The Mismeasure of Man

  • by Stephen Jay Gould
  • Narrated by Arthur Morey
  • 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When published in 1981, The Mismeasure of Man was immediately hailed as a masterwork, the ringing answer to those who would classify people, rank them according to their supposed genetic gifts and limits. Yet the idea of of biology as destiny dies hard, as witness the attention devoted to The Bell Curve, whose arguments are here so effectively anticipated and thoroughly undermined. In this edition, Stephen Jay Gould has written a substantial new introduction telling how and why he wrote the book and tracing the subsequent history of the controversy on innateness right through The Bell Curve. Further, he has added five essays on questions of The Bell Curve in particular and on race, racism, and biological determinism in general. These additions strengthen the book's claim to be, as Leo J. Kamin of Princeton University has said, "a major contribution toward deflating pseudo-biological 'explanations' of our present social woes."

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What the Critics Say

"A rare book---at once of great importance and wonderful to read." (Saturday Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent and eye opening

Any additional comments?

A story of history that makes you shake your head in disbelief but also an excellent story of cognitive bias and its influence on science. A story that can still occur today.

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- Wolfe

A great Anthropology book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would. Having an audible version of such a nice book is very convenient and we can listen to it anytime anywhere.


What other book might you compare The Mismeasure of Man to and why?

Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. It gives us different perspectives on evolution.


What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The voice of the reader of The Mismeasure of Man is a little monotonous. It is hard to keep listening for more than an hour.


What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Evolution is everywhere. We are not more special than any other species. Being a humble human being may help open doors to a greater understanding of the past, present and future of our species.


Any additional comments?

Books on science, anthropology, archaeology, geology are as important as novels and popular literature. I notice there are many options on classic and modern literature but not so many in books dealing with natural sciences. The Origin of Species would make a great option.

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- Alexandre Penteado

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-20-2011
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio