Monday, March 25, 2013

Remember Michael Bellesiles? 'Arming America' academic fraud?

He's got another book coming out.  This is how the publisher describes what he did before:
...Michael Bellesiles is perhaps most famous as the target of an infamous ‘swiftboating’ campaign by the National Rifle Association, following the publication of his Bancroft Prize-winning book Arming America (Knopf, 2000) -- ‘the best kind of non-fiction,’ according to the Chicago Tribune -- which made daring claims about gun ownership in early America. ...
Oh yeah, I remember that 'swiftboating'; if you can use that term for someone caught in fraud and lying and- well, let the post writer say it:
These sentences have absorbed and rewarded my attention for days on end. They are a masterpiece of evasion. The paragraph is, in its way, quite impressive. Every word of it is misleading, including “and” and “the.”

Bellesiles has a certain claim to fame, certainly, but not as “the target of an infamous ‘swiftboating’ campaign.” He is, and will be forever remembered as, a historian whose colleagues found him to have violated his profession's standards of scholarly integrity. Arming America won the Bancroft Prize -- the highest honor for a book on American history. But far more salient is the fact that the Bancroft committee took the unprecedented step of withdrawing the prize.
The guy has to keep his proper educational chops by whacking on the NRA and gun owners(of course), but he does keep to the main point: Bellesiles is a fraud.  A liar.  And probably going to do it again, with New Press running cover.


Sigivald said...

Oh yeah, I remember that 'swiftboating'; if you can use that term for someone caught in fraud and lying

Ironically - given that the source there thinks it's a mis-use - that is exactly what Swiftboating always really meant.

The SVB people - who the term is named for - were doing exactly that to John Kerry in 2007/8.

It's a slur on the Left because they simply assumed that the SVBs must have been lying, because Otherwise Kerry Would Be A Bad Candidate.

And that's unpossible.

(This stupid comment reminded me that I have to live in a world where that toxic moron is Secretary of State!

I am shocked to find myself wishing Hillary Clinton was back on the job...)

Windy Wilson said...

Sigivald beat me to it. The author of this blurb implicitly acknowledges that "swiftboating" is the application of truth to someone's unfounded public assertions, to that person's embarassment and professional detriment.