Historians in Trouble: Plagiarism, Fraud, and Politics in the Ivory Tower

Historians in Trouble: Plagiarism, Fraud, and Politics in the Ivory Tower

by Jon Wiener
     
 

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Historians in Trouble is investigative journalist and historian Jon Wiener’s "incisive and entertaining" (New Statesman, UK) account of several of the most notorious history scandals of the last few years.

Focusing on a dozen key controversies ranging across the political spectrum and representing a wide array of charges, Wiener seeks toSee more details below

Overview

Historians in Trouble is investigative journalist and historian Jon Wiener’s "incisive and entertaining" (New Statesman, UK) account of several of the most notorious history scandals of the last few years.

Focusing on a dozen key controversies ranging across the political spectrum and representing a wide array of charges, Wiener seeks to understand why some cases make the headlines and end careers, while others do not. He looks at the well publicized cases of Michael Bellesiles, the historian of gun culture accused of research fraud; accused plagiarists and "celebrity historians" Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin; Pulitzer Prize–winner Joseph J. Ellis, who lied in his classroom at Mount Holyoke about having fought in Vietnam; and the allegations of misconduct by Harvard’s Stephan Thernstrom and Emory’s Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, who nevertheless were appointed by George W. Bush to the National Council on the Humanities.

As the Bancroft Prize–winning historian Linda Gordon wrote in Dissent, Wiener’s "very readable book . . . reveal[s] not only scholarly misdeeds but also recent increases in threats to free debate and intellectual integrity."

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Editorial Reviews

Harper's Magazine
Goes into court documents and behind the newspaper and network scenes to tell us about coverups, screwups, and secret settlements.
Library Journal
Cultural historian Wiener (history, Univ. of California, Irvine) writes regularly for the Nation on the politics of academe. His thesis here, presented in a style as readable as any political thriller, boils down to a starkly ideological postulate: historians working from a Marxist/leftist perspective are forgiven no minor trespasses, while those who explore the past to profit conservative agendas are rewarded with scant regard to whatever scandal their work occasions. Amazingly, Wiener presents a credible if less than decisive case. And in this book of cases, none attracts his indignation more than the tale of Bancroft Prize winner Michael Bellesiles, whose briefly lauded revisionist history of American gun culture came under such sustained questioning from within the academy-a point Wiener obscures by weighting the opinions of highly regarded Colonial historians in equal measure to National Rifle Association staff and outright, unaffiliated crackpots-that Emory University fired him from a tenured position. Nor is it certain that the Holocaust historian David Abraham-despicable and unprecedented as his hounding may have been-was merely guilty of sloppy note-taking. But Wiener has to be given enormous credit for publicizing equal failings by right-wing historians and for the disinterest with which he considers recent cases involving three well-known, politically mainstream public intellectuals. Essential for all academic libraries, along with Ron Robin's Scandals and Scoundrels.-Scott H. Silverman, Bryn Mawr Coll. Lib., PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"Wiener covers the modern university as if it were a police beat." —John Leonard, Harper's

"[Wiener’s] argument . . . is persuasively mounted." —Financial Times

"Make[s] the case clearly and forcefully that historians’ violations of common standards of ethics are not to be taken lightly." —Los Angeles Times

"As readable as any political thriller." —Library Journal

"Intrigues and educates . . . Wiener has a journalist’s knack for boiling complex cases into digestible bits." —The Seattle Times

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781595588524
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
03/13/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
260
Sales rank:
1,251,873
File size:
0 MB

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