Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We Are Afraid To Talk About It, by Jon Entine (Public Affairs). You might expect that claiming to show a genetic basis for the dominance of certain sports by people of African descent would raise a firestorm. But in fact Entine's book gets warm reviews: "a careful and reasoned case for this point of view" (Richard Bernstein, the New York Times) … a "balanced, well-reasoned and—above all—calm examination of the issue" (S.L. Price, Sports Illustrated). But even the good notices include caveats: "The problem is that once you have isolated one genetic distinction in a racial population, even an advantageous one, the field is open to find other racial attributes, including disadvantageous ones" (Bernstein)… "[H]e falls into the sports world's common trap of equating who's 'best' with who is winning what sport right now" (Paul Ruffins, the Washington Post). There are some negative reviews, which call the book "a piece of good old-fashioned American anti-intellectualism (those dang perfessers!) that plays to vulgar beliefs about group differences" (Jonathan Marks, the New York Times) and argue that we don't have enough information to draw conclusions as to whether nurture or nature is the cause of blacks' dominance of certain sports: "[A]ny genetic differences that may exist between racial groups are, in the long run, utterly swamped by environmental influences" (Jim Holt, the New York Times Book Review).
©2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.