Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Derbyshire, Putnam, Murray

I have neglected John Derbyshire since he got himself in trouble with his too-gleeful observations of recorded African-American pathology.  He still writes well and has important things to say.
Here’s a suggestion to sociologists writing books for the general-interest public: Drop the last chapter. You know, the chapter where, after 200 pages of describing some social problem or other, you offer solutions to the problem. the opening paragraph to his essay The Prescriptive Poverty of the Social Sciences, which reviews Robert Putnam's new Our Kids, with significant reference to Charles Murray's Coming Apart. Derb doesn't dislike either book, but finds serious flaws in both.

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