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Can You Pass the ‘Beverly Hillbillies’ Test?: Virginia Postrel

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Charles Murray knows that people who read fat books of social criticism aren’t normal. They weren’t normal when the books had titles like “The Affluent Society,” “The Hidden Persuaders” and “The Organization Man,” and they aren’t normal today.

One way they aren’t normal is that they expect to do well on exams. So “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010,” Murray’s new book arguing that America’s distinctive civic culture is unraveling, cleverly includes a 25-question test. He jokingly frames it as a pre-computer SAT (“Please take out your no. 2 pencil and begin”), but it’s more like the kind of quiz you’d find in Cosmopolitan magazine. Here, instead of revealing your sexual habits, you get points for eating at Applebee’s, owning a pickup, recognizing military insignia and correctly identifying Branson (a flamboyant entrepreneur named Richard isn’t the right answer).