From a book review in the New York Times:
Reviewed by David French
Aug. 8, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET
OUT ON A LIMB
Selected Writing, 1989-2021
By Andrew Sullivan
… In one of the most interesting (and likely most contentious) essays in the book, Sullivan addresses head-on what was probably the most controversial moment of his career. The book contains his open letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates in response to continued criticism of Sullivan’s decision, many years ago, to publish an excerpt from Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s “The Bell Curve” in the pages of The New Republic.
His letter isn’t an apology for his previous work. Not exactly. A writer’s “core loyalty,” Sullivan says, “must be to the truth as best as he can discern it.” At the same time, however, he both articulates this loyalty and laments it. He walks his way through the friends he’s lost and the people he’s hurt — in the “Bell Curve” controversy and the many controversies before and since — and he even wonders if his Christian faith is compatible with the work he does.
In the end, he asks Coates “for forgiveness; not as a writer, where good faith and honesty alone matter, but as a friend and human being, where empathy counts.”
Sullivan’s apology to Coates reminds me of my wife’s story about when she was eight and her mother ordered her to apologize to her six-year-old brother for calling him stupid, so she told him: “I’m sorry you’re stupid.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates should put in his Twitter bio: “Smarter than Ibram X. Kendi,” who should put in his Twitter bio: “Smarter than Robin DiAngelo,” who should put in her Twitter bio: “Richer than you.”