Disarmin' America

More

Consider my mind officially boggled.  (Yes, yes . . . many of you so considered it years ago.  Point taken, etc.)

Remember Michael Bellesiles?  The Emory history professor who faked data to "prove", in an award winning book, that guns were not common in early America?  The one who lost his job, and his Bancroft prize, after the fraud was revealed? 

Well, if you don't, here's the Yale Law Review article from Jim Lindgren on the topic.  Now prepare to be amazed:  Bellesiles has a new book out.  And the publicity materials for said book highlight the previous fraud--for the purpose of claiming that he's some sort of tragic martyr who was "swiftboated".

I felt bad for the guy at the time, and I have an American fondness for second and third and eighth chances.  But really.  I have a hard enough time believing the guy got a book published--I mean, maybe this book is 100% on the level, but who has the time to check all his footnotes to make sure.  And when he has the gall to complain--or allow his publishers to do so in his place--that his previous work was unjustly prosecuted, well, both my sympathy and any willingness to suspend my disbelief sort of evaporate.  It's like his real academic project is doing case studies of chutzpah.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

This Short Film Skewers Hollywood, Probably Predicts Disney's Next Hit

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

How Will Climate Change Affect Cities?

Urban planners and environmentalists predict the future of city life.

Video

The Inner Life of a Drag Queen

A short documentary about cross-dressing, masculinity, identity, and performance

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In