A review of a review of Kathryn Paige Harden’s “The Genetic Lottery”

Stuart Ritchie in his Substack newsletter:

I love writing reviews of bad books. There’s nothing like the feeling when you’re halfway through a book and it dawns on you that this book is really bad, and that it deserves a pummeling in print for misleading the reader, spreading dodgy ideas, or getting tangled up in the barbed wire of its own prose.

Sometimes, though, a bad book review comes out that shames us bad book reviewers. A review that has all the snark of a good bad book review, but none of the substance. A review that displays not a sharp critical take, but a predictable argument based on its author’s political prejudices.

It happened earlier this month. The review in question, in the New York Review of Books, is by two Stanford University professors: Marcus Feldman, a biologist, and Jessica Riskin, a historian of science. It’s called “Why Biology is Not Destiny”, and it’s about Kathryn Paige Harden’s book The Genetic Lottery. In this post, I’m going to review the review.

More here.