IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea

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Wiley, May 4, 2007 - Education - 288 pages
8 Reviews

Advance praise for

IQ A Smart History of a Failed Idea

"An up-to-date, reader-friendly account of the continuing saga of the mismeasure of women and men."
—Howard Gardner, author of Frames of Mind and Multiple Intelligences: New Horizons

"The good news is that you won't be tested after you've read Stephen Murdoch's important new book. The better news is that IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea is compelling from its first pages, and by its conclusion, Murdoch has deftly demonstrated that in our zeal to quantify intelligence, we have needlessly scarred—if not destroyed—the lives of millions of people who did not need an IQ score to prove their worth in the world. IQ is first-rate narrative journalism, a book that I hope leads to necessary change."
—Russell Martin, author of Beethoven's Hair, Picasso's War, and Out of Silence

"With fast-paced storytelling, freelance journalist Murdoch traces now ubiquitous but still controversial attempts to measure intelligence to its origins in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. . . . Murdoch concludes that IQ testing provides neither a reliable nor a helpful tool in understanding people's behavior, nor can it predict their future success or failure. . . . A thoughtful overview and a welcome reminder of the dangers of relying on such standardized tests."
—Publishers Weekly

"Stephen Murdoch delivers a lucid and engaging chronicle of the ubiquitous and sometimes insidious use of IQ tests. This is a fresh look at a century-old and still controversial idea—that our human potential can be distilled down to a single test score. Murdoch's compelling account demands a reexamination of our mania for mental measurement."
—Paul A. Lombardo, author of Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court & Buck v. Bell

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - StefanY - LibraryThing

As far as academic histories go, I would consider IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea by Stephen Murdocch to be a fairly entertaining and engaging read. The author writes in a very conversational ... Read full review

Review: IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea

User Review  - Goodreads

I read about one third of this book. The subject matter ( the quest for a good measurement of intelligence) is fascinating but I didn't find this book thorough, accurate or comprehensive. For instance ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Stephen Murdoch is a freelance journalist who has written for the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Newsweek, and many other publications.

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