The Real ‘Bell Curve’

Wall Street Journal, December 2, 1994.


In the past few weeks, I have found myself occasionally leafing through “The Bell Curve” to reassure myself. Richard Hernnstein and I didn’t really write the book people are saying we wrote, did we? We didn’t.

The Bell Curve” that you have read about in most publications is unrecognizably different from “The Bell Curve” that exists. I will not try to explain why it has been so blatantly misrepresented. I suspect that answer would require profound understanding of the American preoccupation with race. But at least I can outline some of the main ways in which the public commentary has kept people from understanding what the book is and says.