Curve would purport to represent (a decade later). It was hardly a taboo subject.
The book was reviewed by (among many others) Gould, Lewontin, Heckman... a bunch of statisticians wrote a book length response to the statistical problems: Inequality by Design. Again, this undercuts the claim that the discussion of the book was suppressed in academia.
My expertise (such as it is) is in the 19th century iterations of these claims, which dates back to the what we now refer to as the beginning of social science, the seminal texts of social psychology, anthropology, criminology, etc. We still teach these texts as canon.
Set aside the historical matter; as a claim about the sociology of academia, it is just clearly true that we recognize and discuss the importance of these areas, both in discussing the historical development (e.g. Roger Cooter's work) and the contemporary literature.
The only way that you get to the claim "discussions of these attitudes are taboo in academia" is out of sheer ignorance of the academic literature. These discussions are a part of every domain. But none of the folks making this claim are serious academics.
Murray has discovered he can elbow in on the right-wing grift by holding that he's the foremost oppressed scholar; it also entitles him to just ignore the *extensive* substantive critiques of his book and various core claims, because that audience doesn't know them.
I'm obviously starting this thread in response to someone who, normally, wouldn't warrant a response, as a boring reactionary shill. But I see the claim enough that it seemed worth posting about.
... since people are interested in this thread, I’m going to add some things. First, I mention Gould’s Mismeasure above; if you have anything after the 1996 edition, then you can look at the two chapters Gould dedicated to The Bell Curve there.
.@Matt Darling 🌐🏗️
rightly links to Heckman’s review, for those who have JSTOR. jstor.org/stable/2138756
I would also look at the review from the sociologist Melvin Kohn: jstor.org/stable/684848
I hope the @The New Yorker
will consider making Gould’s review free. (Nov 28, ‘94.)