Friday, December 08, 2006

Jimmy Carter: Author of Historical Invention and Plagiarism?

Jimmy Carter, Misery-Index President, has a new book out that's causing a stir even in the group-think liberal bubble of academia...

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. One of the reviews on Amazon.com actually says: "Many brave peace-loving Israelis have embraced this book."

The obvious thing to start with is the title of the book. I guess Carter (or his Editor) thought he was being clever and coming up with a catchy new label for a problem most Americans are sick of hearing about. It's hardly Apartheid -which means "separation". To my knowledge the "Palestinians" don't want to mingle with and marry the Jews...they just want them dead. The "Palestinians" have their own elected (terrorist) government --so apartheid is really just an erroneous word here.

Get beyond the title (which already drains credibility from the book) and now there's the content. Content which a former Carter advisor and fellow of the Carter center says is “replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions and simply invented segments.” That aide, Kenneth W. Stein (a professor of Middle Eastern history and political science at Emory University), feels so strongly about the book he has resigned from the Carter Center in an effort to distance himself.

Stein isn't the only scholar scoffing at the book (and this from the NYT):

"...That criticism is the latest in a growing chorus of academics who have taken issue with the book, including Alan M. Dershowitz, professor of law at Harvard, who called the book “ahistorical,” and David Makovsky, director of the Project on the Middle East Process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“I was just very saddened by it,” Mr. Makovsky said. “I just found so many errors.”

Mr. Stein also said he had been struck by parts of Mr. Carter’s book that seemed strikingly similar to a work by a different author, but he would not disclose the details.

“There are elements in the book that were lifted from another source,” Mr. Stein said. “That other source is now acting on his or her own advice about what to do because of this.” (Read the entire article)

Maybe he should stick to peanuts and nails...?

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