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

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New Press, The, Apr 1, 2007 - History - 260 pages
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Available for the first time in paperback after being widely reviewed and discussed upon its hardcover publication, Historians in Trouble is investigative journalist and historian Jon Wiener's "incisive and entertaining" (New Statesman) 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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Historians in trouble: plagiarism, fraud, and politics in the ivory tower

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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 ... Read full review



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About the author (2007)

Jon Wiener is a professor of history at the University of California at Irvine and a contributing editor to The Nation. The author of several books, including Gimme Some Truth, Come Together, and Professors, Politics, and Pop, he lives in Los Angeles.

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