Book Review: Historians In Trouble

Historians In Trouble:  Plagiarism, Fraud, And Politics In The Ivory Tower, by Jon Wiener

This book was disappointing. It took until the very end of the book for the author to be honest about his leftist agenda to the reader:  “The real need over the longer term is to find ways to counter the excessive power of right-wing advocacy groups (213).”  Quite the contrary.  It is scarcely to be imagined just how much this book fails under any standard, and how it excites in those readers whose political worldviews are antithetical to his own the strong desire to defend those who are libeled by the author in this left-wing hack job and to join whatever lynch mobs right-wing advocacy groups are starting against the left-wing professors guilty of academic high crimes and misdemeanors whom the author wishes to whitewash because of their ideological agreement with him on various matters of Marxist philosophy.  The concern of historians with legitimacy is nothing new [1], but all this author does is make it more necessary for those opposed to the author to speak out in defense of right thinking and right behaving, even if the situation in academia is one that few people ought to be proud of on any side.

Much of the material discussed in this book is not worth the dignity of even referring to regarding to names.  The author appears like an unseemly blackmailer pouring out garbage against people in order to smear them as unworthy historians, and it would not be surprising if the author was not himself the subject of some particularly nasty and particularly expensive libel suits given how he plays fast and loose with the truth and writes largely to score points with his fellow travelers among the left with little regard for decency or historical accuracy.  In this book we see the author taking aim at plagiarism, but only by those historians the author deems as being of right-wing approach, and there are other allegations, including of racism, sexual harassment, and even child molestation, that are far more unseemly than that.  In addition, just to keep the account even more slanted and biased, the author then seeks to defend the reputation of three left-wing historians who had some trouble because of their own misdeeds, because it is not enough to smear those judged as conservative but one must defend radicals because what is at stake is not truth or justice or equity, but rather a bogus political worldview that is unworthy of receiving any taxpayer support for whatsoever.

Ultimately, this book is unlikely to convince anyone who is not already convinced of the author’s perspective.  The bias in this book is so overwhelming, the author’s own misguided advocacy too obvious, to make this book appealing to anyone who is not a radical leftist.  And unless they are given recommendations to this book by other radical leftists, it seems unlikely that anyone would read this book expecting anything other than what I did, namely a takedown of a profession that is far too leftist in its general orientation, and that is not what is found here at all.  What a disappointment that is, that the author shows himself not only to not give what the reader expects, but to be as unpleasant and disgusting about his offensive worldview as possible.  Given the flames on the cover of this book, it is surprising more copies of this garbage have not been consigned to the flames where they belong.  There are many more useful purposes for paper than serving the purposes of promoting this author’s quest to libel rival historians.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/09/15/book-review-1066-the-hidden-history-in-the-bayeux-tapestry/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/10/19/book-review-black-earth-the-holocaust-as-history-and-warning/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/08/19/on-the-legitimacy-of-historical-reenacting/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013/08/03/the-challenges-of-history-from-below/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2010/11/19/contested-legitimacy-in-lope-de-vegas-fuente-ovejuna/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in American History, Book Reviews, History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Book Review: Historians In Trouble

  1. Pingback: I Can’t Buy That | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Becoming Free In The Cotton South | Edge Induced Cohesion

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