Human Accomplishment
The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950

  • Title:

    Human Accomplishment
  • Hardcover ISBN:

    006019247X
  • Hardcover Dimensions:

    1.59'' x 9.40''
  • 688 Hardcover pages

"Murray's overview of the progress of art and science is engaging, user-friendly . . . [Human Accomplishment is] bound to set the walls of the academy and the halls of learned journals ringing with rebuttals. But readers who took pleasure in Jacquwa Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence, are sure to enjoy his arguments and elegant presentation."

--Kirkus Reviews

"Charles Murray has made the first, audacious attempt to quantify individual genius, in the arts and sciences, in terms of cultural origin, and geographic distribution. You do not need to endorse his methods to find this a shocking, stimulating, and entertaining exercise."

--Paul Johnson, author of Modern Times

"At last Charles Murray has found a Himalayan task worthy of his great talents as a preeminent social thinker of our time, that of opening up for us a new science of human accomplishment. His subject and his treatment of it ennoble us."

--Michael Novak, author of The Fire of Invention

Straightforwardly and undogmatically, Charles Murray takes on some controversial questions: Why has accomplishment been so concentrated in Europe? Among men? Since 1400? He presents evidence that the rate of great accomplishment has been declining in the last century, asks what it means, and offers a rich framework for thinking about the conditions under which the human spirit has expressed itself most gloriously.

Eye-opening, humbling, and fascinating, Human Accomplishment is a brilliant work that describes what humans at their best can achieve, provides tools for exploring its wellsprings, and celebrates the continuing common quest of humans everywhere to discover truths, create beauty, and apprehend the good. [more...]

Charles Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar in Culture and Freedom at AEI.

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