Return Of The Radical

Charles Murray made a career out of controversy. Now he's focused on the white underclass

Shelby Lee Adams for TIME

The hermit of Burkittsville. Murray gets perhaps one call a week at his rural Maryland home

The conservative social scientist Charles Murray has spent much of the past two decades occupying a peculiar place in American public life: having suffered a broad shunning, he has been living in the aftermath of disgrace. Ever since the furious reaction to his 1994 book The Bell Curve left him branded, as Murray says ruefully, "a pseudoscientist and a racist," he has been living out a form of partial exile in Burkittsville, Md. That book, which he wrote with Harvard psychologist Richard Herrnstein, surveyed an array of social data and argued that the old, fluid American hierarchies had been replaced by...

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