BULL STREET - The art of the Con

An Historic Change

More dated authors are not the only ones that have felt it necessary to grab material from one of their brethren in order to make their unspectacular prose appear more readable. Steven Ambrose, a well known and highly prolific American Historian got caught in the act of pilfering by both the Weekly Standard as well as Forbes. When caught and with no place to go, Ambrose indicated that there were a number of instances where he had forgotten to place quotation marks around material that had been inserted into his works that had been written by others. Simon and Schuster, the publisher, although having a large amount of egg on its face, indicated that they would be correcting the oversights in future additions.

While Ambrose and his publishers where determined to tough in out in spite of being caught in the act, a worse fate befell Doris Kearns Goodwin who had won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize of History with Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Home Front in World War II, and also wrote “The Fitzgerald’s and the Kennedy’s” and once again the Weekly Standard seems to have caught her in the act of purloining substantial material without attribution from Lynne McTaggart’s, Kathleen Kennedy: Her Life and Times. Goodwin paid a high price for her transgressions on several fronts, which began with a substantial sum going to McTaggart as a settlement. Furthermore, she left McNeil-Lehrer News Hour apparently with some prodding and had copies of the book with the illicit paraphrasing withdrawn.

 

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